Torture and ImpunityDuring the Cold War, Alfred McCoy documents, the Central Intelligence Agency covertly funded psychological experiments designed to weaken a subject’s resistance to interrogation. After 9/11, the CIA revived these harsh methods, while the media was flooded with seductive images that normalized torture for many Americans. Ten years later, the U.S. had failed to punish the perpetrators or the powerful who commanded them, and continued to exploit intelligence extracted under torture by surrogates from Somalia to Afghanistan. Although Washington has publicly distanced itself from torture, disturbing images from the prisons at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are seared into human memory, doing lasting damage to America’s moral authority as a world leader.
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