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Authorizing Torture: The Gestapo and Abu Ghraib

Complete video at: Torture and Democracy author Darius Rejali says that top down authorization of enhanced interrogation techniques frequently lead to systematic abuse as guidelines trickle down the ranks. He compares integration abuses by the Gestapo of Nazi Germany to the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. ----- In his lecture for Sydney Ideas, Darius Rejali traces the development and application of one torture technique after another in the last century, and he reaches startling conclusions. As the twentieth century progressed, he argues, democracies not only tortured, but set the international pace for torture. Dictatorships may have tortured more, and more indiscriminately, but the United States, Britain, and France pioneered and exported techniques that have become the lingua franca of modern torture: methods that leave no marks. Rejali takes up the challenging question of whether torture works and also addresses what to expect of the new Obama administration and the prospects for the future of torture internationally. - Australian Broadcasting Corporation Darius Rejali, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Reed College, is a nationally recognized expert on government torture and interrogation. Iranian-born, Rejali has spent his scholarly career reflecting on violence, specifically, reflecting on the causes, consequences, and meaning of modern torture in our world. His work spans concerns in political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, and critical social theory. He is a 2003 Carnegie Scholar, recognized for his innovative approaches to the study of violence. Torture and Democracy (2007) is Rejali's most recent book.
Length: 03:21


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