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Book Cover
Author McCoy, Alfred W.

Title Torture and impunity : the U.S. doctrine of coercive interrogation / Alfred W. McCoy
Published Madison : The University of Wisconsin Press, [2012]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xviii, 401 pages) : illustrations
Series Critical human rights
Critical human rights.
Contents The CIA's pursuit of psychological torture -- Science in Dachau's shadow -- Torture in the crucible of counterinsurgency -- Theater state of terror -- The seduction of psychological torture -- The outcast of Camp Echo -- Psychological torture and public forgetting
Summary From the publisher. Many Americans have condemned the "enhanced interrogation" techniques used in the War on Terror as a transgression of human rights. But the United States has done almost nothing to prosecute past abuses or prevent future violations. Tracing this knotty contradiction from the 1950s to the present, historian Alfred W. McCoy probes the political and cultural dynamics that have made impunity for torture a bipartisan policy of the U.S. government. During the Cold War, McCoy argues, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency covertly funded psychological experiments designed to weaken a subject's resistance to interrogation. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the CIA revived these harsh methods, while U.S. media was flooded with seductive images that normalized torture for many Americans. Ten years later, the U.S. had failed to punish the perpetrators or the powerful who commanded them, and continued to exploit intelligence extracted under torture by surrogates from Somalia to Afghanistan. Although Washington has publicly distanced itself from torture, disturbing images from the prisons at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are seared into human memory, doing lasting damage to America's moral authority as a world leader
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 335-369) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
Print version record
Subject United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
Impunity -- United States.
Military interrogation -- United States -- History.
Torture -- Government policy -- United States.
Torture -- United States -- History.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0299288536 (e-book)
0299288536 (electronic bk.)
9780299288532 (electronic bk.)