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Kent Schardt
English 4, ERWC
19 October 2015
Why Harsh Interrogation Methods are Good
Two thousand nine hundred and ninety six people died fourteen years ago on September
11, 2001 in a terrorist attack that has scarred this nation of ours for over a decade and started the
war on terror, what if that could have been prevented? Harsh interrogation methods are means in
which the CIA coerced information out of suspects in order to fight the war on terror. These
methods were put into effect by the Bush administration and used in the early and mid 2000s to
combat and prevent future terrorist plots. There are many people today that believe that harsh
interrogation methods are cruel and unnecessary, but the fact of the matter is that they are not as
cruel people may lead you to be and that these methods are a necessary way of getting key
information to our forces. Harsh interrogation methods are key to stopping and preventing more
atrocities through acts of terror from happening because the information they supply through
these methods are a key factor in the success of this war.
Harsh interrogation methods are an effective means in getting important information to
stop and prevent terrorist attacks. The people of our nation who dispute this claim clearly don't
listen to factual evidence: “Osama bin Laden was killed by Americans, based on intelligence
developed by Americans” (Harsh Interrogation Methods Are a Necessary Means of Combating
Terrorism). The fact that these methods helped find the location of a notorious criminal and
terrorist leader is showing how effective these methods can be. Theses methods are a clear
success and without a doubt beneficial: “This CIA program has saved American lives and lives

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of people in other countries” (Former Bush officials defend interrogation tactics). We can all see
the reasoning behind these methods if they can save not only American lives but lives all across
the world. These methods have yielded better results than we ever could have hoped for through
this program and halting the success that is offers seems as though the decision itself wasn't
clearly thought through.
The harsh interrogation methods used by officials in the interrogations themselves are not
as bad as people believe. The people who run these programs have a clear idea on what they can
and can't do as proven when John Brennan announces, “The document declared that
interrogation methods were not torture unless they produced pain equivalent to organ failure or
death” (John Brennan defends CIA after torture report in rare press conference). These officials
had strict parameters that they all had to follow with diligence that would surprize you, they
knew what they were doing and how to do it correctly. The official knew exactly what they were
doing and when it was necessary to stop doing it: “‘we were very careful to stop short of torture.
The senate has seen fit to label their report torture. But we worked hard to stay short of that
definition” (Waterboarding focus of inquiry by Justice Dept). The people who worked through
this program all worked to stay above the line that would mark it as being torture because they
all knew that that was a step too far and would not take that next step. It’s clear that our officials
know what they’re doing and how they should do it and when to stop, so why do insist that they
are wrong when they have made the clear distinction of what right and wrong is already.
Most people today believe that harsh interrogation, among other things, should be used to
fight terrorism and terrorist organizations, so why, in a democratic society are we letting the
minority of votes rule over the majority of votes? The poll that Adam Goldman and Peyton
Craighill took clearly demonstrates that: “A majority of Americans believe that the harsh

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interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects after the September 11, 2001, attacks were
justified” (New poll finds majority of Americans believe torture justified after 9/11 attacks). This
poll shows how the american people feel about harsh interrogation methods and that they should
still be in use today. People still feel the effects of 9/11 and fear what could happen if we halt our
efforts to fight this war: “More than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, a Tribune-Review poll finds
that 57 percent of Americans support sending troops to fight al-Qaida and ISIS, and two-thirds
support harsh interrogation techniques to battle terrorism” (Trib poll: Most support sending
troops, using torture to fight terror). This is only more proof that people of this nation feel the
need for these methods to be in use so, as a democratic society, they should be in use. More
people in this great country of ours believe in the success and importance of the interrogation
methods than people who do not, therefore it is our rights as American citizens to demand that
they be reinstituted by the US government.
The people today who still believe these tactics to be brutish and barbaric seem to have
this sense that the things that our officials did in order to protect this country are in some way too
harmful to be used against any person. No organization in this world is flawless but the CIA was
good enough to admit its mistakes when it admitted, “he didn't fault the report's finding that the
CIA's tactics were harsh and, at times, went beyond the legal authority Bush's Justice
Department said the agency had” (John Brennan defends CIA after torture report in rare press
conference). A few officials had happened to go a little too far in the interrogations. But why shut
down the entire operation that was a clear success just because of a few bad operatives. No
matter what you're in there will always be people who go beyond the set parameters but that
doesn't mean that the entire operation should be shut down about it.

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The methods used by CIA officials clearly yielded positive results and should be
reinstated because of their effectiveness in the field. Without such methods, the innocent citizens
are at the hand of the dangerous rebel scum “the methods described in the Senate Intelligence
Committee's report don't amount to torture.Torture is an American citizen on a cell phone making
a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the
Trade Center in New York City on 9/11” (Former Bush officials defend interrogation tactics).
This clearly has an impact on all our lives because everyone in our country either remembers
9/11 or knows about the atrocity it was and to be able to combat that type of thing so it never
happens again is invaluable. We need harsh interrogation methods to properly face all the
terrorism that plagues this world.

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Works Cited
"John Brennan defends CIA after torture report in rare press conference." CNN Wire 11 Dec.
2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.
Mukasey, Michael B. "Harsh Interrogation Methods Are a Necessary Means of Combating
Terrorism." Espionage and Intelligence. Ed. Sylvia Engdahl. Detroit: Greenhaven Press,
2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from "The Waterboarding Trail to Bin Laden." Wall
Street Journal 6 May 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2015.
Shane, Scott. "Waterboarding focus of inquiry by Justice Dept." New York Times 23 Feb. 2008:
A1(L). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2015.
"INTERRO-GATE: W. BLASTS CIA CRITICS." New York Post [New York, NY] 17 Sept. 2006:
10.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
"Former Bush officials defend interrogation tactics." CNN Wire 15 Dec. 2014. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 26 Oct. 2015
Goldman, Adam, and Peyton Craighill. "New poll finds majority of Americans believe torture
justified after 9/11 attacks." Washington Post 16 Dec. 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in
Context. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
"Trib poll: Most support sending troops, using torture to fight terror." Tribune-Review
[Greensburg, PA] 17 Feb. 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.