The Guardian has just published an exposé of interrogation teams run by two U.S. operatives acting under the authority of General David Petraeus in Iraq. It's clear that Petraeus not only knew of the "enhanced interrogation," but likely hired the thugs who were involved in it.
When we talk about torture "working" -- in the context of al Qaeda, for instance -- we presumably mean successfully extracting accurate information. But that's not what torture is about, and never has been.
11 years to the day after the Bush administration opened its notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay, Zero Dark Thirty opens nationwide. The filmmakers and distributors are evidently ignorant of the significance of the date -- a perfect indication of the carelessness and thoughtlessness of the film.
This increase in debate viewership is a very good thing. Or at least it could be if questions would go deeper -- beneath the surface of mere talking point positions -- to the moral or philosophical reasoning process candidates use to arrive at their views.
The capture of bin Laden argues elegantly against high-priced, nation-building, mission-creeping war, and its inevitable collateral damage, in order to go after individuals who are, at bottom, criminals.
There is only one thing that we know about torture that works for certain: torture debases us. It doesn't just debase its victims or those who perpetrate it. It debases all of us in whose name it is conducted.
Some of war's most disturbing moments don't happen on the battlefield. Such was the case when Sergeant Chuck Luther sat before a Congressional committee and described how he was tortured by U.S. Army officials.
Since 2001, over 22,600 soldiers have been pressed into signing such documents, affirming a pre-existing condition, making them ineligible for disability benefits, saving the military billions of dollars.
Personality disorder (PD) has been cited as the cause for everything from deafness following a rocket blast to shrapnel wounds, as a means for denying benefits to soldiers who have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I had been covering veterans' issues for several years and thought I'd developed a thick skin. But the pain on the other end of the telephone line as Sergeant Chuck Luther told me his story was difficult to stomach.