Monday, June 01, 2009

Torturing Democracy

Based on the strong recommendation from Bill Moyers, I watched "Torturing Democracy" over the weekend. It is a very meticulous and well-made documentary available free on-line that chronicles the path from 9/11 to the use of "enhanced interrogation" (i.e. torture) techniques by agents of the United States, as well as the role of high-level officials in the Bush Administration in authorizing them. While this is a story that many of us have been hearing about in bits and pieces over the last several years, it is really helpful to have it all in one place. I think it would be a good documentary for a wider audience too, including those who are not already human rights activitists. It includes interviews with former detainees, highly shocking but not gratuitiously graphic visual images, documentary evidence, and earnest testimonials from U.S. officials within the system who opposed what they saw happening. By the end of it, the case for high-level complicity in international human rights crimes seemed well established. I think every U.S. citizen--especially those who are tempted by the idea that we should put all of this behind us and move on--ought to see this film.