Is the torture of suspected terrorists ever justified? Why or why not?

At an Armed Service Committee, Senator Cotton sparked tons of controversy when he said, “The only problem with Guantanamo Bay is there are too many empty beds. Terrorists can rot in Hell, but as long as they don’t do that, they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.”
I think that was an absolutely awful and cold-blooded statement. I do not agree with physically torturing suspected terrorists. However, I wouldn’t oppose it if they used a reasonable degree of psychological manipulation to get information out of the suspects. Even then, that seems more along the lines of a type of brainwashing than a psychological “torture.”
The fact that these detainees are just “suspected’ terrorists is reason enough for torture to not be justified. They aren’t even “proven” terrorists. What if some of the tortured detainees are innocent? Regardless of if the detainees being tortured are guilty or innocent, I still don’t approve of torturing them.
— Angel DiSylvestro


From various reads about this subject, I’ve learned that the majority (of articles) suggest that torture is inefficient. Subjects are tortured until they admit; admit so that the pain will stop. If someone is innocent, they will hold on as long as the body and mind can go, to hold onto their claim. But if it is not the answer the torturers want to hear, they will continue until the subject (detainee) admits to something he didn’t do, just because he can’t take it anymore.
On the other hand, terrorists are loyal to their cause. Death does not bother them, so why should torture? Their cause, their mission is their belief, their values. So if it is everything that they believe and who they are, what makes us think that torturing them will gain anything?
I just think that there are not enough positive results from this method. I think that it is unjustified, because innocent people can become victims of these cruel methods if ever wrongly convicted. I don’t think you gain a lot of positives from torture.
—Josevata Damuni


The torture of suspected terrorists is justified. I believe with how these extremists have behaved and operate, and continue to do so—bombing, killing, torturing and beheading of people to try to get the world to turn to their ideology—is just appalling!  These terrorists have been raised to believe their beliefs are the one and only true belief and will stop at nothing to rise to power.
—Cheryl Miram


The torture of suspected terrorists is the least effective strategy in the attempt to gather information by our government. A person who is tortured long enough will confess to killing even Jesus. There is only so much punishment a human can endure and eventually a person will tell the torturer anything they want to hear. Under the Patriot Act, our government can detain any citizen of the U.S. indefinitely and most likely torture that person if they deem that person a threat to the government. I ask myself, “What happened to this country?”

—Todd Coffey


Torturing suspected terrorists shouldn’t be justified unless we have a substantial amount of evidence. I believe we shouldn’t torture anyone, but it’s a tough call. Torture is an effective way of getting answers, but it’s ethically wrong.
—Kavika Mataele