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Professor Cohn’s United States and Torture Released in Paperback

April 10, 2012

US and Torture

Professor Cohn’s widely praised book, The United States and Torture (NYU Press) has just come out in paperback. She is the editor and co-author of a collection of chapters on U.S. practices, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, sensory manipulation and other enhanced interrogation techniques.

“I hope this book will be of interest to readers who seek to learn about the cruelty our government has visited upon others under the guise of national security,” said Professor Cohn, who gave a presentation on her book at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee on April 12, along with an interview on Wisconsin Public Radio April 10 and an April 13 appearance at Marquette.

The recent announcement of impending military trials in Guantanamo of long-term detainees, and the suppressed torture memo just disclosed, makes Professor Cohn’s presentation and interview even more timely. 

“At both University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette Law School, I encountered thoughtful and curious folks who are concerned about what their government has done in their name,” said Professor Cohn. “ A female student asked me, ‘Tell me what I have to do to be you.'”

According to NYU Press: “Torture has been a topic of national discussion ever since it was revealed that ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ had been authorized as part of the war on terror. The United States and Torture provides us with a larger lens through which to view America’s policy of torture, one that dissects America’s long relationship with interrogation and torture, which roots back to the 1950s and has been applied, mostly in secret, to ‘enemies,’ ever since.

The United States and Torture opens with a compelling preface by Sister Dianna Ortiz, who describes the unimaginable treatment she endured in Guatemala in 1987 at the hands of the Guatemalan government, which was supported by the United States. Following Ortiz’s preface, an interdisciplinary panel of experts offers one of the most comprehensive examinations of torture to date, beginning with the Cold War era and ending with today’s debate over accountability for torture.

Ultimately, this gripping, interdisciplinary work details the complicity of the United States government in the torture and cruel treatment of prisoners both at home and abroad and discusses what can be done to hold those who set the torture policy accountable.”

Contributors to The United States and Torture include: Professor Cohn, Richard Falk, Marc D. Falkoff, Terry Lynn Karl, John W. Lango, Jane Mayer, Alfred W. McCoy, Jeanne Mirer, Sister Dianna Ortiz, Jordan J. Paust, Bill Quigley, Michael Ratner, Thomas Ehrlich Reifer, Philippe Sands, Stephen Soldz, and Lance Tapley.