Before the US invasion of Iraq, before the American public saw the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib, the CIA went to the White House with a question: What, according to the Constitution, was the line separating interrogation from torture—and could that line be moved? The White House lawyers’ answer—in the form of legal documents later known as the “Torture Memos”—became the US’s justification for engaging in torture.
The Torturer in the Mirror shows us how when one of us tortures, we are all implicated in the crime. In three uncompromising essays, Iraqi dissident Haifa Zangana, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and professor of sociology Thomas Ehrlich Reifer teach us how physically and psychologically insidious torture is, how deep a mark it leaves on both its victims and its practitioners, and how necessary it is for us as a society to hold torturers accountable.
Published in 2010.