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Making Contact

Soon after 911, 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 it’s con­nec­tion to pow­er and race, espe­cial­ly if we want to hold gov­ern­ments and inter­roga­tors account­able for their crimes.