Torture

Photo of J.D. Cortese
Courtesy of J.D. Cortese

From the mid-1970s to early 1980s, tens of thousands of Argentines who were believed to be political dissidents were kidnapped, tortured and killed by military and security forces. Those who were never seen again are called los desaparecidos. 

Photo of Protester with NC Stop Torture Now
Courtesy of NC Stop Torture Now / CC

A new in-depth report confirms that a North Carolina-based company “played an absolutely central role in the CIA’s torture program.” After an 18-month investigation, the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture identified 49 people who were taken on so-called “torture flights” by North Carolina-based aviation company Aero Contractors, Ltd., a private aviation company operating out of Johnston County. 

America’s Identity Crisis Over Torture

Oct 23, 2018
Flickr/Creative Commons

Liberal democracies like the United States agree that the use of torture is abborhent, distasteful and wrong. Our very identity rests on the understanding that we uphold human rights and do not engage in the cruel savagery of older or other governments. And yet the use of torture in this country, and the ways in which those in power have justified it, goes back as far as our founding. 

Headshot of Eric Fair, a former interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Amy Cramer

In 2004, photographs capturing extreme abuse of detainees at the American-controlled Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were released to the public, sparking a humanitarian outcry. That same year, Eric Fair was working as an interrogator at the prison. Fair's new memoir, "Consequence" (Henry Holt/2016) is an unflinching look back at his time at Abu Ghraib and the mental and physical pain he inflicted on detainees as part of military-sanctioned interrogations.

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou opposed the torture tactics that the CIA used in the 'War on Terror.'
Troy Page / t r u t h o u t / Flickr Creative Commons

John Kiriakou spent 14 years in the CIA as an analyst and counterterrorism officer. At one-point he was responsible for leading the team that found Abu Zubaydah, one of the highest ranking al-Qaeda officers at the time.

But Kiriakou’s career has become defined by a decision he made after he left the CIA. In 2007, he became the first CIA official to publicly acknowledge the agency’s use of waterboarding.