Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bookapalooza in New England -- truth of torture will out

For an author arriving for a booktalk, there's only one sight more gratifying than this:

That would be this:

The author talked at Porter Square Books in Cambridge last night.

Rebecca Gordon will be discussing torture at two more New England events this week:

Manchester Unitarian Universalist Church
Sponsored by New Hampshire Peace Action
669 Union Street, Manchester, NH
Thursday, July 31, 2014 • 6:00 p.m.

Framingham Library • sponsored by MetroWest Peace Action
Friday, August 1, 2014 • 2:00 p.m.
49 Lexington Street, Framingham, MA 01702

Meanwhile, it looks as if we might all be discussing torture as practiced by agents of the United States in the "war on terror" in the next few months. David Cole explains that the CIA is preparing a public relations blitz to counter the expected release of some sanitized version of the report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on al-Qaeda suspects.

So what will the public relations strategy look like now? We can probably make some educated guesses, based on past assertions by Bush administration officials. “We didn’t think it was torture because the lawyers told us it wasn’t.” That defense doesn’t work for Mafia dons and ought not to work for the CIA. The practices involved – waterboarding, excruciating stress positions, slamming suspects into walls and prolonged sleep deprivation — plainly qualify as torture and have long been treated as such by the United States when other nations employ them. Just last week, the European Court of Human Rights held Poland responsible for complicity in the CIA’s crimes, finding that the conduct was so clearly illegal that Poland had an obligation to stop permitting it on its territory.

Poland, in other words, was an accessory to the crime. But the United States was the ringleader.

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