We now take a look at what lies behind the shocking images of torture at Abu Ghraib by turning to the history of the CIA and torture techniques. The International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International and other human rights groups say the recently released images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib show a clear violation of international humanitarian law. The U.S. made a pledge against torture when Congress ratified the UN Convention Against Torture in 1994 – but it was ratified with reservations that exempted the CIAs psychological torture method. So what were the results?
A new expose gives an account of the CIAs secret efforts to develop new forms of torture spanning fifty years. It reveals how the CIA perfected its methods, distributing them across the world from Vietnam to Iran to Central America, uncovering the roots of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo torture scandals. The book is titled “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror.”
- Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror and also The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.