You are the President of the USA. One day you were woken up at 2 am by a call from your Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff told you to turn on your TV and go to CNN. You did and you saw a video of 7 hooded terrorist and three men of about 45-50 yrs old seated in front of the terrorist. One of the terrorist was saying something then another terrorist grabbed the one of the hostages’ hand and chopped it off with a machete then placed a red hot metal plate to cauterize the wound so the man will not bleed to death. The talking terrorist shouted something and the video ended. You were horrified and called the CIA chief. The CIA chief told you what was the translation of what the terrorist was saying. Basically, the terrorist wants you to release their 2 leaders who were captured and sent to Guantanamo prison 6 months ago. Each day you failed to release their leader they will chop off another limb from one of the hostages, the act video taped and released for the whole world to see.
You were later notified of the identities of the 3 hostages. All are Americans working for a non-profit organization to help the people displaced by a conflict. You also found out that the 2 detained leaders of the terrorist may have some information as to where the hostages are being kept. So you ordered the CIA to talk to them and see if they can get information.
A day had passed and the TV was again showing the latest chopping off of the limb episode on TV. The CIA came back with no info. They have tried cookies and milk as a bribe and one of them asked for prime rib dinner and said nothing after he got his fill. One CIA man suggested using torture, water boarding to be exact. He said there is a 50/50 chance that water boarding may or may not yield something. You said no, it is illegal, it is inhumane, it is sickening. The CIA man thought to himself, “What does he think of what the terrorist are doing to the 3 Americans, massage therapy?” You commanded the CIA to try anything but torture to make them talk.
Another day passed and the whole world watched as one of the hostages got his left leg sawed off. CIA came up with nothing. Later that day, you received a call from one of the wives of the tortured hostages. She was begging you to do something to save her husband. She has a 12 yr old daughter who is being traumatized by the episodes on TV. She is 6 months pregnant and wish to have her husband by her side when she delivers their baby.
You: Sorry but we are doing everything we could.
Her: I heard on the news that 2 leaders of the terrorist are in custody in Guantanamo. Can you get information from them so you can have the Special Forces save my husband?
You: We are talking to them right now. Lets pray they come to their senses and give us what we need.
Her: It is so horrible. They are torturing my husband. Can you exchange them for my husband?
You: It is a complicated issue but we are working hard to get this resolve and get your husband back.
Her: My father-in-law who is ex-military told me that the 2 leaders should be subjected to the same treatment as my husband is getting. Maybe that way can come up with the information to save my husband.
You: We can’t torture. It is against the law, it is inhumane.
Her: but my husband is being tortured for nothing!!! You mean to tell me that the terrorists who murder indiscriminately is more protected than my husband who volunteered to help the suffering and unprivileged people?
You: I am so sorry but no torture. I will have a press conference and ask them to stop torturing your husband, are you happy with that?
Now, switch role.
As a President, can you stand in front of the American people and justify your decision not to take that 50% chance to save American lives?
As a wife, would you demand the torture of the murdering terrorist to save your husband?
As a mother, what would you say to your children to justify your decision?