Torturing Democracy: A National Security Archive Portal on America’s Torture Policy Episode


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In a documentary titled “Torturing Democracy” that has recently aired on PBS, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage stated:

There is no question in my mind — there’s no question in any reasonable human being, that this is torture. I’m ashamed that we’re even having this discussion.

Here is the short clip:

The National Security Archive Project at George Washington University has created one of the most important portals publicly available of the video clips, documentary materials, statements and other valuable resources on the journalism, litigation, scholarship and advocacy surrounding America’s management of post-9/11 combat detainees.
— Steve Clemons


9 comments on “Torturing Democracy: A National Security Archive Portal on America’s Torture Policy Episode

  1. kathy says:

    I was so disturbed by what I heard. An obvious neglect of human rights. I was disgusted.


  2. Lien Nguyen says:

    My first concern is that there are only 7 comments to this page. Where are our concerned citizens? I voted twice for George Bush. After seeing this documentary last night, the realization of the impact of my decision to do so suffocates my conscience. I know now how much I really did not know. The frightening part of all this is how much so many people do not know. They did what I did –voted by party, faith, fear, whatever. My husband did not vote for Bush. We live in the same house and see each other everyday. How did we miss each other on this communication? My point is we are an ill-informed country because we are so fearful of challenging our beliefs. It is much easier to discount these acts and say that we are not as barbaric as other countries. After all, we are the United States. After all, this is why I am here. So we choose to be selectively indifferent.
    What has all this done? We have now opened the flood gates. We are now vulnerable as a country simply for vengence. We have devised our own doom. If the U.S. can grant themselves immunity from the Geneva treaty, then who can’t. And what will happen to us when they do. It is frightening that it has gone this far. Congress too? God help us.
    Most important, what is being done for the 250 remaining in captivity….w/o charge?
    As for me, I am going to do my part and “inform” others of this torture on democracy. We should push PBS to run this again as well as other stations. It doesn’t have to be political anymore, just moral.


  3. Shawn Bean says:

    At no time in my 37 years as an American can I remember being unwilling to take arms for this nation until this. Nor will I be willing until this issue is justly dealt with. What to do?


  4. Marie Luna says:

    I too agree with Steve Haines. What can we do to prosecute Bush and others for their war crimes. After viewing this documentary I cannot sit idley by and continue to allow this to happen. Where to we start… How do we start…Bush and others must be held responsible. I am so ashamed!


  5. swanee yourkowski says:

    I agree with Steve Haines. I watched this documentary on Oct. 30th in Seattle and want to know what I can do to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo and Hanes prosecuted as war criminals. We should also prosecute the CIA and military who participated in these atrocities. If we allow our government to do this to detainees, what is to stop them from doing it to citizens? America has now become no better than Osama Bin Laden, Nazi Germany, Stalin Russia, Imperialist Japan, Vietnam or North Korea. We are now the terrorists.


  6. Steve Haines says:

    I just watched this documentary and I am disgusted. Bin Ladin, hiding in his cave, has won his war. George Bush, hiding behind John Yoo’s clever legalisms, has lost. And America has also lost. We are now a nation with no boundaries and no moral principals. The ends justify the means, says Alan Dershowitz. So did Hitler.
    I would like to know what I can do to to see that Bush and his gang are prosecuted for war crimes.


  7. Charles Laverty says:

    English professor Sands discusses the UK vs Irish Republican Army campaigns (1970-1995)in light of UK torture of its Irish prisoners — not condemning torture on its “merits” but by way of showing that torture paved the way for more volunteering of other Irishmen into the ranks of the IRA. Sands totally omits reference to the evil of torture as a British Army policy. He then has the nerve to add that the “anti-torture tradition” of the English and the US differentiates “us” from the very nations the US has enlisted to conduct “off-shore torture” of our prisoners. He cited Egypt, Syria and other nations that are widely known to torture their prisoners. England was found guilty of the use of torture of its IRA prisoners in three separate trials during the 1970s in European Union courts,
    but Prof. Sands was silent on that score. Was Aaron Brown flat-footed on that point or felt it was hardly germane?


  8. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    Sadly but ironically,the US administration policy has exposed with glaring examples that torturing democracy is perhaps the best feature of American advocacy for civil liberties.


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