America’s Torture Past and Present

The United State’s Real Record on Human Rights

“You must make the injustice visible, and be prepared to die like a soldier to do so.” – from the movie “Gandhi” (1982)

“I believe for many years now that journalism, particularly television journalism, by its failure to show the real horror of war has become a lethal weapon supporting governments that want to go to war.”

-Robert Fisk (Middle East Correspondent, The Independent)

“CRAIG MURRAY: I think it’s just what any decent person would do, I mean, when you come across people being boiled and their fingernails pulled out or having their children raped in front of them [by CIA funded and created black sites in Uzbekistan], you just can’t go along with it and sleep at night.”

– Former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan “The Wests Torture Farm” ABC Australia, April 2005

“The report is updated at a later date: “The corpse was a LN (local national) male child. The corpse was taken to ######## general hospital. IA (Iraqi Army) reported the child had died from blunt force trauma to the head [by US backed forces]. Several small holes originally thought to be gunshot wounds were holes caused by a drill. Closed.” – BBC

“He [Chief CIA Iran Analyst Jesse Leaf] said that the C.I.A. sent an operative to teach interrogation methods to SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police, that the training included instructions in torture, and the techniques were copied from the Nazis.” – NY Times The FAS list of SAVAK torture methods included “electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails.”

“Robert Fisk revealed that the eagerness for torture reached such heights that the CIA produced a film for SAVAK on how to torture women (Independent 8/9/98).”

“Pinochet’s humanitarian violations have been euphemized by the media for general consumption. We are presented with words, but not images. We read about “torture” or “disappearance” rather than protracted descriptions of the crimes. This form of synecdoche has become widely abused as it has given the world the luxury of debating the abuses without tackling the reality. . . . When Iris and I discuss torture, she vaguely refers to how terrible “it” was and shakes her head. She then focuses on telling me about her family and how valuable they have been. In a way, we dance around the ugliness of the crimes just as the media and post-Pinochet debates do. The difference is we aren’t avoiding something unknown, but rather something she knows too well.” – The Harvard Crimson, 1873

“Once at the prison camp, agents questioned Ayress for hours to gain information about liberal intelligence. She refused to answer and suffered immense torture. Ayress’s torture began with nude beatings. Agents yelled insults at her while they beat her. They screamed, “Speak, red dog, or we will shoot your father and brother in front of you!” Each day her torture worsened. Agents sliced her skin and burnt her with cigarettes. Then they hung her from the ceiling and crammed tree limbs and coke bottles into her vagina and anus. As the days passed Ayress endured more gruesome treatment. Tortures stripped her naked and placed her on metal bed springs where they shocked her tongue and vagina. Guards employed animals to conduct torture on Ayress and forced her to endure rape by Dobermans. They also shoved starved rats into her vagina. She screamed as the rats ripped and tore their way out. Guards raped Ayress over 40 times and consequently she became pregnant. She feared that if her torturers learned of her pregnancy she would face maniacal experimentation on her fetus. She kept quiet about her pregnancy but as a result of endless torture miscarried.” -Personal Web Pages of UAH Students, Faculty and Staff (

“Conditions at the camp were designed to break down the sense of humanity of the prisoners. Ayress was frequently held incommunicado in a cell about six feet by six feet. Food came infrequently and then was thrown on the floor, where she was forced to eat like an animal on all fours. Most days a guard took her to a latrine at 6 a.m. Since she had no soap and no way to heal the burns and cuts thac created open wounds all over and inside her body, she had massive infections. . . Ayress and her friend began a campaign that has continued with increasing vigor to this day.” See pages 170-171 of the following National Security Archive Book purchased at a UW bookstore: Kornblum, Peter.

“The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier of Atrocity and Accountability,” New York: New, 2013. Print. “It [UN Commission for Reception,Truth and Reconciliation report] documents a litany of massacres, thousands of summary executions of civilians and the torture of 8500 East Timorese – with horrific details of public beheadings, the mutilation of genitalia, the burying and burning alive of victims, use of cigarettes to burn victims, and ears and genitals being lopped off to display to families. . . . [It recommends reparations from Indonesia, Britain, the US and Australia.]” – Yale (Bill Clinton, on video, evaded the issue saying, “we want to look forward” and then laughed if off…a typical ploy for tortures to continue their actions. Imagine a murderer using this logic in the court of law— recall Nuremberg.)

This is just a small example of some of the torture that has been done with our tax money, in our names. During WWII American interrogators said how they got more and better intel from their captives by offering them cigarettes and by playing chess with them. Much of the intel gathered in the ‘war on terror’ has been faulty due to the fact that mere suspects are held without trials and when under torture willingness to say anything increases. There are competing firms that are incentivized to produce large amounts of intel whether it’s good or bad. John Yoo, the former Bush torture memo lawyer suggested it was okay to “crush the testicles of a small child” if the President deemed this necessary…In 1996 the School of the Americas officially admitted they train torture. Naomi Klein’s documentary “Shock Doctrine” has video of a SOA/WHINSEC representative proudly admitting this, yet we use these very pretexts to invade other Nations. For more information please visit: and sign the petition “End US/NATO War Crimes and Abuses of Power.” To take direct action please follow this link that will direct you to your representatives:

“Mommy, they’re killing us.” – last words of Salvadoran woman’s daughter during El Mozote Massacre of 900 villagers by SOA graduates… “The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated.” – Nuremberg Trials, Opening Address by the United States “Since the end of World War 2, the United States has: Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries. Plus … although not easily quantified … more involved in the practice of torture than any other country in the world … for over a century … not just performing the actual torture, but teaching it, providing the manuals, and furnishing the equipment.” &

“Full-spectrum dominance means the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.” – Department of Defense (DoD)

In the words of The Rev. & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Silence is Betrayal.” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Please join/donate to the world renowned organizations and “We’re only 30 or 40 votes short of winning. That means that if people around the country hear about this [SOA training torture and murder] and write their congressman, we can win. This is an issue we can win on.” – Congressman Joseph Kennedy (School of the Americas: School of Assassins, narrated by Susan Sarandon)