Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Torturers

New developments seem to be coming every day regarding Bush administration torture and what to do next.

Today, a piece in the Washington Post further examines the Red Cross report on detainee treatment in the American gulag, discussed recently by Mark Danner. Download the full ICRC Report here (pdf). The WaPo article discusses, in particular, the role of medical staff in the torture of prisoners. This was always going to be the case - a torture institution requires medical staff, guards, torturers, equipment people, etc. all the way up the chain to the Executive - even if hard information wasn't yet known. But now it is.

Regarding the Danner piece, Andrew Sullivan points out the passages comparing the American system and methods to those of the Soviet gulag (including, non-ironically, the use of former gulag prisons). And if you want to see an instance of an apparently common moral sickness and denial of reality that echoes post-war Nazi justifications, see here.

Glenn Greenwald discusses the ICRC Report further and what Obama's DOJ must do.

I suggest reading the ICRC Report for yourself. This is a reality that is not going to go away. And remember that quote from Darius Rejali that I posted earlier:
Few things predict future torture as much as past impunity.
Accountability is crucial not only for prevention of the practice, policy, and institution of torture, but also for the continued strength of basic democratic and humane principles.


troutsky said...

They are reporting that Republicans will block nominees unless torture prosecution is abandoned. The level of cynicism seems to have no bounds.

MT said...

People can also hear Mark Danner speak about his article on this NY Books podcast