Only when Americans call upon their conscience and demand a more just and peaceful government will there be an end to torture and unlawful state violence of all kinds.
THE fight over Civil War monuments reveals a crucial fact about our political culture: How we remember history matters. Unjust institutions and the ideologies that support them benefit from a distorted, forgotten or unknown history. White supremacy is Exhibit A. On the other side, every movement attempting to right past wrongs must engage in a struggle over how the past is represented.
The anti-torture movement, working to ensure that the torture regime put in place during the Bush-Cheney administration never happens again, faces similar challenges of memory and forgetting.
In order to achieve our goal, we must tear down the edifices of denial, omission and outright lies that have been constructed in defense of U.S. torture. Unless Americans know what actually happened and the consequences that followed, torture is almost guaranteed a rerun. President Donald Trump’s threats to bring back torture should be warning enough that we have not put torture behind us.
Torture is illegal in domestic and international law. Three presentations on the issue are scheduled in Spokane and Seattle:
“The legal obligation to prevent and prosecute torture”: 5-7 p.m. Sept. 6, Gonzaga University School of Law (The Court Room), 721 N. Cincinnati St., Spokane.
“Why torture is wrong”: 7-9 p.m. Sept. 9, Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St., Spokane.
“The moral and political obligation to resist use of torture”: 7-9 p. m. Sept. 26, University of Washington Law School, Room 133, 4293 Memorial Way NE, Seattle.
The last significant breakthrough in getting to the truth was the U.S. Senate Torture Report, released in 2014. The full report, however, remains classified, and powerful forces want all copies destroyed.
This September, in Spokane, a civil suit brought by the ACLU against two CIA contractors on behalf…