Documentary on U.S. torture seeks to begin process of truth-telling
By Muriel Kane
Friday, May 25, 2012 21:59 EDT
Since the close of the Bush administration, there has been little official attention paid to the policy during those years of using torture on accused terrorists in order to extract administration. As a result, the American Civil Liberties Union and the writers’ and human rights group PEN have conducted their own study of 150,000 declassified documents and other materials and have now published The Torture Report: What the Documents Say About America’s Post-9/11 Torture Program.
Larry Siems of PEN, a lead writer of the report, appeared Friday on the PBS program Moyers & Company along with Doug Liman, director of The Bourne Identity and Fair Game. Liman is currently putting together a documentary, Reckoning with Torture, based on readings of excerpts from those documents that have been staged by the ACLU and PEN.
- snip -
“You can’t believe some of these documents that they’ve uncovered,” Liman added. “And, you know, in a way it’s a tribute to this country that the Freedom of Information Act actually works, that you don’t actually need WikiLeaks. … You begin to recover just glimpses of humanity, because you hear the voices of detainees. We’ve never heard them. The whole system has been structured so you never hear them tell their stories.”
Siems emphasized that the documents also demonstrate that not everybody responded to the fear that followed 9/11 by endorsing torture. “I think one of the clearest stories that the documents tell,” he stated, “is that many, many people who are in positions of high responsibility had felt exactly the same pressure and had exactly the opposite reaction that John Yoo, and Dick Cheney, and George Bush had. There were a stream of legal memos that were written by the lawyers of every single service that challenged John Yoo’s memo. They fought, and fought, and fought.”