Military and Political Torture in the United States
Following the attack on the World Trade Center during 9/11, the use of harsh interrogation tactics and cruel and unusual punishment by the CIA has increased dramatically. These tactics and methods may be commonly described as ‘torture’. Methods include waterboarding, electrocution, sleep deprivation, prolonged standing, confinement in small spaces, and many more. The sources included below contain background info on the topic of torture in the United States, statistics about CIA methods, and organizations which are currently working to increase regulation on CIA and US military interrogation tactics.
Sources to Consult
-https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/09/cia-torture-methods-waterboarding-sleep-deprivation Media Source: The Guardian article about CIA torture methods. Dec 2014. This source discusses different ways in which the US CIA tortured their detainees (methods such as confinement in a box, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc). -https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/05/10/torture-at-abu-ghraib Media Source, Image: New Yorker article about Abu Ghraib. May 2004. This article specifically discusses the torture methods used in Abu Ghraib and includes the famous image of the man standing on the box believing he would be electrocuted. -https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/12/09/usa-and-torture-history-hypocrisy Web Source: Human Rights Watch article about torture in the US. Dec 2014. Discusses how the United States have become hypocrites when it comes to torture and provides lists of everything that the U.S has criticized and then done themselves later on. -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzHgnlvRBhE Video Source: Video by CoolFactShow about CIA torture methods. Dec 2014. Very good visual of the different techniques that the CIA have used in the past to torture prisoners of war, etc. Some techniques are not very common and gives you a general idea of how many ways torturing is done. -https://www.poemhunter.com/poems/torture/page-1/12256219/ Poetry Source: Poem by Ken Bennight called Torture Room. Sept 2017. This poem takes a different perspective on the act of torture and comes from the eyes of a torturer. He paints a clear picture that allows the reader to see and feel what he is thinking. Overall just a very interesting way to look at the topic. -https://www.amazon.com/Senate-Intelligence-Committee-Report-Torture/dp/1612194850/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505171645&sr=8-1&keywords=books+on+torture Book Source: Book by Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about torture methods used by CIA. Dec 2014. This amazon link takes you to a book on “The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture” and clearly is a hard yet truthful book to read based on the reviews. The Washington Post writes, “Exhausting…Haunting”. The New York Times writes, “A portrait of depravity that is hard to comprehend and even harder to stomach.” -https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/09/world/cia-torture-guantanamo-bay.html?mcubz=0 Web Source: NY Times article featuring first-hand accounts of torture detainees. Oct 2016. This article reviews first hand experiences of many detainees that have been damaged forever through the acts they endured while in the U.S. This article adds in dialogue so we can really understand how these people felt. -http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Article/167200-2014-11-30-un-committee-against-torture-criticizes-us-policy.htm Image Source: Political cartoon by Stephen Lendmen. Nov 2014. This image is of a political cartoon that shows a man being tortured and a drawing of the United States Congress turning their back on the issue. Just a very simple image that speaks a lot. http://academic.udayton.edu/race/06hrights/georegions/northamerica/torture01.htm University Source: Scholarly report prepared by Morton Sklar. Oct 1998. The goal of this research article is to try and understand why the United States has continued to torture individuals after they have promised not to. This also gives an insight into how what we knew about ‘torture’ in the 90s differs from what we know today. -https://www.aclu.org/other/enduring-abuse-torture-and-cruel-treatment-united-states-home-and-abroad-executive-summary Law source: ACLU article including law aspect of torture. 2014. One of the most detailed sources I found relating to the topic. Explains the obligations between the United States and the International Convention Against Torture, as well as explains why the United States has possibly broken this agreement. -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vobpv2cjFXs Leading politician on the issue/video speech: Speech by John McCain. Dec 2014. In this speech on Capitol Hill, John McCain publicly speaks out against the use of torture tactics when interrogating prisoners of war and other political detainees. He takes a strong stance against torture and explains his experience as a former POW and why he feels that harsh interrogation techniques are immoral.