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Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values
A Discussion Featuring Philippe Sands, author and professor of Law at University College, London, and Scott Horton, legal affairs writer, Harper’s Magazine
This event is free and open to the public
Date: May 5, 2008
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lipton Hall, 108 W. 3rd Street
About Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values (Palgrave MacMillan)
Beyond the infamous memo signed by Donald Rumsfeld, what do we really know about the torture that the U.S. government has signed off on? Philippe Sands, a seasoned prosecutor of war criminals including Augusto Pinochet and Slobodan Milosevic, details the systemic abuse at Guantanamo, including never-before published interviews with the lawyers and military officials that admit to compliance with interrogation orders coming from the top. And to be certain, it doesn’t stop at Guantanamo. The techniques have migrated from Gitmo to Abu Ghraib to Basra to Matrix Chamber. It is systemic, illegal, and will continue into the next Administration unless there is a drastic policy change. Would any of the presidential hopefuls have that courage?
Philippe Sands is an international lawyer, professor of law, and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals in the Faculty at University College London. He is the author of Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules and is a frequent commentator on news and current affairs programs including CNN, MSNBC, and BBC World Service. He has been involved in many leading international cases, including the World Court trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the treatment of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He frequently advises governments, international organizations, NGOs and the private sector on international law. In 2003, he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. He has been appointed to lists of arbitrators maintained by ICSID and the PCA.
He has previously held academic positions at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Kings College London, University of Cambridge, and was a Global Professor of Law at New York University from 1995-2003. He was co-founder of FIELD (Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development), and established the programs on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the European Journal of International Law and Review of European Community and International Environmental Law (Blackwell Press). In 2007 he served as a judge for the Guardian First Book Prize award.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
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