The answer to this question may seem obvious, but it’s not. If it were, people in this country wouldn’t have been arguing about it for the last nine years. Is sleep deprivation torture? What about sexual humiliation? Waterboarding? Applying electrical current to a person’s body?
Torture update: Among the many things revealed in the latest Wikileaks dump of 400,000 U.S. military documents are revelations of torture conducted by Iraqi police and military. The British newspaper the Guardian has done some of the best reporting on this part of the material. Here they report on the U.S. military practice of turning detainees over to the Iraqi Wolf Brigade, which was notorious for its use of torture.
Nancy Guzmán Jasmen, Romo, Confesiones De Un Torturador, 1. ed. (Santiago, Chile: Editorial Planeta Chilena, 2000).
“Yo creo que aplicar corriente no es tortura.” (My translation.)
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project
Rebecca Gordon is a member of the War Times/Tiempo de Guerras organizing committee. She has been a political activist for more years than she cares to remember, working on issues of feminism, war and peace, economic and racial justice, and specifically torture in the post-9/11 United States. Rebecca's new book, Mainstreaming Torture comes out in May 2014 from Oxford University Press. She's also the author of Letters From Nicaragua, a record of six months spent in the war zones during the contra war.
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