Date of Award

6-2009

Document Type

Open Access

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Thomas Lobe

Language

English

Keywords

9-11, Bush administration, counter-terrorism, rule of law, torture

Abstract

September 11, 2001 was an infamous day in American history that shocked not only the U.S. but also the World; it generated turmoil and distress for the economy, security, citizen’s lives, and U.S. power. The Bush administration’s response was a “war on terror” which involved a complete manipulation and disregard for national and international laws and the essential authorization of torture at U.S. controlled foreign detention centers. These policies spread by moving down the “chain of command” and into the hands of guards and interrogators that abused, humiliated, and in some cases killed detainees in U.S. control. If anything, the torture response put America in graver danger as the country aided in tarnishing its reputation and legitimacy, in addition to creating further anti-American extremists. The larger implications behind the Bush administration’s torture policy include the undermining of constitutional law and executive power, as well as the false justifications and usage of “military necessity.” It is my contention that the American public needs to be informed that the Bush administration has undermined the law with their torture policy and that it did not provide actionable intelligence, but rather abused and killed individuals. Furthermore, because of these actions, America has been placed in a precarious situation that the whole nation is left to deal with. If the country is to learn anything, it is that violence is not the answer and more so that violence cannot be retaliated with greater violence or injustices.

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