Franco Frattini, the EU Justice commissioner, recently called for all member states (members of the EU) to be suspended that are known to have hosted CIA black sites, which apparently are sites blacked out to the media/public and used by the CIA to house and most likely torture suspects. (Which, by the way, they amusingly refer to as 'enhanced interrogation'). The most famous examples appear to be Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison.
The media and, it would seem, general public opinion, have me feeling reluctantly guilty. Why? Because I don't care that these sites exist, and furthermore, I think the proposition of suspending member states which have had these sites on their soil is appalling. And of course had the Italians had one on their soil, he wouldn't be making such a righteous suggestion - that's justice for you. Before knowing anything about the man or his position within Italy, I can see that this move is most likely one for self gain - that's politics for you.
How does anyone know the information that has been extracted from these prisoners? Does Mr. Fratinni? No. I would bet that terrorist plots have been foiled by the information gained through enhanced interrogation (sorry, I just love that phrase). So what would YOU prefer? Some wanker terrorist having their balls electrocuted, or a 12 year old girl losing her mum and dad in a bomb blast for the sake of human rights?
Maybe that says something about me. I like the phrase enhanced interrogation and I hate the phrase human rights! Might aswell lock me up now, I'll be dictating a country and posing a nuclear threat in 15 years.
In all seriousness though, people should think about these things a little more and not believe the 15th-century-style treatment the media likes to paint. As far as I can see, the USA nor any European country which helps them is a terrorist state. They're not conspiring against the Middle East. They don't want to lock members of the public up and torture them for no reason, it doesn't do their image any favours, so we can logically conclude they must be doing it for a reason. If that reason is the protection of my life, which I believe it is, then I am quite happy to sacrifice somebody elses human rights. Aren't I the selfish one.
Let's not forget these so-called suspects do not become suspects easily. I, for example, am not about to be bundled into a blacked out car by the CIA and taken off to Abu Ghraib for anything related to terrorism. Why? Because I have nothing to do with terrorists and I do not involve myself with anything remotely terrorist-related. Theoretically, if all humans did that, then terrorism would not exist would it? But they do. And then they get caught. And then they get tortured and interrogated. Live with it.
I also find that a common argument is that information obtained under torture will be given just so that the torture will stop. This is true. Sort of. People will confess to all sorts of things under torture and this is what the argument refers to. However, the CIA is not trying to extract confessions are they? They want information on all kinds of things - terrorist plans, locations, cell structure etc. I wonder how many people who reach the point of torture (I would assume the CIA try other things before this) actually don't know anything. Are such figures available? I don't think so.
People are so quick to grab whatever may be the most virtuous opinion without giving much thought to what they are actually saying. Not because they are thick or ignorant, but because the media are extremely powerful and tend to put opinions on us without us realising it. Media aside, the very society we live in expects us all to be incorruptible beacons of morality. Well bollocks to that. As far as I'm concerned, this world has a bunch of wankers living in it and I couldn't care less if they are tortured for the sake of my protection. Why does everyone oppose everyone that tries to help, and leaps to the defense of all those trying to hurt us?!