Torture & American Culture–An Inquiry and Reflection: Panel 2

American Elites and Their Response to Torture

Panel 2, part 1 (see part 2 and Further Reflections 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 2 Moderator: Professor Frederick Wertz, Fordham University, Department of Psychology
Panel: Legal Profession: Dean William Treanor, Dean, Fordham University School of Law
Military and Intelligence: Col. Patrick Lang (Ret.), President, Global Resources Group
Religion: Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., Editor, America Magazine
Psychology: Prof. Stephen Behnke, Ethics Office, American Psychological Association

Panel 2, part 2

Further Reflections