Torture: Stripping Bare the Body
A former president of Haiti, once observed that political violence “strips bare the social body” allowing us “to place the stethoscope and track the real life beneath the skin.” This stripping bare produces a “moment of nudity” that presents an opportunity to place the stethoscope against the naked skin and listen to the reality beneath. The U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have involved torture and human rights violations replete with black sites, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, that is, kidnapping and in some instances custodial deaths all accompanied by the now infamous waterboarding, stress positions, extreme temperatures, dogs, beatings, threats and loud and incessant music. “The CIA used an alternative set of procedures,” proclaimed Bush. What? Enhanced interrogation techniques. What? Can anyone say torture? Geneva Conventions? Obama does not want to hold those responsible for crimes accountable. Why not?
Recorded at Town Hall.
Mark Danner, an award-winning journalist, has reported on politics and war. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. He is Professor of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and Professor of Foreign Affairs at Bard College. He’s the author of The Massacre at El Mozote, Torture and Truth, and Stripping Bare the Body.