Electric shocks. Sleep deprivation. Forced standing. Water boarding. George W. Bush called them an 'alternative set of procedures', vital tools needed 'to protect the American people and our allies'. By any definition, these techniques are torture. In American Torture Michael Otterman reveals how torture became standard practice in today's War on Terror and how it was refined, spread and kept legal. Long before Abu Ghraib became a household name, the US military and CIA used torture with impunity at home and abroad. Billions of dollars were spent during the Cold War studying, refining, then teaching these techniques to American interrogators and to foreign officers charged with keeping Communism at bay. As the Cold War ended, these tortures were legalised using the very laws designed to eradicate their use. After 9/11, they were revived again for use on 'enemy combatants' detained in America's vast gulag of prisons across the globe, from secret CIA black sites in Thailand to the detention centre at Guant namo Bay, Cuba.
American Torture shows how the road to Abu Ghraib leads back through US military survival schools, Latin American military assistance programs, Vietnamese counter-terror operations and, finally, to the USSR and Communist China. Torture violates more than international law and fundamental human rights-it radicalises enemies, undermines credibility and yields unreliable intelligence. Above all, the practice does not make the world a safer place. Visit the American Torture website at http://www.americantorture.com
Buy American Torture book by Michael Otterman from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(233mm x 155mm x 29mm)
Melbourne University Press
Publisher: Melbourne University Press
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