Today's leading thinkers explore the most incendiary human rights issue of our time.
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5 (1948)
Of all the issues on the human rights agenda, torture offered Americans the moral high ground...until this year. With the abuses at Abu Ghraib that led to accusations of torture within the domestic criminal justice system, the question of cruel and unusual treatment has taken on new urgency in the United States and elsewhere.
In Torture, twelve newly written essays by leading thinkers and experts range over history and continents, offering a nuanced, up-to-the-minute exploration of this wrenching but timely topic, including, among others, Reed Brody on the road to Abu Ghraib and "ghost detainees"; Eitan Felner on the Israeli experience; Tom Malinowski on violations of State Department "forbidden practices" at Abu Ghraib and in Afghanistan; Kenneth Roth on the U.S. government's shift from cover-up to justification; and Minky Worden on a global survey of torturing countries.
Intended for a general audience, some of the key questions addressed include how to define torture, whether torture is ever effective, and whether it is ever acceptable.
Contributors include: Michael Ignatieff on whether torture is ever justified, Juan Méndez on the victim's perspective, David Rieff on why the human rights community is naive about torture, Jamie Felner on domestic torture within US prisons, Sir Nigel Rodley on negotiating with torturers, Julia Hall on rendition to torturing countries, Jim Ross on the history of torture.