Torture & American Culture—An Inquiry and Reflection: Panel 1

Popular Culture, Graphic Representations of Torture and Violence

Panel 1, part 1 (see parts 2 and 3 below)

The photographs that revealed the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib shocked the world. American military personnel and civilian contractors are seen engaged in practices prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, the Army Field Manual, and U.S. and international law. Further revelations about CIA rendition policies, deaths in custody, Guantanamo detainees, and government secrecy raise critical questions about U.S. culture and the practices and conditions that have fostered the resort to torture.

This Headline Forum, sponsored by the Fordham Center for Religion and Culture examined two issues:

  1. What in U.S. culture predisposes us to torture or to a tolerance for torture?
  2. What strengths and weaknesses have U.S. leadership groups (political, military, religious, medical, psychological, legal, etc.) exhibited in responding to the current controversies over torture?

Panel 1 Moderator: Bill McGarvey, Editor-in-Chief, Busted Halo, Online Magazine
Panel: David Danzig, Human Rights First, Director, Primetime Torture Project, Professor Todd Gitlin, Columbia University School of Journalism, Richard Alleva, Film Critic, Commonweal

Panel 1, part 2

Panel 1, part 3