No One Should Get Away With Torture

April 30, 2015

Professor Noam Chomsky (photo: Donna Coveney)
Professor Noam Chomsky (photo: Donna Coveney)

This is an American Torture Story.

Majid Khan was at the mercy of CIA interrogators for 1,200 days — at least. During that time, he was stripped. He was forced into ice water baths. He was “hung up” for a day in a sleep deprivation position. He was denied solid food for seven days.

After about a year, Majid Khan went on hunger strike to protest the treatment he was receiving. The CIA responded with “involuntary rectal feeding and rectal hydration.”  Majid’s lunch tray, consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins, was “pureed” and “rectally infused.” This happened repeatedly. Eventually, Majid Khan attempted to cut his wrists. 

I’m interested in the power of words.  Terms like “enhanced interrogation” or “rectal feeding” are clever disguises for the true term we should be using to describe the CIA’s treatment of Majid and more than 100 others: Torture.

The CIA can try to bury the truth of these atrocities, but it’s up to us to hold the agency responsible. Tell U.S. authorities that no one gets away with torture.

From 2002 to 2008, the U.S. government disappeared more than 100 men and subjected dozens of them to torture using some of the same “interrogation methods” they used against Majid Khan.

Despite the release of a report recently issued by a Senate committee, which provides evidence of these horrific crimes, the U.S. Justice Department refuses to act.

In fact, the department apparently refuses to even read the report – keeping it in a sealed envelope, unopened.

But the truth is undeniable, and no amount of wordplay can disguise it. Tell the U.S. Department of Justice that it must read and respond to the Senate’s report on torture.

Torture is a crime and no one should get away with it. It’s up to us to enforce that. Join us in telling this American torture story and use the power of your voice to speak out for justice.