A Very Real Discussion About Torture

13 april 2012

Guards at Guantanamo Prison fired ‘less than lethal’ rounds at hunger striking victims of U.S. illegal detention today in an effort to forcibly separate them from the group environment into solitary cages. This action by guards was done in an attempt to force and end to what has been, so far, a month-long hunger strike by prisoners in protest against the treatment and ongoing illegal detention there. The hunger strike has received little to no corporate news coverage since it began.

How did the use of torture become acceptable? Who was behind the implementation of tactics known to not only be illegal in the United States, but in direct violation of all international agreements? In this video, Marc LaMont hill from Huffpost Live interviews five people with direct, personal experience from every angle of the issue.

Brandon Neely served in the army at Guantanamo Bay, and was lied to throughout his service to get him to follow illegal orders. Neely stepped out on a legal limb to tell his story, in direct violation of a nondisclosure agreement required by all Guantanamo personnel. His experience shows how guards in prisons are put into difficult, even abusive conditions. He speaks about receiving threats for speaking out about torture.

The Interrogator author Glenn Carle, a former CIA agent, tells how it felt to find that his ‘subject’ was not a criminal at all, let alone someone who deserved to be extrajudiciously incarcerated without charges or counsel.

Georgetown University Philosophy and Ethics Professor Nancy Sherman, author of five books including The Untold War, reminds us that soldiers doing this type of service are deeply affected by the actions they are ordered to take. Neely agrees with this assessment. When learning the truth about the reasons for incarceration of many of the detainees, the guilt suffered by some is debilitating. Shermann talks about how torture affects not only victims, but perpetrators and their families and communities.

We also hear from medical expert Alan Keller, who is associate professor of Medicine and director of Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, and Omar Deghayes, a detainee who suffered the loss of one eye during his six years at Guantanamo for what became a revolving door of unsubstantiated accusations. Deghayes dispels any myth that torture is somehow the exception to the rule, clarifying in no uncertain terms that torture at Guantanamo is systemic.

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