Saturday, March 14, 2009

The new torture accounts

After the U.S. moved 14 detainees from secret prisons to Guantanamo, in 2006, the men were soon interviewed by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Their accounts were not intended to be made public. Now, Mark Danner has obtained them, and printed extensive excerpts. The full Danner article is in the NY Review of Books; the summarized version (3300 words) is in Sunday's NYT.

We've heard a fair number of details of torture committed by the U.S.; these are a new set. Will it make a difference in the U.S. debate (if I can even call it that) on bringing Bush Administration officials to justice? My guess is it won't be treated as such a big deal in the media. I wonder, though, if it might get to the consciences of a few of the key Democrats.

Democrats control two branches of the government. Neither of those branches is doing much right now on this. Each is receiving extremely little public pressure on the topic. MoveOn is MIA. A majority of congressional democrats just don't care very much. Maybe this could at least help.

As individuals, we can vow to work against the re-election of any electeds who do not support investigating the Bush Administration. There aren't all that many super-vulnerable Senate Democrats for 2010 who should be targeted, but we should put pressure on those we can (i.e. Reid).


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