Talking About Torture: How Political Discourse Shapes the Debate by Jared Del RossoTalking About Torture: How Political Discourse Shapes the Debate by Jared Del Rosso

Talking About Torture: How Political Discourse Shapes the Debate

byJared Del Rosso

Hardcover | June 9, 2015

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When the photographs depicting torture at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were released in 2004, U.S. politicians attributed the incident to a few bad apples in the American military, exonerated high-ranking members of the George W. Bush administration, promoted Guantánamo as a model prison, and dismissed the illegality of the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation." By the end of the Bush administration, members of both major congressional parties had come to denounce enhanced interrogation as torture and argue for the closing of Guantánamo.

What initiated this shift? In Talking About Torture, Jared Del Rosso reviews transcripts from congressional hearings and scholarship on denial, torture, and state violence to document this wholesale change in rhetoric and attitude toward the use of torture by the CIA and the U.S. military during the War on Terror. He plots the evolution of the "torture issue" in U.S. politics and its manipulation by politicians to serve various ends. Most important, Talking About Torture integrates into the debate about torture the testimony of those who suffered under American interrogation practices and demonstrates how the conversation continues to influence current counterterrorism policies, such as the reliance on drones.

Jared Del Rosso is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Denver.
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Title:Talking About Torture: How Political Discourse Shapes the DebateFormat:HardcoverDimensions:296 pagesPublished:June 9, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231170920

ISBN - 13:9780231170925

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Table of Contents

PrefaceA Note on the Senate Intelligence Committee's Report on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation ProgramIntroduction1. The Torture Word2. The Heartbreak of Acknowledgment: From Metropolitan Detention Center to Abu Ghraib3. Isolating Incidents4. Sadism on the Night Shift: Accounting for Abu Ghraib5. "Honor Bound": The Political Legacy of Guantánamo6. The Toxicity of Torture: Waterboarding and the Debate About "Enhanced Interrogation"7. From "Enhanced Interrogation" to Drones: U.S. Counterterrorism and the Legacy of TortureAppendix: Constructionism and the Reality of TortureNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

The book is provocative, meticulous in its research and fascinating, underlining how Americans-or at least the political class-came to justify the use of torture.