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September 11 did not, as some people say, “change everything.” The United States was involved in torture before 9/11, and afterwards that involvement only increased. What did change – for the worse – was how people in this country think and feel about torture.
In Mainstreaming Torture, Rebecca Gordon argues that institutionalized state torture remains as wrong today as it was on the day before the terrible attacks of September 11. U.S. practices during the “war on terror” are rooted in a long history that begins before the nation was founded, and that continues both in the “war on terror” and in the use of torture in present-day American jails and prisons. Torture is still an urgent moral issue. Come hear what it is, how it works, and what we can do to stop it.
Rebecca teaches at the University of San Francisco and is a member of the WarTimes/Tiempo de Guerras collective. www.mainstreamingtorture.org