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The mixed reaction to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA interrogation and detention programs is not surprising given the political polarization in our society. Much has been written about the political motivations influencing those supporting and opposing the report. That politics has influenced responses almost goes without saying. Nevertheless, this should not discount […] Read More

Baptist leaders offered a variety of responses to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s long-awaited report on the U.S. use of torture during the George W. Bush administration. While the full 6,000-page report is classified, a 525-page summary was released on Tuesday. The report found that CIA leaders misled the public, used torture more frequently than […] Read More

In 2004, the American Red Cross charged the U.S. military with intentionally using psychological and physical coercion tantamount to torture at the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo (Gitmo). Prisoners there were: chained in uncomfortable positions for up to 24 hours and left to urinate or defecate on themselves, sexually abused by female interrogators, given forced […] Read More

I love to tease my classically trained minister of music that if he does my memorial service, I want the Beatles song “Let It Be” to be used as the central anthem. I also regularly aggravate him by suggesting that the same song should be in our hymnal. Obviously, the song is not hymn quality, […] Read More

Here are two more indicators of depraved political leadership in the United States. President George W. Bush now says he authorized the “waterboarding” interrogation technique on suspected terrorism detainees. And the Justice Department’s special prosecutor investigating the destruction of videotapes of “enhanced interrogation” of suspected al-Qaida detainees announced that CIA personnel involved in destroying the […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Twenty religious organizations are calling for Congress and President Obama to ensure a fair and thorough investigation into allegations of forced human experimentation by the CIA on detainees after 9/11. In June, the group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) released Experiments in Torture which detailed health professionals’ involvement in CIA interrogation programs. The […] Read More

Fuller’s School of Psychology has an ethics review board that monitors all experiments on people, as the law requires for all psychological and medical experiments. I have served on it. All of us who have served on Fuller’s review board know you can’t do experiments on people without their free and informed consent. Physicians for […] Read More

Torture is not only cruel. It is also ineffective and unreliable, according to a leading neuroscientist studying the effects of the brain under conditions of extreme, repeated and prolonged stress. Writing in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science, Shane O’Mara of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin points to studies showing that changes […] Read More

CIA interrogators violated the guidelines for interrogation of supposed terror suspects by threatening suspects with guns and power drills and even suggesting assaulting one suspect’s mother and family, according to recent news reports. Americans were horrified to hear what we might have suspected was happening in “secret prisons” – all under the auspices of obtaining […] Read More

What did you learn about torture growing up in the church? Thinking back, I recall that going to church involved a lot of sitting still and being quiet. I did not like to sit still nor did I like being quiet. I cannot remember if I described the sitting still and being quiet as torture, […] Read More