What is terrorism? Though it is difficult to come to a universal definition of terrorism, it can be referred to as warfare involving the use or risk of violence, typically against an influential noncombatant target, with the thought of creating fear in a wide audience (Domestic Terrorism 1). Terrorism emerges when a band of terrorists want to get their message across to a group of people with higher power, usually a government. The purpose of the terrorists is to fight for rights, anti-imperialism, or any other cause deemed important by the group (Global Terrorism). The war on terrorism has been occurring because the beginning of civilization.
Terrorism attacks occur frequently throughout the world, usually at least one nearly every day. Occasionally the attacks make headlines worldwide. Probably one of the most famous and well-known terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001. A terrorist group from the Middle East known as al-Qaeda flew planes into the Twin Tower buildings found in america. Many people were killed and it was a devastating day for america. To prevent attacks such as this from happening again, the practice of extraordinary rendition was adopted by america. Extraordinary rendition can be defined as kidnapping alleged terrorists using their homeland or a different country and holding them for questioning in secretive bases located throughout the united states (Extraordinary Rendition 1). However the war on terrorism requires precautions, extraordinary rendition is morally wrong due to the fact that it's not necessarily effective and it involves harsh tactics.
Extraordinary rendition has been practiced by america C. I. A. for approximately 9 years. Before the September 11th terrorist attack in NY, there were practices used to acquire terrorists. However, these practices were not legalized until after the September 11th attacks. The mentioned reason for extraordinary rendition is to acquire terrorists before they launch an attack (Extraordinary Rendition 1). This practice is hard to justify since the government usually doesn't have solid evidence proving if the suspect is a terrorist prior to taking him hostage.
Surprisingly, extraordinary rendition is known as to be legal by america government. Ironically, this practice is not governed by any law (Extraordinary Rendition 1). It is believed to be a necessary tactic in the war against terrorism. The practices used by the C. I. A. have a tendency to be very crude, but they are overlooked and regarded as non-torturous (Extraordinary Rendition 1). However, memos were leaked that showed evidence of violent practices found in interrogation (A crack in the wall of secrecy 1). Extraordinary rendition is commonly referred to as just a precaution and nothing more (Extraordinary Rendition 1). On the other hand, if we have a person hostage and cruelly torture them for information they could not possess, wouldn't that make us terrorists as well?
Other countries seem to be to concur that extraordinary rendition is not a moral tactic. Across the world, it is heavily criticized (Extraordinary Rendition 1). The method of extraordinary rendition combines two illegal practices to make a "legal" practice. Countries throughout the world believe it is wrong due to the fact it involves kidnapping and torturing, both crimes that are punishable under federal and international law (Extraordinary Rendition 1). It is double standard that the government is allowed to kidnap and abuse people; if the criminal were to do so, he'd be convicted.
Harsh tactics are one of the C. I. A. 's top ways to obtain information from suspects. Possible terrorists are usually captured by the C. I. A. and either interrogated on USA soil or delivered to another country to be questioned (The law: "extraordinary rendition" and presidential fiat. 8). Although that sounds safe, lots of the foreign countries use the torture method to be able to obtain their information. For example, Egypt, Syria and Morocco have been discovered as commonly using torture on the victims (Extraordinary Rendition 1). The existing estimate range of prisoners is in the hundreds. As if that isn't bad enough, the government didn't have warrants for taking these prisoners hostage. The government simply believed the prisoners were terrorists, and decided that their "hunch" is good enough reasoning to arrest them.
In addition to assuming people are terrorists, the techniques they use to obtain information are very horrific. A frequently used tactic is named waterboarding. Waterboarding is when water is inserted in to the prisoner's lungs, resulting in him fearing the possibility of drowning. It really is believed that this would cause him to reveal information he'd not under ordinary circumstances. The government considers it to be always a properly moral and legal practice. For instance, Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state during President George Bush's term, mentioned that this practice is completely acceptable and that the prisoners are treated with hospitality (Extraordinary rendition and the wages of hypocrisy 1). It is clear that america has a slim definition of torture, and the abusing of the supposed terrorists is overlooked.
In addition to waterboarding, the C. I. A. also uses the long time standing technique. This entails the prisoner being forced to stand while their hands and feet are shackled. Their feet are then shackled to the ground as well. The individual is then left to stand there until they become exhausted of standing and tell the federal government the info they seek. The C. I. A. states that the exhaustion and sleep deprivation is what makes the victim reveals information. They are really so delirious they don't realize these are leaking "important secrets". The long time standing practice is said to be one of the most effective in obtaining information from stubborn suspects.
Although the techniques can be helpful, extraordinary rendition itself is not necessarily effective. This practice involves taking the alleged terrorist hostage, and then interrogating him, usually with torture if he's not openly willing to reveal information with simple questions. When the prisoner is regarded as to be innocent, he is then set free. Many times this occurs, and the government simply states they had the "wrong guy". However, what if he really was a terrorist, and was just very good at lying? There is no way to make certain that the particular prisoner is revealing is accurate information, and that it is not simply a sneaky tactic to remain alive. At the same time, what if the government decides the prisoner is a terrorist when he's truly innocent?
On numerous occasions, innocent people are accused to be terrorists or being involved with terrorist activities. For example Benamar Benatta fled his home country of Algeria on September 5th, 2001 because he feared death in his homeland. Benatta then settled in Canada. He was taken captive the night time after the September 11th attack in NEW YORK. Without being offered the chance to testify against his capture or being told where he was being taken, the Canadian police drove him on the border and handed him to the Americans to be questioned. Really the only reason he was thought to be a terrorist was because he was a Muslim and he previously once served in the Algerian military. Nevertheless, this accusation was false. Benatta spent approximately three years in prison where he claims he was tortured. He was finally released on July 20, 2003 and permitted to go back to Canada. Although he is now a free man, he says this incident will haunt him for the rest of his life (Bitter anniversary for rendition victim 1).
Another saddening example of an innocent person being taken hostage is the storyplot of Binyam Mohamed. He was a 32 year old man of Ethiopian descent who came to the uk to find refuge. Mohamed was a cleaner who lived in London. He continued a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan where he was arrested at the Karachi airport. According to sources, Mohamed was believed to be a member of the Taliban. Mohamed claims that he was taken throughout the world and tortured by officials who thought he was hiding information. Down the road, Mohamed was deemed innocent and released from prison. (Bill for settling Guantanamo Bay 'torture' cases could top [pounds sterling]30m 2).
Richard Belmar was a British citizen. He changed into Islam in his teenage years and coincidently traveled to Pakistan before the September 11th incident. He was captured in Pakistan. Down the road, Belmar was taken to other places such as Bagram and Guantnamo where he claims he was mistreated by the officials interrogating him. Belmar was eventually released in January of 2005 without charge (Bill for settling Guantanamo Bay 'torture' cases could top [pounds sterling]30m 2). These are only a few cases where an innocent person was misfortunate and accused to be a terrorist; there are a great many other instances known all around the world.
Many of the hostages were only considered to be members of an terrorist group predicated on their background. Binyam was detained because he was Ethiopian. Belmar was arrested based on his religious background (Bill for settling Guantanamo Bay 'torture' cases could top [pounds sterling]30m 2). Mohamed was accused due to the fact he was Muslim (Bitter anniversary for rendition victim). Because someone is of foreign descent and lives internationally does not mean they are there for terroristic reasons. For example, when hikers from america were captured in Iran, america government thought it was ridiculous and believed they should be set free immediately. What they failed to realize is they have a tendency to do the same thing to any foreigners in america that appear "suspicious". It really is quite racist of the United States to target people from the Middle East as is feasible terrorist suspects. Inside the U. S. each year, many of its own native citizens are in cahoots with terrorists all around the globe. Why aren't these folks targeted as well? Is it since they were born in the United States?
There is not necessarily clear evidence that the suspect is a terrorist. When the government detains someone as a terrorist suspect, it is in a few days following a terrorist attack. Alternatively, if they are hurrying to find possible suspects, they are most likely thinking irrationally. Probably they don't even perform a thorough background check on the suspect. It would take lots of days to take action, and a few of these victims are taken your day after or even the day of any attack. On many occasions, like the ones above, there is no proof that the captive is a terrorist (Bill for settling Guntanamo Bay 'torture' cases could top [pounds sterling]30m 2). If this is actually the case, they may be set free, usually after being pointlessly tortured.
To sum it all up, extraordinary rendition is not really a dependable strategy to obtain information from suspects. It seems to have more negative consequences than good. Though it is a smart idea to prevent terrorist attacks from occurring, perhaps the government should think more rationally. Before detaining someone, an intensive and complete background check is needed. There also must be solid evidence and good reasoning to justify going for a person hostage.
Furthermore, something must be done about the harsh interrogation techniques. We can not keep overlooking them as "necessary in the war against terrorism". These techniques may be helpful, but there tend to be humane and equally effective ways to obtain information. For instance, instead of handled drowning, officials could try calmly reasoning with the suspects. Though it seems as if this would not be effective, it has been established to work in ordinary criminal investigations. Harming a suspect may make them refrain from telling any helpful information they could possess. Doing this may also provoke hatred for america. Benamar Benatta, a guy who didn't show hatred for the United States prior to his detainment, appeared to feel bitter resentment on the U. S. after his three year captivity (Bitter anniversary for rendition victim 1-2). Even though an innocent suspect wasn't previously involved with any terrorist attacks, it could compel him to begin getting involved to get his revenge. All in all, by using this technique the United States may be furthering their susceptibility to be attacked. Therefore, this proves that the practice of extraordinary rendition is insufficient, seeing as it could actually worsen the probability of terrorist attacks occurring instead of reducing them.
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