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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.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”