The book is international in scope, but was originally prompted by the miscast framing of the so-called "torture debate" in the US during the past several years. The present collection is less about legalistic wrangling and instrumental reasoning and more an attempt to broaden the scope of the discussion over torture. Torture is wrong, of course, and this book collectively makes the case. But the central goal of the book is to expand our understanding, hopefully, of the multifaceted nature, causes, and implications of torture... This was not an easy book to do, and some of the writers took serious risks by contributing to it.
Note: Washington, DC on November 18th, Hilde will be participating in the symposium "On Torture," to be held at George Washington University (from 9am to 6:30pm). The keynote speakers are Santiago Canton (head of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) and Aryeh Neier (President of the Open Society Institute, a founder of Human Rights Watch, and author of several books). Other speakers draw from the book, and also include David Luban (Georgetown Law) and Manfred Gnjidic (lawyer for rendition victim Khaled el-Masri). More anon.
UPDATE: Read Hilde's
testimony on torture before the U.S. Helsinki Commission.