Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ali Hannah
Dr. Bergman
The Geneva Conventions forbid not only torture, but also “cruel treatment” and “humiliating and degrading treatment” for prisoners of war. Alberto J. Mora reinforces that in holding detainees there should not be differences between the way we treat those who are U.S. citizens and those who are not U.S. citizens because of our nation’s values of "freedom, liberty, and justice for all" and to uphold the dignity of the individual. I agree and disagree with the argument made by Alberto J. Mora because these debates do come down to ethical principles and every human should have equal opportunity and to be treated the same until there is a hard reason for them not to be treated with the same orderly respect. However, this is not how our nation functions today-- we see hatred and color blindness against the #blacklivesmatter movement, we see inequality through the Women's march. If there is justice for all, why are these movements and marches taking place? I asked a friend what they knew about Guantanamo and other relative detainee prisons, she replied to me that she wasn’t aware of what goes on within these facilities and she could not recall where they were. This ignorance proves that we as a nation are more worried and invested in domestic issues rather than those fatal problems going on outside of the country. The detainee treatment act of 2005 prohibits the “cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment” of detainees anywhere in the world- however, according to the New York Times the manual has been rewritten and now the interrogation techniques are classified and not available for the public. This unavailability opens a manifest of questions. How do we draw the line between cruel or punishing treatment and torture when it comes to interrogation? The Geneva Conventions were not specific enough, they claim  to prohibit cruel and inhumane punishment to detainees, but Mora makes us aware that, “Cruelty has increased the incidence of prisoner abuse worldwide.” We as a nation have made mistakes in dealing with unlawful combatants, however, I agree with Mora when he says, “we shall not repeat the mistakes”. On April 28, 2004, the exposure of prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib shocks the world- this exposure is embarrassing for our nation. We are better than that, and that is why we need to come together to provide boundaries to our representatives and leaders who are in control and who interact with the detainees. I think this could be done with a well-written and descriptive consequence list. For example, If a detainee were to have evidence, such as photos or videos, that they interacted heavily with materials that could have an intended harm to our country, only then will the military leaders have permissions to use interrogation in a harsher manner than just intense conversation. This manner, however, is open to discussion. I contend that if boundaries and expected guidelines were made and clear for situations, the military will have a simpler time in the interrogation process and they won't be walking a fine line for whether their actions are constitutional or not. In terms of treatment for those who are citizens and noncitizens I think it is only right for all humans to be treated the same and interrogated the same under the well- drawn out guidelines I suggested previously. These decisions should be made unilaterally by our nation's federal government- as they are elected to provide the best care and support for the U.S. nation.

1 comment:

  1. Billabong, this is very well written! However I was wondering if you could elaborate a little more on our domestic issues like the BLM movement and Women's March and explain how they relate to the issues regarding Mora's points. Do you agree with these movements? How do you think that contributes to your opinion about the use of force in Guantanamo Bay?