If you’re in London on Sunday afternoon, and want to attend a free screening of the documentary film “Doctors of the Dark Side” followed by a Q&A session in which I’m speaking, then please come along to a screening put on by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (the campaign to free Shaker Aamer, the last British prisoner in Guantánamo) in Balham, in south London — and RSVP (all details below). You can also click on the image of the poster on the left to see a larger version of it.
“Doctors of the Dark Side,” directed by Martha Davis, a clinical psychologist, and narrated by the actress Mercedes Ruehl, explores the role of physicians and psychologists in the torture of prisoners in the “war on terror” — not just the ordinary personnel who served as the foot soldiers of torture, and who continue to do so in their role force-feeding hunger strikers at Guantánamo, but also the more senior individuals who recommended the torture program that was subsequently approved at the highest levels of the Bush administration — men like James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, psychologists who worked on military programs to teach US personnel to resist torture if captured by a hostile enemy, and who reverse-engineered the techniques they taught for the torture of prisoners in the “war on terror.”
I saw the film almost a year ago, at UCL in London, where I was privileged to meet Martha Davis, and I also attended a couple of screenings in the US in January, during my annual visit to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo on the anniversary of its opening, where I also met Martha again — and I can wholeheartedly recommend the film to anyone who wants to thoroughly comprehend the role of psychologists and physicians in the Bush administration’s “war on terror” torture program, and to understand how significant and depressing it is that no one has been held accountable for the torture program — with the exception of the “few bad apples” held responsible for abuse in Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and Bagram in Afghanistan, who, of course, were not working unsupervised, and were part of a chain of command that went right to the very top of the Bush administration. Read the rest of this entry »
For anyone in south east London who wants to know more about Guantánamo, about what is happening there now, and about the fate of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, please feel free to come along to “Supermaxed,” an event at Goldsmith’s College in New Cross this Wednesday, December 12, 2012, which has been put together by Goldsmiths Stop the War society. The event runs from 5-8 pm, and is in the RHB Small Cinema — Room 185 in the main building (recently renamed the Richard Hoggart Building).
The event involves a screening of “The Road to Guantánamo,” the 2006 film by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, which was one of the inspirations for me to begin my investigations into Guantánamo that led me to where I am today, and also features a Q&A session with myself and Hilary Stauffer, the deputy director of Reprieve, the legal action charity headed by Clive Stafford Smith. I’m delighted to be speaking at this event, to help to spread the word about the ongoing injustice of Guantánamo and the need for those in the UK to press the British government to secure the immediate release of Shaker Aamer, and I’m particularly pleased because, to be honest, Stop the War as a whole has rarely engaged as fully with the horrors of Guantánamo, torture and indefinite detention as it should have, even though Guantánamo, the CIA’s “black sites,” Bagram, Abu Ghraib and all the other illegitimate — but supposedly legitimate — prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq were created as a direct result of the wars whose existence Stop the War was created to oppose. Read the rest of this entry »
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