Reaping What You Sow: A Comparative Examination of Torture Reform in the United States, France, Argentina, and Israel

Reaping What You Sow: A Comparative Examination of Torture Reform in the United States, France, Argentina, and Israel

Reaping What You Sow: A Comparative Examination of Torture Reform in the United States, France, Argentina, and Israel

Reaping What You Sow: A Comparative Examination of Torture Reform in the United States, France, Argentina, and Israel

Synopsis

This book evaluates the experience of official torture of France in Algeria, as well as recently, the United States since 9/11, Israel against Palestinians, and Argentina during its Dirty War from 1972 to 1983. While evaluating what information was gained from torture, the book also shows the costs of undertaking this approach to interrogating suspected terrorists.

Excerpt

On May 1, 2011, the United States executed Osama bin Laden in a daring raid in Pakistan. The perennial public debate on torture quickly reemerged after few weeks of dormancy, as it inevitably will wax and wane in public consciousness, but never disappear. Public discussion on torture seemed to have been overtaken in debates on the legality of targeted assassinations by Predator drone missiles, which had increased under President Obama. Had bin Laden been captured instead of killed, the question of torture would likely have arisen during his detention. However, the issue arose the next morning, as some U.S. officials attempted to gain ground quickly by claiming that “enhanced interrogation techniques,” the euphemism for legalized torture used at secret “black sites,” Bagram Air Base, at Guantánamo, and other U.S. detention centers, had solved bin Laden’s whereabouts, by identifying the code name of Osama’s courier. Some say the revelation, that bin Laden had a trusted courier with a code name, al-Kuwaiti, supposedly came from the torture of Hasan Ghul at a secret site after his capture in 2004. Former Vice President Dick Cheney called the water-boarders “heroes.” Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Michael Hayden asserted that to deny that water-boarding provided important intelligence information is the equivalent of denying that President Obama was born in the United States.

Others say the revelation of the courier came after the worst CIA techniques had been suspended. CIA Director Leon Panetta wrote to Senator John McCain on May 9, 2011, stating that no detainee in CIA custody revealed . . .

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