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Twenty-five members of the Catholic Worker movement are walking across Cuba to the US Naval prison at Guantánamo Bay in hopes of meeting with more than 500 detainees, the first time peace activists have brought their protests to the tropical gulag. If they are turned away, the pilgrims plan on conducting a vigil outside.
The Tipton Three embody a nightmare scenario of the "war on
terror": Young British men visiting Pakistan for a wedding wound up
accused of terrorism in Afghanistan, imprisoned and tortured at
Guantánamo Bay, then released with no charges. Now they're
telling their story in the docu-drama, The Road to Guantánamo.
Does it lessen the horror to admit that this is not the first time the
US government has used torture to wipe out political opponents? The
exclusion of the impact of the School of the Americas on war crimes in El
Salvador, Argentina and Panama from our current debate on torture is
evidence of our collective amnesia.
In a misguided GOP reform effort, Congress is ready to pass measures
that would militarize border controls, violate workers' rights and give
corporations a new bracero program. Immigrant rights groups,
unions, civil rights organizations and working families push for
No nation is immune from the insidious downward spiral signified by
torture. In this special issue, The Nation confronts the
sweeping moral seriousness what the torture conspiracy will do to
America and its democratic institutions. The facts are known: Now it's
time to hold the conspirators accountable.
Human rights organizations have coordinated an investigation into torture and an extensive defense of detainees, organizing lawyers who represent clients from nonprofits to oil and gas companies. But the issue of torture needs to transcend the legal world.
By the time the first prisoners were taken in Iraq, a green light to
abuse had been issued in writing. Now torture is cloaked in a veil of
secrecy, with obscured statistics, dismissal of human rights reports
and outright denial. Torture has proved to be a window into the Bush
Administration's pursuit of the war on terror.
Pop culture does more than validate the claim that torture could help foil bombs seconds before detonation.
Defenders of torture dwell not only in the White House and Pentagon,
but in the halls of academia. When prominent law professors and
academics cite the fantastic "ticking-bomb theory," they not only
spread misinformation and foster a perpetual state of fear, but they
use their credentials to legitimize a culture of torture.