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Torture Memos vs. Red Cross Report

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April 24, 2009

If you’ve read the torture memos, you’ve probably noticed the technical and detached language used by government lawyers to describe and authorize specific interrogation techniques, including facial slaps, stress positions, sleep deprivation, nudity and waterboarding. Compared against prisoners’ own accounts of their treatment, the differences between descriptions are striking.

Based on research compiled by the ACLU’s Alex Abdo and Leila Tabbaa, today ProPublica launched a new web page that features a side-by-side comparison of the “torture techniques” from the memos to prisoners’ own accounts of these same techniques from the Red Cross report (PDF). The details speak for themselves.

Head on over to ProPublica and check it out.

In related news, yesterday the Defense Department announced that by the end of May, it will make public a “substantial number” of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan at locations other than Abu Ghraib. The photos are being turned over as part of the ACLU’s ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

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