Waterboarding. Sleep deprivation. Sensory manipulation. Stress positions. Over the last several years, these and other methods of torture have become garden variety words for practically anyone who reads about current events in a newspaper or blog. We know exactly what they are, how to administer them, and, disturbingly, that they were secretly authorized by the Bush Administration in its efforts to extract information from people detained in its war on terror. What we lack, however, is a larger lens through which to view America’s policy of torture — one that dissects America’s long relationship with interrogation and torture, which roots back to the 1950s and has been applied, mostly in secret, to “enemies,” ever since. How did America come to embrace this practice so fully, and how was it justified from a moral, legal, and psychological perspective?
The United States and Torture opens with a compelling preface by Sister Dianna Ortiz, who describes the unimaginable treatment she endured in Guatemala in 1987 at the hands of the the Guatemalan government, which was supported by the United States. Then a psychologist, a historian, a political scientist, a philosopher, a sociologist, two journalists, and eight lawyers offer one of the most comprehensive examinations of torture to date, beginning with the CIA during the Cold War era and ending with today’s debate over accountability for torture.
Ultimately, this gripping, interdisciplinary work details the complicity of the United States government in the torture and cruel treatment of prisoners both at home and abroad and discusses what can be done to hold those who set the torture policy accountable.
Contributors: Marjorie Cohn, Richard Falk, Marc D. Falkoff, Terry Lynn Karl, John W. Lango, Jane Mayer, Alfred W. McCoy, Jeanne Mirer, Sister Dianna Ortiz, Jordan J. Paust, Bill Quigley, Michael Ratner, Thomas Ehrlich Reifer, Philippe Sands, Stephen Soldz, and Lance Tapley.
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Her books include The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse; Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law; and Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice.
Table of Contents
Sister Dianna Ortiz
Introduction: An American Policy of Torture
Part I: The History and Character of Torture
1 Mind Maze
Alfred W. McCoy
2 Torture and Human Rights Abuses at the School of Americas-WHINSEC
3 U.S. Foreign Policy, Deniability, and the Political “Utility” of State Terror
Terry Lynn Karl
4 Fundamental Human Rights and the Coercive Interrogation of Terrorists in an Extreme Emergency
John W. Lango
5 Torture, War, and the Limits of Liberal Legality
Part II: Torture and Cruel Treatment of Prisoners in U.S. Custody
6 Outsourcing Torture
7 This Is To Whom It May Concern
Marc D. Falkoff
8 Psychologists, Torture, and Civil Society
9 From Guantánamo to Berlin
10 Mass Torture in America
Part III: Accountability for Torture
11 The Law of Torture and Accountability of Lawyers Who Sanction It
12 Terrorists and Torturers
13 Criminal Responsibility of Bush Administration Officials with Respect to Unlawful Interrogation
Jordan J. Paust
14 Torture, War, and Presidential Power
Thomas Ehrlich Reifer
About the Contributors
What People are Saying About This
"This gripping collection of essays explores how the United States has used torture both domestically and abroad since the 1950s . . . Strongly recommended to any reader interested in developing a deeper understanding of the government's torture policies."
-Rachel Bridgewater,Library Journal
“Because whistleblowers leaked the Abu Ghraib photos and some of the torture memos, the torture and abuse committed by the United States entered the national discourse. This book is the result of those efforts and this critical work by leading scholars and journalists who courageously provide a roadmap for holding Bush officials accountable for their war crimes.”
-Daniel Ellsberg,author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
“This is an extraordinarily important book. Marjorie Cohn has gathered some of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful voices who understand and oppose the horrific decision by the Bush/Cheney administration to employ torture to fight terrorists. In these pages they explain not only what was done but why it was so terribly wrong.”
-John W. Dean,former Nixon White House counsel and author of Conservatives Without Conscience
“A magnificent, though deeply disturbing collection of essays on torture, considering its history, its use since September 11, and the obstacles to holding those responsible accountable. This is the best collection of essays on the topic and it leaves no doubt that the nation has not yet come to grips with the inhumanity perpetrated under the guise of national security.”
-Erwin Chemerinsky,Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine, School of Law
"An excellent addition to the cannon of work relating to the post-9/11 embrace of torture by the Bush Administration as well as the subsequent erosion of constitutional and international legal principles."
-Adam L. Kress,Law and Politics Book Review