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June 2009: Torture and Accountability

Introduction to the Month's Focal PieceAnnotation of

“The Red Cross Torture Report: What It Means.” by Mark Danner. The New York Review of Books. April 30, 2009.

~ The Editors




Charli CarpenterResponse to Mark Danner’s “The Red Cross’ Torture Report: What it Means”
by Charli Carpenter

“Torture probably does work occasionally. But so what? The whole point of the anti-torture regime is to stay the Inquisitor’s hand even when it’s in our interest to torture.


Mark GibneyTorture—And Our Broader Understanding of Human Rights
by Mark Gibney

"...the Bush administration’s approach to human rights was not nearly as far out of the mainstream as it might otherwise appear. They worked under the premise that a state’s human rights obligations are territorial in nature. Unfortunately, this has come to be the dominant approach to human rights."


Tyler MoselleThe Moral High Ground in an Age of Vulnerability
by Tyler Moselle

"The torture policy relies on centralized power, secrecy, and fear. The 'no torture' policy relies on openness, diplomacy, and concerted intelligence."


Rebecca OtisLet Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore
by Rebecca Otis

“Where torture and interrogation policies supported by the Bush Administration has become the context for the War on Terror, it becomes necessary that we hold ourselves to task, no less in the same way that we hold our enemies."


Rhona Smith Righting Past, Present and Future Wrongs
by Rhona Smith

“International human rights law imposes a positive obligation on States to achieve the prohibition on torture. Thus the State must go beyond mere passive prohibition of torture to seek out and prosecute perpetrators, actively discharging this positive obligation."


Chandra Lekha Sriram Looking Forward, Backward, or Just Away?
by Chandra Lekha Sriram

“If countries from Argentina to South Africa have endured commissions of inquiry and even prosecutions of former abusers...there is no reason to think that the more robust legal and political institutions of the United States could not."


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