Torture is a Crime — and a Moral Outrage

Public Orthodoxy

by George Hunsinger


U.S. torture is back in the news. Loopholes left behind by President Obama are about to be exploited by his successor. Consider the following items:

  • Despite Obama’s promises, the camp at Guantanamo Bay — perhaps the most glaring symbol of U.S. torture — was not closed. Our erstwhile president, notorious for half-measures, blamed his failure to fulfill his promises on others. The incoming administration, on the other hand, regards Guantanamo as an asset.
  • Obama’s several executive orders designed to block U.S. torture will now, to a significant degree, be overridden and reversed, showing (as should always have been plain) that executive orders are not enough.
  • Under Obama, the U.S. extraordinary rendition of prisoners to countries that torture by proxy was discontinued. Under Trump, it threatens to be revived, perhaps clandestinely (at first).
  • Appendix M in the Army Field Manual — always under-reported — left the door ajar…

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