Test 2 Alternative Assignment

Directions: Watch the Frontline documentary Secrets, Politics and Torture. Then compose a two-page paper (typed, double-spaced, with 12-point font) that demonstrates your critical thinking skills. Make sure to provide good reasons, evidence, and/or examples to support your claims. The paper is worth 15 points (15% of your total grade for the course).

Some possible things that you could discuss:

  1. The burden of proof (Ch. 4): Many who support the use of torture claim that it is an effective means of acquiring accurate information. Is there sufficient evidence to support the claim that torture is an effective means of acquiring accurate information. Which side of the debate bears the burden of proof?
  2. Does the documentary fairly present and assess information, or does it seem biased?
  3. Expert opinion vs. non-expert opinion.
  4. Should those who ordered or engaged in the use of torture be held legally responsible? What about those who were responsible for the destruction of the “torture tapes”?
  5. Was the film Zero Dark Thirty a piece of propaganda? Did it help to mislead the American public about what really happened?
  6. Were the Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings compelling?
  7. Did it seem like partisan politics played a role (whether people were Democrats or Republicans)?
  8. Did members of the United States Government lie to the American people? If so, was it appropriate?
  9. Should the full Senate Intelligence Committee report be released to the public?
  10. Should the Penetta review be released to the public?
  11. Was it appropriate for the CIA to spy on the Senate Intelligence Committee?
  12. Was it appropriate for the Senate Intelligence Committee to print out portions of the Penetta review, remove it from a classified facility, and put it in a safe?
  13. Members of the Republican party predominately opposed the release of information about the United States use of torture. Almost every member of the Republican party also opposed the calling of witnesses and the introduction of new evidence at Trump’s impeachment inquiry? Do these examples provide enough evidence to support that claim that, by and large, members of the Republican party want to prevent important information from being released to American citizens?

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