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U.S. Torture Policy Explained

The most recent legislation on torture gives considerable latitude to government interrogators. Three San Diego State professors shed light on the history behind U.S. policy and the moral and politica

U.S. Torture Policy Explained

One of the most infamous comments of the Bush administration so far came from U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Hereferred to the Geneva Convention as “quaint.” Whatever the context of his remark, he was taken to mean that it’s rather quaint to think of coddling suspected terrorists when there’s information to be extracted from them.

Since September 11, 2001, terror suspects have been subjected to many kinds of coercive interrogations at the hands of U.S. intelligence officers. Some suspects have even been sent to foreign countries where torture is commonly used. Last week, Congress voted to outlaw torture in the treatment of terror suspects. Today, three San Diego State professors share their insights into the meaning of the latest legislation.


San Diego State University’s teach-in titled, “Historical, Political and Moral Dimensions of U.S. Torture Policy,” begins at 3 p.m. today at SDSU’s Nasatir Hall, Room 100. It is free and open to the public.


  • Carole Kennedy , professor of political science at San Diego State University focusing on American presidential and electoral politics.
  • Brian Loveman , professor of political science and a past Fred J. Hansen Chair for Peace Studies at San Diego State University.
  • Tom Weston , professor of logic, ethics and political philosophy at San Diego State University