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Preventing international crimes: Torture?


Waterboarding, finger nails extracted with pliers, electric shocks applied to genitals, boiling, starvation, sleep deprivation, cold cell torture, walling, wall slamming, stress positions, shackling, threats, facial slaps, nudity, solitary confinement, cold showers, prolonged light deprivation or mock burial, facial hold, water dousing, rectal feeding and rehydration, manipulated diets, choke holding, rat torture, gridiron, hypothermia, oxygen deprivation, pressure points, sound, impalement, cutting, crushing, tooth extraction, tickle torture, electroshocks, dry boarding.

Historical forms of torture have been found as ways to get their enemies to give up vital information. These forms of torture described above and only a few of the many ways human beings have creatively controlled their subjects. Through intensive research, this article will outline the forms of torture that have been used by international countries to extract information from their captured enemies. To be clear, the use of torture is an international human rights violation and should never be used in the terms of civil warfare. Yet, in many countries we have read news articles with the claims that they have genocide to cleanse cultures, religions and the abilities of new political actors to emerge. The defining principle of the international criminal court is to find, human rights violations and bring these criminals to justice. Yet, in many circumstances there have not been enough time, money and resources to bring different cases to court for substantial crimes against humanity. The lack of legitimate power that the ICC controls for many countries, whether or not they are members, is that they can't control intense military control or campaigns in another country to prevent torture culture.

What is torture?

Torture is very different from the known methods of extracting information from a subject like in a military investigation, intelligence reconnaissance program, or law enforcement questioning. They were called "enhanced interrogation techniques” to extract information from captured international and domestic criminal detainees. The first uses of enhanced interrogation techniques were found after the attack in the United States on September 11, 2001. In response to this attack the Bush Administration started the global war on terrorism (GWOT). US House of Representatives vote 253 to 168 approved of the Military Commissions act (HR 6166). The US Senate approved their version of the bill (S. 3930) by 65 to 34 thus giving the Bush Administration legal authority to broadly identify the Geneva Convention’s “cruel or inhumane” punishment. The use of torture becomes discretionary leaving the intelligence agencies use of torture to prevent and counter terrorism. The Bush Administration won a victory in their tough stance on the ”war on terrorism.”

The GWOT continued as the detainees interrogation process first began when US Marines and other special forces would transport al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners into a ransacked detention facility outside Kandahar airport. Interrogators would extract information that would be used in the battle field whether a particular mountain pass was booby-trapped or where an arms cache lay. Then, after tactical debriefing the interrogation crew would determine which detainees to ship back Guantanamo naval base in Cuba for high-level interrogation.

The war on terrorism grew as the detainees from Afghanistan and later in Cuba and Iraq found just the opposite: virtually none of the tortured detainees were giving up information. And the detainees were not responding to direct questioning and not responding to army-approved psychological gambits for prisoners of war. Regardless, of the Geneva Conventions status of cruel treatment of detainees the Bush Administration led the charge in invoking interrogation practices for detainees in Guantanamo Bay. Prisoners overcame the traditional model of interrogation effortlessly. Prisoners didn’t use clever cover stories but simply refused to cooperate. They offered lame stories, pretended not to remember even the most basic of details and then waited for consequences that never really came. Since, the detainees became adapted to the types of punishments that would come from noncooperation they didn't believe there would be severe repercussions for their lies and deceit. This is when enhanced interrogation became important to use when the intelligence community sought to prevent any misinformation or disinformation.

Some of the al-Qaeda fighters were given resistance training, al-Qaeda manuals that were recovered from US Marines and intelligence officials, which revealed the failure of detainees to cooperate carried no penalties , certainly no risk of torture and was regarded as a sign of American weakness. The jihadist had limited love of family and US captors were not able to shame them into cooperating. Many prisoners at Kandahar would knee prisoner guards in their groins, shout threats to their captors and shout threats against female relatives of the soldiers guarding them, threaten to escape and kill more Americans and Jewish people. Battlefield commanders in Afghanistan and intelligence officials in Washington introduced techniques like shock of capture - the vulnerable mental state of the prison when first captured giving the interrogator the power and key to the prisoners future. Since the discovery of the military interrogation techniques, military interrogators have used “stress techniques - long interrogations that would cut into the detainees sleep schedules by kneeling or standing to aggressive questioning that put detainees on edge. Detainees are handcuffed and can’t move while the interrogator can grab their collar and question intensely to break the psychological resistance they have learned. Sleep deprivation can not be identified as a form of torture if the interrogator was missing the same amount of sleep as the detainee. The harsher methods used, the better information given.

Former U.S. Senator Kit Bond, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, enhanced interrogation techniques worked with at least one high level al-Qaeda operative, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammad (KSM) to thwart a plot. Vaguely describing one of many failed plots linked to KSM to attack targets on the West Coast of the United States with hijacked airlines. Plots that could have been a “second wave” attack in the early stages. Enhanced interrogation techniques have been argued to be a vital component to extracting intelligence before mass terrorist attacks were being plotted against the United States. International relations counterterrorism operations in 1995 the Philippines intelligence service provided information, obtained through torture, to America that helped fail an al-Qaeda plan to crash eleven planes carrying 4,000 people into the ocean and crash an explosive filled Cessna into CIA headquarters.

Psychological Resistance Training

Recruitment for psychological resistance training is a form of training that allows al-Qaeda terrorist organizations to build their regional caliphate. The main purpose of these terrorists are to prevent newcomers from leaving as supporters of their causes. The resistance training prevents al-Qaeda members from feeling scared of physical harm or from psychological information institutions. Keeping the mind strong enough to endure any physical pain until they are able to escape or feed false information.

The purpose for enhanced interrogation tactics is to extract information for counter terrorism prevention. However, it is possible through extremist research to conclude terrorist recruitment members for the purpose of feeding false information. Prepared to be captured and questioned to throw plans as a new form of self-destruction. Instead of explosions by placing bombs on themselves, they will make noises to redirect from their previous ideas of how their organization operates. The expansion of recruitment falls on the terrorist actors that are currently spreading extremist ideologies. There are terrorists that are working on resistance training for recruits in case of capture. The highly organized al-Qaeda and ISIS organizations function from a top-down hierarchy to classify roles of each major, legitimate terrorist actor. Many of these people are functioning from the material support of the Islamic State and other Muslim based governmental or industrial organizations.

Through resistance training, many al-Qaeda members focus on mantras or moral absolutes that over compensate their minds. The moral absolutes of these members show a clear distinction of a psychological basis that is embedded deeply in the subconscious that controls their memories. Studies show that enhanced interrogation victims that completed rehabilitation and now live normal lives still have extensive side effects from memories of their confinement. The resistance training that was practiced completely rewired their Alpha and Beta brain waves of concentration and depth perception. Detainees are relearning a new way of survival as they endure enhanced interrogation practices. Many people are subject to believe that this type of resistance training is not sustainable to the treatments they endure in confinement because they will feed false information subconsciously as a natural survival instinct.

Enhanced interrogation techniques are made for terrorists that are proved to have valuable knowledge, however the methods of knowing which ones are legitimate material holders and are not, is not specified. The basis of this process is formed to make an astonishing discovery that detainees that are interrogated first and sent to interrogation camps have the most hostile, extremist presence. These detainees that communicate with their captors will get the most attention naturally. The diabolical intimacy of their relationship falls on the belief that these prisoners are too destructive, have material knowledge and know the institutional hierarchy management process.

History has shown that IS and al-Qaeda organizations were created as another illegitimate form of authoritative power. The legitimacy of these actors that are leading causes the systematic following that IS and al-Qaeda control through caliphates. Etymology of the Islamic State has shown that these people at the top of the hierarchical use torture like techniques on individuals in their own country. Thus, giving little to no real connection to their communities or history. The gains of power disconnects them and is reinforced through periods of resistance training. Establishing power for local individuals or recruits is a basis for capturing psychological control of new recruits. However, these top-level terrorists would suggest that the recruits are given power as a sense of accomplishment to their cause. Using religious based ideologies is not completely a factor of keeping psychologically sane. Detainees that seek a sense of higher purpose for falsifying information is considered a power seeking goal or enlightenment. The detainees from GITMO were treated to techniques that were to break their spirit of mental control.


Solving the global war on terrorism is a operation that every administration has been trying to solve. An important topic of gathering terrorism intelligence is extraordinary rendition of war combatants that commit international and transnational terrorism. Rendition is an act of transporting a criminal from country (x) to country (y), to become subject to enhanced interrogation techniques. Terrorists often flee from the country they have attacked to avoid capture. The mastermind of the terrorist attack becomes relocated to the country that has been subject to excessive violence. From which the terrorist is held in custody after a man hunts to face trial through the US Justice Department. Rendition is a positive allocation of national interest to interrogate the terrorist for substantial information that regards all components of their plots and targets.

Rendition is an operation that is necessary for the enhanced interrogation process that in projects the purpose of protecting national security. Positive allocations include psychological analysis, insurgency, caliphate locations, bases of operation, arms stockpiles, traps and material supporter. Transportation of different terrorists in the international community has been a power play from different international relations to seek justice for the extremist violence that occurred in the home country. Transnational relations of terrorism has been debated through many administrations for the resolution of extremist terrorist violence. Association of multiple countries has debated the extraordinary rendition of terrorist attacks in multiple locations to resolve the global war on terrorism.

The terrorist will commit crimes like identity theft, encrypted cell phones, and abduction of important persons. Due process to gather evidence of terrorist implication to evaluate reliability of information. Findings of the US Supreme Court for terrorist confessions either unreliable, a violation of due process or both. The US Supreme Court's interpretation says there is a difference between combatants in police proceedings and subjects of transnational war crimes. We must first justify the “rights” of the suspects to keep or retain the terrorist actor inside the American sovereignty. Sovereignty of extraordinary combatants has been viewed as an outside of the American civil rights. Considering the terrorist as a person that committed treason and tried for hate crimes that involve the serious spread of fear to international citizens. Location and citizenship are components that are stripped from individuals that commit terrorist attacks or plots on American soil or as American citizens to spread hate related criminal acts. The validity of this terrorist plot can justify the uses of enhanced interrogation techniques. Universal jurisdiction for transnational terrorists to apply enhanced interrogation techniques. Interrogation of legitimate international actors to attain the unified understanding of national security and justice.

International Stance on Torture

The international community of organizations have a wide variety of definitions of torture. There is not one standard definition of torture or extreme use of force. The United Nations (UN) has found the use of torture as a crime against humanity. The use of torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and diminishes the inherent dignity of the human being. The UN has decided that the world in all regions should deny the use of torture in the stance of protecting national security, boarders and national sovereignty. Torture is a crime under international law. The UN stance on torture is that every binding member of the international community should expressly prohibit torture in their country. The systematic practice of torture is a clear violation of international law and is a violation of international cooperation.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed that June 26 would be the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On this day, it is the opportunity for all stakeholders, UN member states, civil society and individuals to support torture victims and those who are still tortured today. Rehabilitation is needed for these torture victims to recover from physical and mental abuse endured while living in confinement. Torture victims require prompt and specialized programs that help the individuals adapt to normal civilian life.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a historical document that was drafted with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world. The Declaration has proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948 as the common standard of achievements for all people and all nations. The document has been translated in over 500 languages for all people of the world to interpret the meaningful actions directed by the UN member states in order to achieve global understanding of crimes against humanity. The document outlines the last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, promote the development of friendly relations between nations, faith in fundamental human rights, and the equal rights of men and women. According to the UN, the declaration strives by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms of national and international communities. Universal rights of human dignity during the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Future of Extracting Information

While the UN has made a stance on their ideals of the use of torture, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has appointed a new British human rights lawyer elected chief prosecutor Karim Asad Ahmad Khan. The future of international crimes and prevention of torture on war combatants will be determined by the joined union of international actors with the jurisdiction appointed by the UN member states. The balance of international legitimate power to prosecute international combatants for the used of torture or crimes against humanity is based on the international teams at the forefront of tracking crimes, genocide and transnational crimes.

According to Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, President of the ICC 2018, the United States claimed the ICC to be an “illegitimate court”, urging countries to focus on the Rome Statute. The ICC has proposed an investigation into alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan, however claimed that it was unfortunate that this kind of threat was made and to focus on the Rome Statute. Through previous US interactions with the ICC, post-WWII the American judicial system led the way for international crimes against humanity. The former instances like mass genocide in Rwanda and war crimes committed in the Sierra Leone civil war were lead by the US assisting the ICC to find justice for all countries. The future of extracting information will start with the UN and ICC interactions and intelligence gathering process that have been adopted internationally. International interactions between all nations is necessary to end the global war on terrorism.


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Law and Crime Prevention. (2018, September 24). 'Humanity cries for justice', ICC President says, underscoring importance of Criminal Court. UN News.

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