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Democracy Now: Historian Alfred McCoy

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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-01-09 06:37 PM
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Democracy Now: Historian Alfred McCoy
Historian Alfred McCoy: Obama Reluctance on Bush Prosecutions Affirms Culture of Impunity


ALFRED McCOY: Were at a critical moment in the debate about torture. Were at the exact moment historically weve been at six times over the past forty years. Whats happened since really 1970, right up to the present, because weve been engaged in torture continuously throughout this entire period, is that Congress and the press will conduct a major expos of torture; the public will be momentarily aroused; there will be no sustained investigation, no prosecution, no penalty; the practice will continue. A few more years later, another revelation, another round of debate, discussion, nothing done, and then it emerges again.

So I think whats fairly certain to say, that if the past teaches us anything, that unless there is serious prosecution and something beyond simply a legislative investigation, something more binding, something more permanent, that within five or six years, well be faced with another major torture scandal just like this one, except it will be worse, because the world will remember this expos. Theyll think that we tried to correct, and we didnt correct, and theyll realize that this is in fact American state policy, that torture is part of the apparatus of American power.


ALFRED McCOY: Right. Thats exactly how you get impunity. Thats whats happened every single time in the past. For example, in 1970, the House and Senate of the United States discovered that the Phoenix Program had been engaged in systematic torture, that they had killed through extraditial executions 46,000 South Vietnamese. Thats about the same number of American combat deaths in South Vietnam. Nothing was done. There was no punishment, and the policy of torture continued.

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hg4 Donating Member (77 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-01-09 09:47 PM
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1. another good McCoy interview
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