Definition of Noble Cause Corruption and The Noble Cause Arguments in The War on Terror

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Noble cause corruption refers to the culture and mentality, which states that the end justifies the means. Police officers and legal representatives use falsified evidence and reports to convict suspects. Law enforcement authorities also end up violating the constitutional laws to promote the greater good of the community (Kleinig, 2002). Such a culture, however, results to firing of officers, while others face litigation due to false confessions and perjured testimony.

Corruption among officers of the law often relates to the war on terror that aims at protecting citizens against terrorist attacks, both internally and externally. Most scholars and citizens alike are of the opinion that war leads to the society’s liberation and a world that promotes equal rights and status for its people (Kleinig, 2002). People can therefore live in peace, without fear of theft, murder and persecution. War on terror is also justified due to its prevention of mass destruction.

Freedom ensues as criminals are convicted in the event of war. It fights for human dignity and for a better future for tomorrow’s generation.  War is therefore not just necessary, but not noble.

Some scholars are however against the war on terror due the brutal techniques employed, such as witnessed in the Gulf war. They are of the opinion that it only fuels hatred among warlords and power-hungry leaders (Goodliffe, & Hawkins, 2006). War also promotes extremist leaders with hidden agendas lurking under religious motive, such as the Al Qaeda. The methods used by government constantly promotes aggressiveness among the younger generation, who are easy targets for recruitment into terrorism (Brooks, 2004). The government ought to use alternative methods that instill responsible behavior for both its domestic citizens as well as its visitors. It should provide incentives for whistle blowers against terrorist behavior, a method that will boost people’s engagement in the war on terror. It should also provide training and promote professionalism in legal agencies and the police academies (Sen, 2007). In so doing, it will create a safer society. Better outcomes will also result, that influence a value-oriented culture for the human life.

Ethical Arguments for And Against the End Justifying Otherwise Negative Means

There are two distinct ethical arguments that stand for and against the end justifying the means. The first is the deontological ethical system, which states that the reason behind an action is more important than the results. If the action is good, then one is morally justified to perform it (Sen, 2007). However, if one’s actions are wrong, then it is both unjust and immoral. According to end justifying the means case, the end matters more than the means used to get it. In so doing, officers of the law engage in improper actions to get suspects convicted of their wrongs (Brooks, 2004). Their actions are unfit, hence are in the wrong, under the deontological ethics. The moral standards under this argument is thereby against the end justifying the means.

The second argument is the teotological system, which states that the consequences of the behaviour are more important as opposed to the actions. The end justifying the means criteria can be likened to the noble cause corruption, which often uses unjust means to convict individuals, such as falsifying evidence (Sen, 2007). It, however, results to their arrest which is a positive effect as it prevents them from committing future criminal activities. The teotological system therefore supports the noble cause corruption. The moral criteria under this case stands for the unlawful actions of corrupt law officials since the end justifies the means (Kleinig, 2002).

The Patriotic Act, Detention of Enemy Combatants, Wiretapping of Citizens and Other Tools of War on Terror

The patriot act was signed into law on October 26th, 2001 by the former president George W Bush. The act aims at uniting and strengthening America against terrorist acts, and was a response to the September eleven attacks. It allows law enforcement and its representatives to track and intercept communications for information gathering (Luban, 2007). These powers enable government agencies to investigate and bring justice to the people, by convicting any wrongdoers suspected of crimes related to terrorism. Some provisions of the patriot act, however, raise questions as to their legality and extreme methods.

The first conflict in the acts is the authorization of increased surveillance on suspected terrorists, both from external countries as well as domestic citizens. Wiretapping is also legal under the patriotic act, with security agencies having the freedom to intercept communications of any non-US citizen or domestic suspect linked to any terrorist activity (Bassiouni, 2005). The government can monitor communication in secrecy and is thereby not answerable to any individual or any legal authority. Officials also have the power to keep their searches a secret and are not liable to disclose any information to the affected party (Goodliffe, & Hawkins, 2006). Citizens constantly feel threatened by this amendment due to the restricted privacy in their own country.

Another problem in the patriotic act is the operation of detention camps for both foreign and domestic suspects accused of terrorism, commonly referred to as enemy combatants. Officials in these centers use inhumane treatment such as removal of clothing, sensory deprivation, physical torture and stress induction. These methods are reportedly used as interrogation tools to gather information from the suspects (Bassiouni, 2005). Such techniques defy human rights law and treatment since there is no legal counsel or family visits for the suspects.

Additionally, authorization of warrants without probable cause is also legal, which causes constant chaos between the citizens and legal authorities. The government can also seize property of any accused individual without the former legal formalities (Brooks, 2004). Banks are also required to report any transactions above ten thousand dollars without the customer’s knowledge. It helps prevent international money laundering, as per the constitution. American agencies can also share this information with each other without any judicial oversight (Luban, 2007). Such a law is subject to bias, such as in instances of personal grudges that may develop between government officials and foreigners.

Consequently, title four of the article states that immigration authorities have the power to prohibit entry of people with terrorist associations at the border points (Brooks, 2004). It also prohibits immigration of people who may pose national security risks. The attorney general can hold these individuals for six months to determine the level of threat (Goodliffe, & Hawkins, 2006). Such a law victimizes refugees and individuals seeking asylum in neighboring countries. The patriotic act is flawed, with the above instances of prejudice against the country’s citizens as well as foreigners.

Arguments in Support of Torture

Numerous individuals support torture, claiming that is an ordinary interrogation technique, just like questioning. Its application of the right physical pressure, helps unearth information that would otherwise threaten people’s lives (Luban, 2007). The September eleventh scenario is one such example that may have been avoided if the suspects were caught in time to reveal the location of the bombs. Most reports state that torture reveals admissions and wrong doing from the suspects (Bassiouni, 2005). Torture is also a justifiable means on the war on terror, since agencies conduct thorough investigations before resulting to this technique. It acts as an assurance in saving another’s life. The rights of many compared to the right of a few are justifiable. Lastly, torture is unavoidable, since it is a form collateral damage to the suspects. It offers the only solution to stopping terrorism.

Arguments against Torture

Critics argue that torture is inhumane, due to its extreme punishments. Its abandonment by numerous nations signifies its wrongful nature. It also often results to mistaken identity and the death of wrong people. Unlike legal proceedings, it passes judgement to people before they can be taken to a court of law (Brooks, 2004). The law states that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty, hence torture goes against this. Another argument against torture states that it leads to unreliable information due to duress and coercion from the victims hence it does not solve any problem. It also devalues institutions, such as the legal justice system (Brooks, 2004).

Tortured suspects only get more narcistic, rather than getting the much-needed rehabilitation and reformation. Moreover, it causes social problems for the victim’s family and the community at large, with tensions rising each year. Lastly, it leads to a hate mentality among the victims’ children, who only progress terrorism further as opposed to preventing it. The cycle thereby continues, leading to a stronger opposition (Goodliffe, & Hawkins, 2006). Torture is therefore not an ethical option, as it tends to promote hatred and anger among the affected, rather than promoting peace.


Bassiouni, M. C. (2005). The institutionalization of torture under the Bush Administration. Case W. Res. J. Int'l L., 37, 389.

Brooks, R. E. (2004). War everywhere: rights, national security law, and the law of armed conflict in the age of terror. U. Pa. L. Rev., 153, 675.

Goodliffe, J., & Hawkins, D. G. (2006). Explaining commitment: States and the convention against torture. The Journal of Politics, 68(2), 358-371.

Kleinig, J. (2002). Rethinking noble cause corruption. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 4(4), 287-314.

Luban, D. (2007). Liberalism, torture, and the ticking bomb. In Intervention, Terrorism, and Torture (pp. 249-262). Springer, Dordrecht.

Sen, S. (2007). Noble cause corruption. The Indian Police Journal, 66.

December 12, 2023

Government Law

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