US History Is Defined by the Use of Torture

Soon after 9/11, the US began holding people in secret prisons around the world in places called “black sites.” Black sites were secret and what happened within them was unknown. When we did learn about the techniques our government was using to extract information, we were told it was not torture but something called “enhanced interrogation.” It sounded new and not so brutal. But it was torture. An updated version of it, but torture nonetheless, which forced us to think about what we were willing to do to other human beings in a state of war. In this episode, Rebecca Gordon argues that enhanced interrogation isn’t new. Torture as a tactic has been used by the United States since its inception to control people and suppress uprisings, domestically and abroad. She wants us to confront our history with torture and its connection to power and race, especially if we want to hold governments and interrogators accountable for their crimes.