Steve Hochstadt: The question of effectiveness cannot be answered. I think it’s more important for our national self-respect to ask whether torture ought to be used by the American government whether or not it is effective.
Bill Blum: In the United States, military torturers and their political godfathers are granted amnesty automatically, simply for being American, solely for belonging to the “Good Guys Club”.
John Peeler: The release of this report, however, must be seen as a victory for Democratic liberals. They have won a key battle. The larger war over governing principles in foreign policy and international affairs will go on.
Tom Hall: If we look at the larger picture, what’s really happening here is that U.S. taxpayers are funding both (or all) sides of these civil wars, our war materiel suppliers are making out like bandits, and now we are being asked to, once again, ship our young men and women to be cannon fodder to feed the war industrial machine.
Jamala Rogers: Missouri has a history of screwed up executions. It once employed a dyslexic doctor with a history of malpractice suits to carry out its executions.
Diana Barajas: The conditions of isolation are incompatible with human nature, as social interactions and sensory stimulation are critical to human health and brain function.
Muna Adem: To date, more than two-thirds of nations worldwide have abolished the death penalty either in law or practice, and today the U.S. is the only democratic Western nation that imposes death sentences on its citizens.
Kate McCracken: We cannot just lock these youth up and throw away the key. Correctional facilities, deemed the “parent” of these youth, must provide a safe environment for youth to be successful.
Youth in Solitary: The U.S. is still the only country willing to allow its citizens to die in prison for crimes they commit as minors.
Jeremy Kuzmanov: The FBI was highly effective at using saboteurs to infiltrate and foment dissension within the New Left and encouraged counterproductive forms of protest, contributing to its eventual implosion.
Albert Woodfox has been confined to solitary for over 40 years: animal rights advocates would be outraged if animals got such treatment.
Helen Vera: Seriously mentally ill prisoners all over California continue to be held in long-term solitary confinement, even though a recent court order prohibits those conditions for the mentally ill at Pelican Bay.
Alexa Koenig: A report released this morning concludes that post-9/11, doctors and other health professionals working in U.S. security detention centers engaged in torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees.