Administration of Torture in the Bush White House

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Bush administration insisted that the torture at Abu Ghraib was an isolated aberration. The official documents tell a very different story. Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh have co-authored Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond.

Administration of Torture is available for purchase at

You can read some of the official documents discussed in Administration of Torture here:


Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh

Comments [12]

WB from NYC

Jon P.
The ready willingness of a substantial portion of the people to compromise their constitutional rights in the face of what they believe to be life threatening emergency (no doubt many of them would be gun owners) is one component of a scenario that would have people asking Bush to remain in power -- to deal with the "emergency" (real or feigned). No Army needed.
But I don't like mongering fear. The only value in these scenarios is to be guarded against them.

Nov. 20 2007 02:08 PM
Joan from Upper Westside

I heard Jaffer and Singh at their presentation at the Columbia Law School a couple of weeks ago. The information they presented was impressive and shocking, but Leonard Lopate's interview was even more effective in making the point. It distresses me that such an important subject gets so little attention, so I appreciate Leonard's contribution to the discussion.

Nov. 20 2007 01:53 PM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ


Its impossible for this country to go to a police state, that’s just silly. But let’s just assume for a second that Bush try’s to stay in power. Who’s going to keep him there, the Army? As much as people don’t like it, there are more guns privately held in this country that would make it impossible for any one group to take it over, not even our own army. And contrary to what most anti gun people think, not all gun owners like Bush. But they do like freedom and their constitutional rights and have shown they are not willing to give their rights for anything….

Nov. 20 2007 01:44 PM
WB from NYC

I am against toture of anyone, by anyone in any capacity in any government that represents me. I am appalled (and frankly frightened) by the extent this administration has already and will yet go, to keep secret, misconstrue and blatantly lie about their illegal activities (not limited to torture). I applaud ACLU and WNYC for informing people.
Are we headed for a police state? Will Bush give up power in January 2008? I am caused to contemplate such scenarios and possibilities and they seem not at all impossible.

Nov. 20 2007 01:32 PM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

I hate to break the bad news to all the Bush haters (don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of his) but torture is nothing new. It’s been used in every war man kind has ever been in, regardless of the Geneva Convention or what leader or president is in charge. Vietnam is a fine example. From JFK to Nixon, torture was openly and liberally used. Some even account that our own government used it against our own soldiers in Vietnam. It’s used against us and it’s used by every nation, good or bad. You’re extremely naive to think otherwise. The only difference is that Bush’s clowns were too stupid and got caught. IF you really want to stop torture, it has to be a worldwide fight, not just against George Bush and his cronies. If you think the world will stop or even slow down torturing anybody if Bush is put up on a cross and crucified, take your blinders off and look what’s going on in the rest of the world. There are a lot of bad people out there on all sides that aren’t going to be out of office anytime soon….

Nov. 20 2007 01:24 PM
Eric from B'klyn

There appears to be an error with the link for "Document2"

The Lopate Show responds: Thanks for letting us know. We are changing the links.

Nov. 20 2007 01:03 PM
Eric from B'klyn

Leonard wonders/asks why the public has tolerated the use of torture, even giving Bush a 2nd term after Abu Ghraib. I think that the White House successfully spins and obfuscates issues through the use Orwellian language and the mainstream media swallows it whole: torture is an 'enhanced interrogation technique'; kidnapping is 'extraordinary rendition'; prisoners of war are 'unlawful combatants' to name just a few.
Can this uncritical acceptance of distorted language be challenged? In the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Brent Cunningham, its managing editor, floats an idea for the journalism community as a whole to consider: the creation of a 'rhetoric beat'. He asks: "What if on 9/11 our major media outlets had employed reporters whose sole job it was to cover the rhetoric of politics—to parse the language of our elected leaders, challenge it, and explain the thinking behind it, the potential power it can have to legitimize certain actions and policies and render others illegitimate?"
This is a link to the full article:

Nov. 20 2007 12:56 PM
Watching You

This is disgusting and a disgrace to humanity.

Abu Ghraib illustrates that torturing human beings is one way perverts get a thrill, it is NOT an effective means of extracting information from hostile, uncooperative prisoners of war.

Nov. 20 2007 12:49 PM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

What I want to know is: with extraordinary rendition, does this allow those governments to carry out ANY form of torture they want? Or are the instances of waterboarding what those countries doing? In other words, is the waterboarding the basic outer limit of what OUR people are allowed to do, and then "our" allies have a free hand to do virtually anything? Or is waterboarding what these other governments been limited to in dealing with the detainees we hand over to them?

Nov. 20 2007 12:23 PM
Chad Harris from Ridgewood

The reason they use torture is so the defendants incriminate themselves and help create fake threats in the US.

Forcing someone to say "WMD" or "Dirty Bomb" will make them say it.

Stop the insanity. It does not work and you should know WHY they use it. It's not fun for anyone.

Nov. 20 2007 12:16 PM
Chad Harris from Ridgewood

It's 2007 why are we even discussing torture.

I can't believe my ears.

Nov. 20 2007 12:15 PM

Its good to see the youngest daughter of Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India in action. Will she go back to India and follow in Dad's footsteps someday?

Nov. 20 2007 12:14 PM

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