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Truth, Torture, and the American Way: The History and Consequences of U.S. Involvement in Torture

Overview

Jennifer Harbury's investigation into torture began when her husband disappeared in Guatemala in 1992; she told the story of his torture and murder in Searching for Everardo. For over a decade since, Harbury has used her formidable legal, research, and organizing skills to press for the U.S. government's disclosure of America's involvement in harrowing abuses in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. A draft of this book had just been completed when the first photos from Abu Ghraib were published; ...
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Overview

Jennifer Harbury's investigation into torture began when her husband disappeared in Guatemala in 1992; she told the story of his torture and murder in Searching for Everardo. For over a decade since, Harbury has used her formidable legal, research, and organizing skills to press for the U.S. government's disclosure of America's involvement in harrowing abuses in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. A draft of this book had just been completed when the first photos from Abu Ghraib were published; tragically, many of Harbury's deepest fears about America's own abuses were graphically confirmed by those horrific images.

This urgently needed book offers both well-documented evidence of the CIA's continuous involvement in torture tactics since the 1970s and moving personal testimony from many of the victims. Most important, Harbury provides solid, convincing arguments against the use of torture in any circumstances: not only because it is completely inconsistent with all the basic values Americans hold dear, but also because it has repeatedly proved to be ineffective: Again and again,'information' obtained through these gruesome tactics proves unreliable or false. Worse, the use of torture by U.S. client states, allies, and even by our own operatives, endangers our citizens and especially our troops deployed internationally.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Compelling . . . Bold . . . A clear-eyed gaze into a labyrinth of lies.
-Washington Post Book World
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807003077
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,218,262
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer K. Harbury took her law degree from Harvard. She has lived and worked with human rights activists, peasants, and Mayan villagers in Guatemala. Harbury also worked with members of the U.S. Congress and the Organization of American States to locate her husband and thirty-five other members of the Guatemalan resistance believed to be held by the military. She is the author of Searching for Everardo and Bridge of Courage and currently directs the STOP (Stop Torture Permanently) Campaign at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction : an early glimpse
Ch. 1 The fall of Abu Ghraib 1
Ch. 2 The lessons of Latin American human rights history 28
Ch. 3 From the Latin American torture cells 56
Ch. 4 What can be done : the law 105
Ch. 5 Paying the price 144
Conclusion : reflections on our future 183
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2006

    Connecting the Dots

    For many Americans Abu Ghraib was a shocking revelation of American involvement in torture and gross violations of human rights. Even political leaders who should know better seemed overome by the pictures of naked detainees, piled on each other, masturbating, bitten by dogs and beaten by guards with CIA operatives and Titan contractors 'standing by.' After reading Jeniffer Harbury's book one sees clearly that Abu Ghraib was not an anamoly but one episode in a long history of the American government's sponsorship of torture. Since Abu Ghraib many investigations and many reports have been written but I think none brings into clearer focus the long history of human cost and legal consequences of the U.S. aberrant and abhorrent foreign policy. Equating torture as the 'American Way' may rankle some people but I hope they will wrestle with Jennifer Harbury's book and discovery the truth she has painfully wrested from her personal experience and legal career. It is truth that should concern us all.

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