The history of warfare perhaps has been as old as mankind’s itself. It has been recorded in countless papyrus and stone tablets of the past civilizations, as well as in modern, recorded history. War, however barbaric it may seem, observes certain rules pertaining to the enemy’s rights as a human being.
These laws had been in observance from the Biblical times of the Old Testament, in ancient Islam, and in the present treatise formalized through the United Nations. Jus in bello, as it is commonly known, deals with the laws concerning the acceptable treatment of enemy forces during wartime; it pushes for the implementation of positive laws of war, in contrast to the customary laws.In the film Rendition, the war depicted was not between nations, rather, it dealt with the threat of terrorism and the deaths of countless innocents its attacks have brought upon the society. The government’s manner of arresting a civilian in its purpose of bringing justice to the countless victims of the terrorist attack would seem justifiable. However, refusing citizen of his God-given rights, holding him in custody for longer than what the law allowed, and extraditing him to a foreign land without proper proceedings, reveals a government disrespectful of its citizens’ rights in times of crisis.The film had manifested two forms of using too much of unnecessary force. First concerns with the explosion in a populated area, causing civilian deaths. Here, it is worth noting that despite of the magnitude of the bomb explosion, the fanatical group had failed to achieve its main objective—assassination of a single person of high rank.
Thus, ironically perhaps, the enormous damage the attack had caused, in property and in lives, had failed to achieve its only mission. The second form deals with the torture of El-Ibrahimi. Here, the employment of torture procedures designed to exact information on the terrorist group was overly executed, to the point of nearly killing the man. This method seemed utterly useless and baseless, as eventually, although it had succeeded in obtaining the truth out of El-Ibrahimi, it proved to be too immaterial to be of help to the government’s investigation.The torture of El-Ibrahimi clearly demonstrates that the methods utilized in extracting information did not employ the principle of minimum force. This principle teaches of the need to employ the minimum amount of force necessary to attain an objective. Whereas in the movie, the authorities had resorted to vicious animalistic procedures in extracting the absolute truth from El-Ibrahimi, which, because of its being ironically-small in importance, could have probably been obtained through more docile, less excruciating, and more humane methodologies.Although it is a known fact that information-gathering plays one of the most important roles in achieving national security, authorities must be certain to respect the rights of the individual, especially if he were a civilian, a non-combatant.
The aims achievable through the means of torture, through the use of specialized apparatuses and procedures, have been in employment since the barbaric era. Sadly, in this modern age, these systems have still been in use, especially in Intelligence Information campaigns. Irrespective of its efficiency in achieving its goal, as well as in maiming the person, perhaps through the modern technology, there have been new and less harmful ways in obtaining forcefully, these sets of information.The unwarranted divulgence of one’s information, in the name of national security, through torture, is barbaric. Perhaps in this age, where even animals have been granted human-like rights, newer, more appropriate methods must be introduced.
Bugging devices, safer truth serums, communications jumper, and other forms of devices designed for information gathering would probably be more effective in this mission.ReferenceGolin, S. (Producer), Viscidi, M. (Producer), & Hood, G. (Director).
(2007). Rendition [Motion Picture]. United States: New Line Cinema.