Torture and Democracy by Darius RejaliTorture and Democracy by Darius Rejali

Torture and Democracy

byDarius Rejali

Paperback | June 28, 2009

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This is the most comprehensive, and most comprehensively chilling, study of modern torture yet written. Darius Rejali, one of the world's leading experts on torture, takes the reader from the late nineteenth century to the aftermath of Abu Ghraib, from slavery and the electric chair to electrotorture in American inner cities, and from French and British colonial prison cells and the Spanish-American War to the fields of Vietnam, the wars of the Middle East, and the new democracies of Latin America and Europe.

As Rejali traces the development and application of one torture technique after another in these settings, he reaches startling conclusions. As the twentieth century progressed, he argues, democracies not only tortured, but set the international pace for torture. Dictatorships may have tortured more, and more indiscriminately, but the United States, Britain, and France pioneered and exported techniques that have become the lingua franca of modern torture: methods that leave no marks. Under the watchful eyes of reporters and human rights activists, low-level authorities in the world's oldest democracies were the first to learn that to scar a victim was to advertise iniquity and invite scandal. Long before the CIA even existed, police and soldiers turned instead to "clean" techniques, such as torture by electricity, ice, water, noise, drugs, and stress positions. As democracy and human rights spread after World War II, so too did these methods.

Rejali makes this troubling case in fluid, arresting prose and on the basis of unprecedented research--conducted in multiple languages and on several continents--begun years before most of us had ever heard of Osama bin Laden or Abu Ghraib. The author of a major study of Iranian torture, Rejali also tackles the controversial question of whether torture really works, answering the new apologists for torture point by point. A brave and disturbing book, this is the benchmark against which all future studies of modern torture will be measured.

Darius Rejaliis professor of political science at Reed College and an internationally recognized expert on modern torture. He is the author ofTorture and Modernity: Self, Society, and State in Modern Iran.
Title:Torture and DemocracyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:880 pagesPublished:June 28, 2009Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691143331

ISBN - 13:9780691143330

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Table of Contents

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

Historical Claims 3

Puzzles and Cautions 5

The Priority of Public Monitoring 8

Variations among States 11

Variations within States 15

National Styles of Stealth Torture 16

Torture and Democracy 21

Does Torture Work? 23

Who Cares? 25

Part I: Torture and Democracy 33

Chapter 1: Modern Torture and Its Observers 35

Defining Torture 36

Monitoring Torture 39

Chapter 2: Torture and Democracy 45

The National Security Model 46

The Juridical Model 49

The Civic Discipline Model 55

Hell Is in the Details 60

Part II: Remembering Stalinism and Nazism 65

Introduction 67

Chapter 3: Lights, Heat, and Sweat 69

Sweating and Stealth in America 70

British Psychological Techniques 74

Interrogation Elsewhere in Europe 76

Sweating and Stealth in Russia 79

The Spread of the Russian Style 83

Remembering Pavlov 87

Chapter 4: Whips and Water 91

Labussie`re's List 92

Documenting Nazi Torture 93

Torture in Germany 95

Torture in Nazi-Occupied Europe 97

Remembering the War 104

Chapter 5: Bathtubs 108

Masuy's Bathtub 109

Marty's Magneto 111

The French Gestapo and Electric Torture 112

The Decline of Sweating and Stealth 115

The German Gestapo and Modern Torture 117

Remembering Nuremberg 117

The Search for Electric Torture 118

Part III: A History of Electric Stealth 121

Chapter 6: Shock 123

The AC/DC Controversy and the Electric Chair 124

The Mystery of Electric Death 126

Early Police Devices 128

The Mystery of Shock 132

Early Medical Devices 135

Transmitting Shock 138

Later Medical Devices 139

Remembering the Animals 141

Chapter 7: Magnetos 144

What Is a Magneto? 145

Indochina, 1931 146

Out of Indochina 149

Korea, 1931 150

Out of Korea 152

The Lost History of the Magneto 155

French and British Electrotorture after World War II 157

The Colonial Police and Wuillaume's List 160

The Triumph of the Ge´ge`ne 161

Algeria, 1960 163

Remembering the Gestapo 165

Chapter 8: Currents 167

South Vietnamese Torture 170

Vietnam, 1968 172

Bell Telephone Hour 174

Out of Vietnam Again 178

Variation within the French Style 183

Cattle Prods 185

The Electric Cornucopia 186

Remembering Vietnam 188

Chapter 9: Singing the World Electric 190

When Electrotorture Was New 190

Explaining Clean Electrotorture 194

Crafting Electrotorture 197

Surging Forward 201

The Americas 203

Middle East and North Africa 207

Asia 209

Sub-Saharan Africa 211

Europe and Central Asia 214

Explaining the Surge 216

Remembering the Cold War 222

Chapter 10: Prods, Tasers, and Stun Guns 225

Electric Utopia 225

Electric-Free Protest 227

Stun Technology 229

Covering America 230

Remembering Eutopia 237

Chapter 11: Stun City 239

Magneto Torture in Chicago 240

Stun and Torture 242

Tasers and Torture 245

Burning Issues 248

Stun and Democracy 249

But No One Died 252

Civic Shock 253

Welcome to Stun City 255

Part IV: Other Stealth Traditions 259

Introduction 261

Chapter 12: Sticks and Bones 269

Clean Whipping 269

Paddles 271

Beating Feet 273

Remembering Slaves and Sailors 277

Chapter 13: Water, Sleep, and Spice 279

Pumping 280

Choking 281

Showers and Ice 285

Salt and Spice 287

Deprivation of Sleep 290

Remembering the Inquisition 292

Chapter 14: Stress and Duress 294

Great and Lesser Stress Traditions 295

British Stress Tortures 296

French Stress Tortures 301

American Stress Tortures 306

Authoritarian Adaptations 311

Remembering the Eighteenth Century 314

Chapter 15: Forced Standing and Other Positions 316

Old Users after the War 317

Positional Tortures in the Communist World 322

Positional Tortures in the Non-Communist World 324

The Universal Distributor Hypothesis Revisited 329

Remembering the Hooded Men 332

Chapter 16: Fists and Exercises 334

Clean Beating 335

Adapting "the Necktie" 341

Exhaustion Exercises 342

Remembering the Grunts and the Cops 345

Chapter 17: Old and New Restraints 347

Bucking (the Parrot's Perch) 347

The Crapaudine 349

Standing Handcuffs 350

Sweatboxes 351

Adapting Old Restraints 353

The Shabeh 354

Remembering the Allied POWs 357

Chapter 18: Noise 360

Low-Technology Noise 360

High-Technology Noise 363

The CIA and Sensory Deprivation Boxes 368

Beyond the Laboratory 371

Principles and Guinea Pigs 373

Remembering Evil 384

Chapter 19: Drugs and Doctors 385

Police and Drugs 386

The CIA and Drugs 388

The Decline of Pharmacological Torture 390

Soviet Pharmacological Torture 392

Communist Pyschoprisons 394

Lines of Defense 397

Remembering the Prison Doctors 401

V Politics and Memory 403

Chapter 20: Supply and Demand for Clean Torture 405

Historical Claims 406

The Priority of Public Monitoring 409

Variations among and within States 414

National Styles of Stealth Torture 419

The Strength of Low Technology 423

The Power of Whispers 426

Why Styles Change 434

Disciplinary Interventions 439

The Demand for Torture 444

Chapter 21: Does Torture Work? 446

Can Torture Be Scientific? 447

Can Torture Be Restrained? 450

Does Technology Help? 453

Can Torture Be Professionally Conducted? 454

Works Better Than What? 458

Is Anything Better Than Nothing? 460

How Well Do Interrogators Spot the Truth? 463

How Well Do Cooperative Prisoners Remember? 466

How Good Is the Intelligence Overall? 469

Even When Time Is Short? 474

Remembering the Questions 478

Chapter 22: What the Apologists Say 480

Remembering the Battle of Algiers 481

Information in the Battle of Algiers 482

French Interrogation Units 485

Coerced Information in the Algerian War 487

Saving Innocents, Losing Wars 492

Gestapo Stories 493

Stories from the Resistance 495

CIA Stories 500

The Interrogation of Al Qaeda 503

Abu Ghraib and Guanta´namo 508

Afghanistan 511

Testimonial Literature from Other Conflicts 513

Remembering Abu Ghraib 518

Chapter 23: Why Governments Don't Learn 519

How Knowledge Does Not Accumulate 520

How Knowledge Is Not Analyzed 521

How Torture Warrants Might Help 523

Regulating Torture 526

Variations in Regulative Failure 529

Stealth and the Regulation of Torture 532

How Knowledge Does Not Matter 533

Remembering the Soldiers 535

Chapter 24: The Great Age of Torture in Modern Memory 537

The Great Rift 538

The Architecture of Amnesia 540

The Designs of Genius 542

Demons in the City 543

Algerian Souvenirs 545

Caring for the Memories 550


A: A List of Clean Tortures 553

B: Issues of Method 557

C: Organization and Explanations 566

D: A Note on Sources for American Torture during the Vietnam War 581

Notes 593

Selected Bibliography 781

Index 819

Editorial Reviews

"Torture and Democracy is a provocative, state-of-the-art consideration of what Rejali calls 'stealth' or 'clean' torture. He makes a powerful case that democracies tend to be laboratories for these forms of torture and that one of the unintended consequences of democratization is that torture, rather than being eliminated, becomes harder to identify and document."-Austin Sarat, Amherst College