A CONFERENCE ON TORTURE

Texas Tech University

Saturday, April 9, 2011.

150 Holden Hall     

RESOURCES (Articles, Books, Video)

SPEAKERS:

MORNING SESSION: 9:30-12:00

Matthew Alexander, "Smarter, Not Harsher: An Interrogator's Perspective" 

Alexander is a former military interrogator in Iraq. He is the author of How to Break a Terrorist in which he recounts how, without torture, but by using standard interrogation he got a detainee (moments before he would have been sent to Abu Ghraib) to reveal the location of al-Zarqawi’s spiritual adviser, who then led US forces to Zarqawi himself. The website for his new book, Kill or Capture, has video of Alexander (including his appearance on THE DAILY SHOW): http://www.killorcapturebook.com/)

Joshua E.S. Philips, "Reckoning with the True Costs of Torture During the "War on Terror"

How did soldiers and senior officials come to believe that torture was permissible, necessary, and effective?  Joshua Phillips will discuss the situations and beliefs that led US forces to engage in torture.  Phillips will also discuss the ruinous, unrecognized costs of detainee abuse and torture on detainees, America’s veterans, and counter-terrorism policies. Phillips is a journalist and the author of None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture.

Jean Maria Arrigo, "Can We Develop a Torture Interrogation Program to Defend Lubbock against Terrorists?"

Arrigo is a social psychologist (Ph.D., Claremont). Video of her speaking at a similar conference at UC Berkeley Law School in November: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/9837.htm (Scroll to the bottom). Video of the whole conference is found at: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/9837.htm.  Arrigo gives moral voice to military intelligence professionals of conscience through oral histories and documentation of their efforts.  She established the Ethics of Intelligence and Weapons Development Oral History Collection at Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, and the Intelligence Ethics Collection at Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. She served as a (dissident) member of the 2005 American Psychological Association  Psychological Ethics and National Security Task Force and in 2008, under the auspices of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, initiated the Psychology and Military Intelligence Casebook on Ethics of Interrogation, Training, Treatment, and Research (see http://www.pmicasebook.com/PMI_Casebook/Home.html).  

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AFTERNOON SESSION

1:30 p.m.  Michael Holley, "Abu Ghraib: Sorting It Out?"

Holley is an Associate at the Lanier Law Firm. He was the former Chief Prosecutor of the Abu Ghraib Detainee Abuse cases, a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, and a  Professor of Criminal Law at the Army's Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

2:45 p.m. Barton Myers, "Examining Torture During the American Civil War: The Case of Mrs. Owens"

Myers is an Assistant Professor of History at Texas Tech University. He teaches courses on nineteenth century U.S. and American military history, specializing in the American Civil War Era. His first book Executing Daniel Bright: Race, Loyalty, and Guerrilla Violence in a Coastal Carolina Community, 1861-1865 (LSU Press, 2009) traced the origins, course and consequences of a guerrilla war in the Great Dismal Swamp region of North Carolina and the legal issues related to the public execution of a notorious Confederate guerrilla named Daniel Bright. His work received the prestigious Jules and Frances Landry Award for the best book in southern studies published by Louisiana State University Press in 2009. A video of Dr. Myers discussing Executing Daniel Bright at the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop, Inc. in Chicago can be found here. His current book project Rebels Against a Rebellion: Southern Unionists in Secession, War and Remembrance explores the life and death struggle of more than 350 southern-born unionist sympathizers living in Civil War era North Carolina.

 

Thursday, April 14, 2010

169 Human Sciences

7:00 p.m.

Professor Henry Shue (International Studies, University of Oxford): "Making Torture Disappear."

Shue is the author of Basic Rights: Subsistence, Affluence, and U.S. Foreign Policy and two of the most influence articles in philosophy: "Torture" and "Torture in Dreamland: Disposing of the Ticking Time Bomb." He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and was a Professor of International Relations with the Department of Politics and International Relations until his retirement at the end of 2007. He was a co-founder, in 1976, of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland. 

Major Ian Fishback, "Torture, the Will, and Achieving Victory in War"

Fishback, a West Point graduate, is now a graduate student in Philosophy at the University of Michigan and a Major in the United States Army. His letter to Senator John McCain about prisoner abuse in Iraq drew national attention to the problem. In 2006 TIME Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world for taking the stand against torture. He served four combat tours in Iraq as a combat arms officer.

ADDITIONAL TALKS:

Joshua Phillips will talk with students on Friday, April 8, at 3:30 p.m. in the Philosophy Building. Room: TBA

Henry Shue will give a public talk on climate change on Friday, April 15. Time and place: TBA.

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This conference is sponsored by the Center for Military Law and Policy, the Center for Healthcare Ethics/Humanities/Spirituality at the School of Medicine; the Departments of Art; Classical and Modern Languages and Literature; Economics, English, History, Human Development and Family Studies, Philosophy, Political Science; Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work; Theater and Dance, the College of Mass Communications, the TTU Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the Philosophy Graduate Student Association, St. John Neumann Catholic Church, the Islamic Center of the South Plains, J&B Coffee House, and by generous contributions from dozens of individual faculty, staff, and friends. Contributions are still welcome. Please contact Prof. Walter Schaller (walter.schaller@ttu.edu)

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