Watch "Torturing Democracy" online – it’s your civic duty as an American

>Please take the time to watch this movie, free online. Every American should, because we’re all responsible.

No political party would dare make torture a cornerstone of its rejuvenation if people really understood what it is. And lest we forget, we’re not just talking about waterboarding, itself a trivializing euphemism for drowning.

If we want to know what torture is, and what it does to human beings, we have to look at it squarely, without flinching. That’s just what a powerful and important film, seen by far too few Americans, does. “Torturing Democracy” was written and produced by one of America’s outstanding documentary reporters, Sherry Jones…

“Torturing Democracy” begins at 9/11 and recounts how the Bush White House and the Pentagon decided to make coercive detention and abusive interrogation the official US policy in the war on terror. In sometimes graphic detail, the documentary describes the experiences of several men who were held in custody, including Shafiq Rasul, Moazzam Begg and Bisher al-Rawi, all of whom eventually were released. Charges never were filed against them and no reason was ever given for their years in custody.

The documentary traces how tactics meant to train American troops to survive enemy interrogations – the famous SERE program (“Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape”) – became the basis for many of the methods employed by the CIA and by interrogators at Guantanamo and in Iraq, including waterboarding (which inflicts on its victims the terror of imminent death), sleep and sensory deprivation, shackling, caging, painful stress positions and sexual humiliation.

“We have re-created our enemy’s methodologies in Guantanamo,” Malcolm Nance, former head of the Navy’s SERE training program, says in “Torturing Democracy.” He adds, “It will hurt us for decades to come. Decades. Our people will all be subjected to these tactics, because we have authorized them for the world now. How it got to Guantanamo is a crime and somebody needs to figure out who did it, how they did it, who authorized them to do it … Because our servicemen will suffer for years.”

— Bill Moyers

James Israel
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