Category: Torture

June 9, 2004

Bush the Would-Be Torturer

It’s all falling into place. The Wall Street Journal has revealed that Bush’s lawyers told him he can order that torture be committed with impunity. It is now official that George W. Bush is above the law. As horror after horror emerged from Abu Ghraib prison, Americans exclaimed that this is not behavior befitting our… Read more »

June 5, 2004

Giving Iraqis What Is Rightly Theirs—Sovereignty

George W. Bush pledged last week that on June 30, “our government and our coalition will transfer full sovereignty – complete and full sovereignty” to the new Iraqi government. With such bold assurances, why then the heartburn among Iraqis and Europeans? Sovereignty has traditionally described a state that has a territory, a government, a population,… Read more »

May 14, 2004

War Crimes

Trying to quell the growing firestorm last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters, “My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe, technically, is different from torture.” Rumsfeld said he hadn’t had a chance to finish reading Army Major General Antonio Taguba’s report, which was completed two and… Read more »

May 5, 2004

Torturing Hearts and Minds

U.S. soldiers who fought in Vietnam were trained to think of the North Vietnamese as “gooks.” The objectification of the non-white enemy made it more palatable to kill and abuse them. American troops and mercenaries in Iraq likewise objectified their Iraqi prisoners when they sexually abused and sadistically humiliated them in the Abu Ghraib prison… Read more »

January 16, 2004

The Concentration Camp at Guantánamo: Wrong Treatment in the Wrong Place

Anyone who has traveled to Cuba or listened to mariachis sing in myriad Latin restaurants is familiar with the lovely song, Guantanamera – the little girl from Guantánamo. Based on a poem by Jose Marti, the father of Cuban independence, the song is narrated by “an honest man from where the palm tree grows,” who… Read more »

June 11, 2003

Dropping the Ball on Torture: The US Supreme Court Ruling in Chavez vs. Martinez

The use of torture to obtain information from suspects has become an important topic in fighting the war on terror. In December, for example, the Washington Post reported that CIA officials at Bagram air base in Afghanistan used interrogation techniques that could constitute torture. In Chavez v. Martinez, decided May 27, the United States Supreme… Read more »

February 6, 2003

A Double Standard on Torture: The U.S. Should Practice What We Preach

The Bush administration has a double standard on torture and human rights violations as it prosecutes the “war on terror.” While trying to convince the American people in his State of the Union address that war with Iraq is necessary, President George W. Bush marshaled accusations that Saddam Hussein has tortured his people to coerce… Read more »