In the War on Terror, it matters not a whit whether a suspected terrorist is actually guilty or not until years have passed, and the decision is made as to how to bring them to "justice". Hundreds of completely innocent victims of the war on terror are warehoused at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, awaiting release — one by one, after enduring years of abuse, detention, torture, and privation.
Some have been tortured and then confessed to crimes that they knew they did not commit, simply to stop the torture. Of course, the American government does not consider slicing ones genitals with a scalpel to be torture, inflicting detainees to ear-splitting noises or bombardments with intense light or prolonged darkness with no exposure to natural light for months. This is not "torture" to the interrogators, and the U.S. Government, including the Congress wants to make sure that no U.S. torture personnel are ever prosecuted for their treatment of prisoners.
There is no equivalent desire to protect the rights and human dignity of the detainees.
So, we end up with many innocents who are tortured and detained indefinitely in efforts to interrogate them. After prolonged interrogation under these conditions, if it is clear that the suspects are guilty, then they are to be "brought to justice" by rigged tribunal hearings in which the deck is stacked against the defendants and they have only limited opportunity to see the evidence used against them. Then, they are to be punished, by God knows what additional punishments.
The innocent are still to be tortured and mistreated for years with no recourse to justice, and then cast off to their home countries to try to re-assemble their shattered lives with no apologies for their inconvenience.
Wouldn’t it be just to treat suspects as innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers in fair hearings, and then if found to be terrorists, then interrogated for terrorist information? Is there any terrorist in the world in 2006 who has operational knowledge so time-sensitive that torture is justified in obtaining information?
If torture is to be approved and made legal, then why not torture proven terrorists, and not every suspect who may be sold into detention for bounties or who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Isn’t torturing the innocent a form of state terrorism?
What makes torture states any better then terror states, or any different? And when will commonsense definitions of torture be used? Rough treatment designed to extract confessions or information involuntarily is probably torture. Offenses against dignity and religious belief are a form of torture. Nations that torture in order to extract information are terror states and no better than non-governmental terrorist organizations.
More importantly, the war on terror can never be won by using terror as a tactic. And innocent victims of terror by state interrogators must be given justice and restitution.