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Torturing Democracy – Guantanamo Bay and Crimes Against Humanity

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Torturing Democracy – Guantanamo Bay and Crimes Against Humanity

The National Security Archive at George Washington University produced an important documentary chronicling the history of human rights abuses and torture at Guantanamo Bay.

In 2004, photos of abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison at Guantanamo Bay went public, sparking international outrage. The National Security Archive compiled hundreds of pages of documents and spent 8 months producing the piece.

The result is a far-reaching documentary entitled “Torturing Democracy.” The film tells the inside story of the United States adoption of torture as an official policy following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Exclusive interviews with experts, insiders and rare footage provides a truly enlightening picture of a what GWU describes as a troubling chapter in recent American history.

Although the film was first released in 2008, it’s important to take another look at this important documentary and learn more about what hasn’t changed since its release.

Democracy and Torture

Following 9/11, a secret military program known as “Survival Evasion, Resistance and Escape” laid the groundwork for U.S. interrogation techniques. These harsh methods were employed by the CIA, interrogators at Guantanamo Bay and later, in Iraq.

Former SERE trainer for the Navy Malcolm Nance told interviewers with the National Security Archive that the tactics mirror those used by “a totalitarian, evil nation with a complete disregard for human rights and the Geneva Conventions.”

The film also discloses a document distributed to Guantanamo interrogators entitled “Interrogation Standard Operating Procedure.”

This document outlined the harsh methods employed and sanctioned by the United States government.

Today, the archive maintains updates and news on a comprehensive website, Here, the film can be streamed in its entirety.

The site also provides a timeline of key events, extended expert interviews, legal opinions and memos.

This is an important documentary highlighting just how far out-of-hand the global War on Terror has become, and a must-watch for anyone who wants to know what really went on at Guantanamo Bay.

Originally published on

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Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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