Torture: Does It Make Us Safer? Is It Ever OK?: A Human Rights Perspective

by Bufkinite@evpl on Friday, September 11 2009, 4:41pm. Viewed 1,166 times.

Book jacket artWhile I find it appalling on so many levels that we even need a such a book as this in the 21st Century US, I'm glad that I had the chance to read this.  Torture is divided into two sections, the first being about international torture - it's history, putative usefulness, the exporting of torture from one country to another, the long-term effects of torture on its victims and perpetrators, and negotiating with torturers - and the second being about torture in the United States - including essays on practices banned by the State Department (but nevertheless recently authorized by the Department of Defense), command responsibility for torture, and torture in US prisons.

A particularly moving chapter, for me, was the one on the need to respect the Geneva Conventions (dismissed by former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld as "quaint") written by Senator John McCain, himself a victim of torture during the Vietnam War.

While not easy to read, the book clearly answers both rhetorical questions in the title with a resounding "NO!" and provides factual information and ammunition to those wanting to reclaim for the United States the moral high ground in the treatment of dissidents, prisoners of war, and other "enemies of the state."


Comments (2)

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gawell@evpl wrote
on Tuesday, September 15 2009, 8:47am

No.

gawell@evpl wrote
on Tuesday, September 15 2009, 9:04am

Being Smarter: Does It Make Us Safer? Is It Ever OK?

I am reminded of the tv series 'Mission Impossible', I don't recall them using violence so much when psychological warfare was so much more fun. The real hard questions to ask and to try and answer, is how to prevent the issue from ever coming, preventive warfare is sometimes called diplomacy and settling disputes without resorting to talking with guns, knives and water boards.