cover image The Torturer in the Mirror

The Torturer in the Mirror

Ramsey Clark, Thomas Ehrlich Reifer, and Haifa Zangana, Seven Stories, $8.95 trade paper (88p) ISBN 9781583229132

Three scorching essays admonish the Bush administration and outline how it "willfully violated the Geneva Conventions" following 9/11. Combined, these works by Zangana, an Iraqi dissident and one-time political prisoner under Saddam Hussein, former U.S. Attorney General Clark, and professor of sociology Ehrlich, establish the inhumanity and trauma of torture, the self-defeating effects of using torture in the name of "national security," and the violent hypocrisy for which most other countries in the world now fault the U.S. Zangana references the Abu Ghraib atrocities as the point when Iraqis began to "compare Saddam's regime with the brutality of the [U.S.] occupation," explaining that "Saddam's regime, unlike the U.S. administration, did not claim to promote human rights and democracy." Those Americans not upset by the knowledge that torture was committed by their leaders, Clark writes, "are themselves a threat to American freedom and human dignity." This powerfully lucid collection should be required reading for every American. (Sept.)