Thursday, March 27, 2008

Meeting March 23

We went over to Mady's apartment and she shared some of her mom's banana bread and homemade cookies. We talked a little bit about the National Week of Student Action coming up March 31 - April 5.

Then, we watched the film Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. It was a really powerful film and got us talking about of a lot of the problems that have surfaced since the current administration's handling of the "war on terror." The film's website has a really good resource page.

Some of the issues involved include
  • the Third Geneva Convention (this text from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) and whether it does or does not apply to "unlawful enemy combatants." Here is a background paper on some of the issues in terms of international law.
  • The use of and definition of torture (this article from the Washington Post talks about how the justice department and the department of defense have been pushing legal limits in defining torture, allowing things that are explicitly prohibited in the Army Field Manual)
  • the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (here's a Wikipedia rundown of the act. You can read Amnesty's position here)
Here is "A Guide to the Memos on Torture"

And here are a few more articles...

"Abu Ghraib Techniques were first Used at Guantanamo"
"Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations" (this article has good explanations of the interactions between the different branches and characters in the U.S. government)

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