Terrorism and Law Essay

Part I

Affidavit for enhanced interrogation

On behalf of the US government I hereby request for authorization on the use of enhanced interrogation on Doe. Being an unlawful combatant he is hardened to resist conventional means of interrogation. It has been scientifically and practically proofed that the use of enhanced interrogation on hardened terrorists succeeds in extracting information from them. Given his affiliation with Al Qaeda he is a threat to national security and crucial information should be extracted from him within the shortest time possible using the most convenient way. Extracting information from him using conventional means has proven hard given his extreme intentions of inflicting suffering on innocent civilians. As such, it is my conviction that enhanced interrogation should be applied on him to extract information that will lead to charges under section 802 of the US PATRIOT ACT as well as 18 U.S.C section 2339 for sourcing funds from terrorists groups and infiltrating classified electronic data as well as using such data to stage terrorist attacks.

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Under the US laws any information sourced from a person through barbaric and painful means is not admissible in any court of law. It is clear that Doe was tortured, at least based on18 U.S.C. 2340 and 2340A as well as the Convention against Torture provisions. Going by the Bybee 2002 memos which explain how water boarding, shackling, white noise, liquid feeding, sleep deprivation, as well as a host of other cruel, inhuman , and degrading acts used to extract information from suspects are not “illegal” it can be deduced that indeed Doe was tortured. These acts amounts to actionable wrongs which negates the very essence of any confessions made thereof.


The use of shackles and handcuffs to curtail suspects movement, the use of white noise to bar prisoners from talking to each other, the stripping naked of prisoners, the meager diets composed of liquid foods, the use of water boarding techniques, the slamming of prisoners on walls, the slapping of prisoners on their face and naked abdomen, the deprivation of sleep for not less than 180 hours, the feeding by a detective are some of the major interrogating methods aimed at instilling a feeling of helplessness, fear, and great panic outlined in Bradbury’s first of his three may 10, 2005 memos are all applicable to Doe’s situation given his unlawful combatant reputation. Even so, his girl does not qualify to such treatment given her civilian status.

The major difference between Bybee and first Bradbury memo is that they offer different methods of interrogation. While Bybee memos are explicitly sanctioning torture Bradbury first memo outlines how interrogation measures applied in CIA prisons are conducted in a moderate manner so that they do not inflict any physical or mental suffering to the prisoners. For instance, Bradbury opines that the services of personal doctors and physicians are constantly sourced to ensure that the prisoners’ health is maintained. Even during water boarding, saline water is uses to avoid pneumonia. Again, each of these measures is given a time frame to ensure that it does not deteriorate into torture. On the other hand, Bybee memos does not seem to offer a time frame within which such measures should be carried out, in fact they hold that a combination of interrogation measure scan be applied simultaneously for as long as the prisoner is ready to cooperate. Furthermore, they give the president more powers to commission torture while is flexing the war against terror muscle.

Owing to the provisions of the 18 U.S.C. sections 2340-2340A on interrogation measures, as well as the U.N. Convention against Torture provisions actions of torture aimed at extracting crucial information from prisoners are illegal. As such, information therewith gathered through cruel, inhuman, and degrading torture sessions should not be admissible in a court of law. Dissenting Opinion:  Even so, basing on the state secrets, national security as well as the foreign policy torture or enhanced interrogations techniques may well be applied. As a matter of fact, actions amounts to torture if they inflict severe pain, serious physical injury which result to failure of some organs, impairment of body functions such as sight, or even death. Moreover, if such torture does not exceed the set height of months and years it is still within the allowed limits.

Part II

The four claims brought against the attorney general, the FBI chief, Secretary of state, and several immigration officials would all be dismissed based on the weightier privileges of state secrets under which the CIA and the FBI should operate in as well as the notions of state security and foreign policy within whose mandate the attorney general, the FBI chief, Secretary of state, and several immigration officials operated in. Furthermore, Rule 12(b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as the Fifth Amendment could only apply to persons with US citizenship privileges.

Philosophically and/or morally which between torturing an individual and letting a ticking bomb to explode and kill thousand of innocent civilians is more justified? The theory of ticking bomb seeks to shed more light to this question that, to some extent torture can be allowed in cases there is an imminent danger of a bomb of weapons of mass destruction. Rationally, it would seem more appealing to torture the suspect to extract crucial information given the imminent siege staged to kill or injure innocent civilians.

Rendition and torture are more or less the same. The FBI prohibits torture but the main essence of rendition is to take suspects to jurisdictions that allow torture hence negating the very efforts purported by the FBI. In the case of Saddam/Piro scenario, rendition would have been out of question given that the US had made covert efforts to classify Saddam as a prisoner of war in accordance with the Geneva Convention meaning that he would only be tried in his homeland. The other option of enhanced interrogations was out of question given Saddam was facing an imminent death sentence, a thing that negated any incentive of him giving important information even under the worst of torture situations.

Rendition, home demolition, and barring relatives of terrorists from entering the US are all possible ways of combating crime. However, each has its own pros and cons. For instance, rendition seems the best method to extract evidence from suspects using the enhanced interrogation methods but it attracts a lot of international backlash and ligations due to its inherent penchant for sidestepping international conventions and sovereignty. Home demolition is more painful than rendition given it extends punishment to the relatives of suspected terrorists; however, it is a great violation of basic human rights of seemingly innocent civilians granted by the Fourth Geneva Convention. Barring, relatives of suspected terrorists is equally effective given it prevents any further hatred indoctrination by potentially terrorists families. In its entirety it violates international laws on basic human rights of movement.
From a psychological perspective the US, UK, and the UN concurs in perceiving terrorism acts as wholly determined by the motive of the perpetuator. They agree that such motivates are triggered by political, religious, and ideological alignments.  Basically, the motive should be aimed at intimidating civilians, influencing government policies, or even acts aimed at dealing a great magnitude of destruction, assassination or even kidnapping.

He will be charged with terrorist related counts as he tried to cause havoc, injure, or even kill innocent civilians. Holding a siege is viewed as an act of aggression which is ultimately considered as a form of aggression. Definitely, Devereaux will face terrorisms related charges which will see him detained for period until enough information has been squeezed out of him.

He should be tried in a court of martial given its high criminal profile nature which puts the security of civilian courts officials as well as their surrounding under very great security scare. Furthermore, trying such a criminal in a civilian court would grant him so many privileges which would negate the grave nature of his terrorists’ activities. A civilian court’s jurisdiction revolves within civilian cases and hence given Devereaux’s unlawful combatant status he deserves trial in a court martial.

Habeas corpus applies to individuals who have been illegally detained or imprisoned. In this case the plaintiff who is an American citizen found guilty of kidnapping and sentenced to life imprisonment by the CCC-I but is detained by the American authorities through the MNF-I. Under the American version of habeas corpus, the plaintiff has basis to challenge its detention, however given its grave nature of criminal activity which explicitly amounts to rebellion and invasion of public peace. In this case the plaintiff’s habeas corpus privileges will be inconsequential. Furthermore, the plaintiff was sentenced according to the Iraq laws and not American laws.

A Military Commission would most likely lead to the easy conviction of the defendant as opposed to the rigorous civilian courts that are likely to invoke rights and privileges granted to civilians. A Military Commission will handle the defendant as an unlawful combatant and hence deny him some of the basic rights granted in a civilian court. A civilian court would most likely acquit the defendant or even sentence him to lesser offences in the event that enhanced interrogations were used to extract crucial information from him. This is a scenario that would not be given much consideration in a military Commission.


Abrahams, N. (2008). Anti terrorism and criminal enforcement 3rd Ed.). West Group