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In Tehran reports circulate that protestors held in the infamous Evin Prison are being waterboarded. The practice was unheard of in Iran before the latest troubles. So where did the Iranians get the idea of waterboarding prisoners? Ask Dick Cheney. Iranians, like others around the world, are carefully watching the torture debate in America. The former vice president describes waterboarding as “dunking in water” and insists it isn’t torture. Those who set the political stage in Washington dismiss the question of accountability for torture as an “attempt to criminalize policy differences.” The idea that Washington’s trivialization of the issue will result in tens of thousands around the world being tortured, in some cases tortured to death, is beyond their comprehension. Chuck Todd is one of the brighter political commentators of the new generation, yet in recent on-air remarks even he fell for these typical inside-the-Beltway delusions. Glenn Greenwald challenged him, and the two had a face-off interview that is well worth a listen. Now Stephen Colbert takes a look at Chuck Todd and his perspective on the torture debate, putting Todd’s views in just the context in which they need to be assessed.
More from Scott Horton:
No Comment — November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm
An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath
No Comment — August 12, 2013, 7:55 am
How will the Obama Administration handle Edward Snowden’s case in the long term?
No Comment — July 29, 2013, 11:36 am
Is it possible to simply disband the partisan FISA court?
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature