Understanding the U.S. Torture State
By Anthony Gregory
This article appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of The Independent Review


The United States government has explicitly endorsed techniques long recognized internationally to be forms of torture. Marjorie Cohn’s remarkable multidisciplinary anthology, The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse, is an eye-opening examination of U.S.-sponsored torture from the Cold War era to the Obama administration.


When I was a child in Reagan’s America, a common theme in Cold War rhetoric was that the Soviets tortured people and detained them without cause, extracted phony confessions through cruel violence, and did the unspeakable to detainees who were helpless against the full, heartless weight of the Communist state. As much as any other evil, torture differentiated the bad guys, the Commies, from the good guys, the American people and their government. However imperfect the U.S. system might be, it had civilized standards that the enemy rejected....

Other Independent Review articles by Anthony Gregory
    Fall 2014   Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
    Summer 2011   “The Tissue of Structure”: Habeas Corpus and the Great Writ’s Paradox of Power and Liberty
    Summer 2011   The Struggle to Limit Government

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