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In the US, law enforcement officers interrogate apprehended suspects through various techniques. Uncooperative suspects habitually refuse to answer questions during interrogation. This compels law enforcement officers to use eccentric techniques to get critical information from criminals. Waterboarding is one of the unconventional techniques of extracting information from uncooperative criminals.
Over the years, waterboarding has been used in Europe to get information from suspects. In the US, “application of waterboarding technique has remained controversial among lawmakers, criminal investigation officers, and legal experts” (USA Today, 2007). For example, some individuals contend that waterboarding is similar to other forms of torture (USA Today, 2007). This essay supports waterboarding because of the following reasons.
Benefits of Water Boarding
Waterboarding is a kind of torture in which a suspect is subjected to a drowning experience. It involves pouring water over a fabric wrapping the face and respiratory openings of a powerless suspect. This technique makes a suspect uncomfortable.
Hence, he or she divulges information quickly. Terrorists are trained in harsh conditions to make them resistant to simple punishments such as starvation. Hence, it difficult to get information from terror suspects without subjecting them to extreme ordeals.
Second, terror suspects should be interrogated as soon as possible because they can easily plan terror attacks while in police custody. More often than not, apprehended terror suspects do not give information that can be used to thwart their plans. Fortunately, waterboarding can compel a suspect to divulge information quickly. Information derived quickly from a suspect can be used to save millions of lives and property from an impending terror attack.
Waterboarding method is based on the ticking bomb hypothesis. This theory states that a suspect in custody cannot easily give information about a bomb he or she is planning to detonate. Therefore, such an individual must be compelled by all means to reveal information as soon as possible to prevent a crisis.
Waterboarding has extreme physical and psychological side effects on the victims. Hence, a suspect who undergoes such an extreme experience is less likely to engage in crime compared to a criminal interrogated through conventional techniques.
Therefore, the extreme effects of waterboarding deter individuals from engaging in criminal activities. Also, terrorists use fear to recruit and compel innocent people to support their activities. Consequently, an equally terrifying deterrent such as waterboarding is needed to curb terrorism.
Criticism against Water Boarding
Although waterboarding is used as a quick method of obtaining information from uncooperative suspects, it has been criticized because of the following reasons. First, critiques of waterboarding assert that it causes extreme suffering, which may lead to death (USA Today, 2007). Second, waterboarding has long-term side effects that can incapacitate an individual.
Furthermore, waterboarding causes excruciating physical and psychological pain, which may elicit false responses from a criminal. Thus, the credibility of information obtained from suspects through waterboarding has been doubted by legal experts.
This discussion has revealed that the waterboarding method facilitates access to information from uncooperative suspects. It is worth noting that this technique is only used as an alternative technique to get information from rude suspects. Therefore, it should be applied when dangerous suspects refuse to give information. Clear-cut laws should regulate the application of waterboarding method.
USA Today. (2007). Waterboarding illegal? Time for Congress to end the debate. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20071113/edit13.art.htm.