ISSUE: Accountability for Torture


Abu GhraibHas America resorted to torture in the name of the "War on Terror"? Scenes from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo made many question whether we have damaged our democratic values and humanitarian ideals. Will the Obama administration hold the perpetrators of torture - including those at the top who authorized water-boarding and other interrogation techniques - accountable for their actions?


RECENT NEWS: Ten Years of Guantanamo: One of the Prison's First Detainees Breaks His Silence

Blueprint for Accountability: Working the Dark Side

Blueprint for Accountability: Working the Dark Side

Combining live theater and journalism, Culture Project's "Blueprint for Accountability: Working The Dark Side" convened an extraordinary panel to spark public discourse about torture and the "War on Terror".

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Featured Video: Culture Project's "Blueprint for Accountability: Working the Dark Side"

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow launched Culture Project's "Blueprint for Accountability" series on May 31, 2009 with a gripping evening on accountability and the U.S. policy of torture in the “War on Terror.” In this multi-media production fusing live theater and journalism, Maddow was joined by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Ron Suskind, Vince Warren of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq during 2003-2004.

An edited version of the full event is now airing on Link TV, which is proud to be Culture Project's media partner in this groundbreaking series. The first episode of the series, "Working The Dark Side", also includes performances, based on reporting by Suskind and Jane Mayer, by actors Liev Schreiber, John Leguizamo, Noah Emmerich, Manu Narayan, Clara Govinden, Ramsey Faragallah and Julianna Margulies. Click here for more airdates and times, and watch NOW online!

To learn more about Culture Project visit

Take Action!

Here are some of the organizations urging the American people to stand up against torture and demand accountability:


The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) launches ICTJVideo a channel that will feature:


  • Interviews with ICTJ staff members
  • Video features on justice, accountability, and human rights
  • Highlighted content from global partners


The ICTJ assists countries pursuing accountability for past mass atrocity or human rights abuse. Learn more at


More Take Action Links...

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History of Developments

1/10/12 - Ten Years of Guantanamo: One of the Prison's First Detainees Breaks His Silence


1/09/12 - Ten Years of Guantanamo: What Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Knew


7/26/10 - CIA Tapes Destroyed Without Lawyers Included On Memo


9/18/09 - Ex-CIA chiefs urge Obama to drop abuse investigation


9/14/09 - Obama's About-Face Goes to High Court


9/11/09 - Detainee Files Emergency Writ to Halt Hearings

9/10/09 - New purported photo of 9/11 mastermind at Gitmo surfaces

9/10/09 - US Muslims: backlash fear builds each 9/11


8/30/09 - Cheney Offers Sharp Defense of C.I.A. Interrogation Tactics


8/30/09 - Ex-Intelligence Officials Cite Low Spirits at CIA


8/29/09 - How a Detainee Became An Asset: Sept. 11 Plotter Cooperated After Waterboarding


8/28/09 - Holder's Decision To Probe CIA Hints At a New Dynamic

8/27/09 - Abuse Issue Puts the C.I.A. and Justice Dept. at Odds

8/27/09 - Commission Inquiry Into Rendition May Rankle Obama Administration


8/25/09 - CIA Report Calls Oversight Of Early Interrogations Poor


8/24/09 - Attorney General Holder opens 'preliminary' investigation of post-9/11 interrogations


8/24/09 - White House Repeats Position on CIA Prosecutions


8/24/09 - Holder's official statement


8/24/09 - Official Copy of the CIA IG Report [PDF] via


8/24/09 - Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases


8/24/09 - CIA Faulted for Conduct at Prisons


8/23/09 - Former Top Interrogators Back Wide-Ranging Criminal Probe Into Torture


8/21/09 - Detainees Shown CIA Officers' Photos

8/21/09 - Detainee Plan Draws Fear, Opposition

8/21/09 - ACLU Demands Info on Military Commissions

8/20/09 - Former CIA chief: gains from torture ‘modest’


8/20/09 - U.S. Gen. Urges Release Of Bagram's Detainees


8/19/09 - Senior Republicans Ask Attorney General Not To Probe Interrogations

8/19/09 - CIA Sought Blackwater's Help in Plan to Kill Jihadists


8/10/09 - U.S. battling CIA rendition case in 3 courts


8/10/09 - Gitmo still far from Geneva Conventions-lawyer


8/9/09 - Afghan jail conditions hamper Gitmo prosecutions


8/5/09 - Why this craven silence over rendition and torture?


8/5/09 - Guantanamo Ire Provokes Senate Threats


8/3/09 - British lawmakers seek inquiry into torture claims


8/3/09 - New Detainee Site In U.S. Considered


8/3/09 - Obama eyes moving Guantanamo prisoners to lockup in Michigan


8/2/09 - U.N. envoy concerned at Afghanistan jail conditions


8/2/09 - Political recriminations distracting spy agency: CIA chief


7/29/09 - To Investigate, or not Investigate


7/24/09 - U.S. courts convict 91 percent in terrorism trials: study


7/23/09 - Pew Poll: Individual Countries View (Favorable or Unfavorable) on the U.S. -Led Anti-Terrorism Efforts 


7/23/09 - U.S. Rebuffs U.N. Requests for Guantanamo Visits, Data on CIA Prisons

7/23/09 - Physicians at Guantanamo violate medical ethics: study


7/21/09 - For Holder, Inquiry on Interrogation Poses Tough Choice

7/21/09 - Obama’s Justice Department seeks embarrassment exception for Cheney


7/20/09 - Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan


7/17/09 - 'Torture Memo' Author Yoo Gets Private Lawyer for Appeal of Detainee Lawsuit


7/17/09 - Al-Jazeera journalist imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay to sue George Bush


7/17/09 - Obama Plans ‘Rendition’ Of Tunisians In Guantanamo To Italian Jail


7/16/09 - Justice agrees to exclude detainee's confession

7/16/09 - At Jail in Bagram, A Detainee Protest


7/16/09 - Hard not to investigate CIA, torture


7/15/09 - More Trials Unlikely at Guantanamo Site, Defense Counsel Says


7/15/09 - Relative of 9/11 Victim Frustrated by Obama Administration's Efforts to Close Gitmo


7/14/09 - The Man Who Knew Cheney's Secret


7/14/09 - CIA, Cheney, Congress And Torture

7/14/09 - The real problem with the CIA plan to kill al Qaeda leaders...


7/13/09 - Obama Faces Hurdles in Closing Gitmo


7/13/09 - Did America Break its Torture Law?


7/12/09 - Obama Faces a New Push to Look Back


7/11/09 - A Call to Jihad, Answered in America


7/9/09 - It's official: 'waterboarding' is a word, but is it torture?

7/9/09 - Terror Case May Force Obama’s Hand on ‘State Secrets’


7/9/09 - Democrats Say Panetta Admits CIA Misled Them


7/6/09 - Former Inmate Says Photos Show Abuse at Guantanamo


7/6/09 - Multimedia Advisory: Guantanamo Detainees Welcome

7/3/09 - Rumsfeld On Abandoning Geneva: 'All Of A Sudden, It Was Just All Happening'


7/2/09 - Grand Jury Inquiry on Destruction of C.I.A. Tapes


7/2/09 - The Real Test for Obama on Indefinite Detention


7/2/09 - ACLU Says Government Used False Confessions


7/1/09 - Secret C.I.A. Jails an Issue in Terror Case


7/1/09 - Guantanamo man left in Chad limbo

6/30/09 - US spy in rendition trial: 'I followed orders'


6/30/09 - White House stands by Guantánamo closure date

6/30/09 - U.S. to take case by case view on overseas jails


6/29/09 - CIA Crucified Captive in Abu Ghraib Prison


6/29/09 - John Rizzo: The most influential career lawyer in CIA history


6/29/09 - Judge denies Afghan's challenge to detention


6/29/09 - New Guidance Issued on Military Trials of Detainees


6/29/09 - New Rift Opens Over Rights of Detainees


6/26/09 - ACLU Asks UN to Investigate Extraordinary Rendition


6/26/09 - White House Drafts Executive Order to Allow Indefinite Detention of Terror Suspects


6/25/09 - FBI's Reading of Rights to Terrorists Riles Some Lawmakers

6/25/09 - The Pursuit of John Yoo

6/24/09 - Majority of Americans Approve Complete Ban on Torture


6/24/09 - Obama Task Force on Torture Considers CIA-FBI Interrogation Teams


6/24/09 - Amnesty 'shocked' by Bagram claims [Video]


6/20/09 - Delay in Releasing CIA Report Is Sought


6/19/09 - CIA Postpones Release Of Big Torture Report That Could Undercut Cheney


6/18/09 - Pew Poll: Obama's Approval on Closing Gitmo Declines

6/12/09 - Prisoners Dilemma: The poor schmo who has to move all the Gitmo detainees


6/12/09 - Obama Bows on Settling Detainees


6/11/09 - Democrats Set to Agree to U.S. Trials for Guantanamo Detainees


6/11/09 - Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani: The Gitmo Test Case


6/11/09 - The CIA's secret history of psychological torture


6/10/09 - 'Special Report' Panel Debates Bringing the First Gitmo Detainee to the U.S. to Stand Trial


6/9/09 - Al Qaeda's Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani pleads not guilty to embassy bombings


6/9/09 - Release of interrogation files would endanger security, CIA tells judge


6/8/09 - Life Inside Gitmo: Former Detainee Speaks [Video]


6/8/09 - White House Plan Would Let Terror Suspects Plead Guilty


6/7/09 - Justice Department Lawyers Sought Interrogation Limits


6/6/09 - Homeland Security Nominee Withdraws Amid Questions About Torture


6/3/09 - Poll: US divided over torture, closing Guantanamo


5/31/09 - Rasmussen Poll: "National Security vs. Individual Rights"

5/31/09 - Press TV: "Under Obama, Wiretap Docs Rest with Torture Photos"

5/30/09 - "Taguba Denies He's Seen Abuse Photos Suppressed by Obama"


5/26/09 - Former Interrogator Slams Cheney Over Torture Policy [video]


5/26/09 - CNN: "Pentagon: Ex-Gitmo Detainees Turning to Terrorism on Rise"

5/26/09 - New York Times: "Ex-Detainee Describes His 7 Years at Guantánamo"


5/22/09 - Washington Post: "Obama vs. Cheney"

5/21/09 - New York Times: "Obama Would Move Some Detainees to U.S."

5/21/09 - MSNBC Gives Highlights of Obama's Speech on National Security


5/21/09 - AP: "Obama Defends Guantanamo Closing"

5/21/09 - AP: "Cheney Lashes Obama on Security, Defends 'Torture'"

5/21/09 - Washington Post Discussion on Guantanamo Bay


5/20/09 - Washington Post: "Senate Democrats Reject Obama's Request for Funds to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison"

5/20/09 - Miami Herald: "Army Judge Postpones Guantanamo Hearing"


5/19/09 - Washington Post: "Court: Sept. 11 Detainee Lawsuit Cannot Proceed"


5/18/09 - New York Times: "Justices Turn Back Ex-Detainee’s Suit Over Prison Abuses"

5/18/09 - Washington Post: "Supreme Court Rules Former Detainee Lawsuit Cannot Proceed"


5/16/09 - SF Chronicle: "GOP Could Use Pelosi Torture Woes Against Obama"


5/15/09 - CNN: Torture Helped Build Iraq War Case

5/15/09 - Washington Post: Speaker's Comments Raise Detainee Debate to New Level

5/14/09 - WSJ: Obama to Retool Military Trials for Terror Suspects

5/14/09 - Washington Post: Obama Reverses Position on Release of Photos of Detainee Abuse

5/14/09 - SF Chronicle: Senate Testimony sheds light on alleged torture

5/14/09 - Senate Democrats want Gitmo inmates kept out of US

5/13/09 - Washington Post: Ex-FBI agent criticizes harsh terrorism tactics


5/13/09 - New York Times: "Torture Survivors to Testify at Khmer Rouge Trial"


5/13/09 - Parties Face Off Over CIA Interrogation Briefings


5/13/09 - Dick Cheney on the Attack


5/12/09 - How Americans Came to Support Torture, in Five Steps


5/6/09 - Alternet: "U.S. Interrogators May Have Killed Dozens of Detainees"


5/6/09 - DoJ report recommends not prosecuting the legal architects of torture

5/6/09 - Jeremy Scahill on new DoJ report: Critics say it is "outrageous" to argue lawyers committed no crime


5/5/09 - Documents obtained by the ACLU show top level officials knew details of interrogations

5/4/09 - Military Tribunals may return under Obama


4/30/09 - From Link TV's John Hamilton: "Torture in US Goes Unprosecuted Beyond Gitmo"


4/29/09 - AFP: "Spanish Judge Opens Probe into Guantanamo Torture"


4/29/09 - Judge Bybee Breaks Silence and Defends Signing Torture Memos


4/28/09 - Huffington Post: "Ten Ways to Bring the Bush Administration's Torture Ten to Justice"


4/28/09 - UK Accepting Info Gleaned from Torture Creates “Market” for Torture, Says Former Ambassador


4/27/09 - New CBS News Poll on Torture, Safety and Investigation


4/23/09 - No White House Support for Independent Panel Investigation; Democrats Divided Over Probe into Bush-Era Wrongdoings


4/23/09 - Washington Post: "Defense Secretary Gates Says He Approved of Release of CIA Memos"


4/22/09 - Jane Mayer on Timing Gap in Levin's Torture Report


4/22/09 - New York Times on the Development of Torture Techniques within the CIA; Former CIA Official Dubbed the Process "A Perfect Storm of Ignorance and Enthusiasm"

4/22/09 - Obama Official Says Torture Techniques Yielded Valuable Information

4/21/09 - New York Times: "Report Gives New Detail on Approval of Brutal Techniques"; Download the Report Here (PDF)


4/21/09 - Obama Leaves Door Open for a Bipartisan Truth Commission

4/21/09 - Leahy Calls for Resignation of Judge Jay Bybee, Author of "Torture Memos"


4/19/09 - New York Times: "Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects"


4/16/09 - IPS: "Abu Ghraib Victims Can Sue Interrogators"


4/16/09 - Obama Administration Vows to Defend Interrogators From Prosecution; Releases Bush-era Legal Opinions Sanctioning Torture


4/13/09 - Jane Mayer in the New Yorker on the Philippe Sands book "Torture Team"

4/13/09 - Washington Post: "Parsing the Polls: Dick Cheney, Joe Biden and America's Safety"


4/10/09 - Pew Research Study: Mainstream Media Covered the Economy While Blogs Talked Twitter and Torture

4/10/09 - The Guardian UK: "Bush, Cheney and others who approved torture could still face investigation - thanks to Britain and Spain"

4/9/09 - Public Record: "Court Docs Suggest Detainees Tortured Before CIA Received Legal OK"


4/9/09 - New York Times: "C.I.A. Closing Secret Overseas Sites for Terror Detainees"


4/8/09 - Public Record: "CIA May Have Tortured More Detainees and Hid Them From Red Cross"

4/8/09 - New York Times Editorial on Medical Complicity in Torture of Suspects by the CIA


4/4/09 - House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers renews call for a special investigation


4/1/09 - Report from Seton Hall Professor Mark Denbeaux on torture at Guantanamo


3/31/09 - New York Times: "Administration Is Debating Release of Interrogation Memos"


3/29/09 - Washington Post: "Waterboarding, Rough Interrogation of Abu Zubaida Produced False Leads, Officials Say"


3/28/09 - New York Times: "Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush-Era Officials"


3/28/09 - Associated Press: "Ex-State Dept. lawyer decries torture after 9/11"


3/23/09 - Former diplomat Thomas Pickering and former FBI director William Sessions call for an independent commission to look into U.S. government policies on torture and detainees


3/23/09 - Ex-CIA Official Joins Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff


3/23/09 - CACI International Inc. criticized a judge's refusal to dismiss a lawsuit by alleged torture victims at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison


3/23/09 - British judges air Guantanamo details U.S. wanted kept secret


3/21/09 - Terror Memo Sparks Fight - The Obama administration's efforts to declassify a series of Bush-era legal memoranda from the war on terror have sparked a fight with the CIA.


3/21/09 - The Long and Sadistic History Behind the CIA's Torture Techniques


3/20/09 - Kenya: International Law, Torture and Britain's Gulag - Nicole K. Parshall discusses the actions of the British colonial authorities during the suppression of the Mau Mau movement in 1950s Kenya.


3/20/09 - Rare Victory for Torture Victims: Lawsuit Can Continue - Abu Ghraib detainees can move ahead with their torture cases.


3/20/09 - Torture Memo Author John Yoo Blames Ruined Reputation on "Hippies, Protesters and Left-wing Activists"


3/19/09 - Ex-Bush admin official: Many at Gitmo are innocent


3/19/09 - MI5 faces new rules on terror interrogations - PM orders code on questioning abroad


3/19/09 - Series of allegations that finally forced Brown to act - Brown asks ISC to look at interrogation policy again; detainees claimed MI5 collusion as early as 2005


3/18/09 - President Barack Obama promises to tackle immigration system


3/18/09 - Red Cross Report Bolsters Case for Bush Inquiry


3/17/09 - Video: Professor Mark Danner goes over a secret report conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross.


3/16/09 - Old cases may mean new trials for Gitmo detainees


3/14/09 - Confidential Red Cross report from 2007 describes torture in CIA jails (from Mark Danner in the New York Times)


3/13/09 - U.S. to end use of the term "enemy combatant" as justification to hold detainees - but does this represent a fundamental change in policy towards these prisoners?


3/10/09 - AFP reports that two UN special rapporteurs will investigate all CIA detentions centers and 10 U.S. military bases around the world; ACLU in a FOIA lawsuit to have Abu Ghraib photos released


3/4/09 - Senate hearing convenes about potential Truth Commission on Bush administration policies; weighs in on "How to Build a Torture Commission"

3/2/09 - CIA destroyed tapes of interrogations


2/27/09 - U.S. Senate planning hearing on CIA methods - will the hearing be secret?


2/26/09 - U.K. admits to Iraq rendition case, transferring two terror suspects captured in Iraq to U.S. custody in 2004


2/23/09 - U.S. declares that Guantanamo Bay prison is in compliance with the Geneva Conventions; Pentagon calls for more social contact for isolated prisoners


2/22/09 - Agreeing with the Bush administration, Justice Department under Obama determines detainees in Afghanistan have no right to sue for release from imprisonment (from the New York Times)


2/12/09 – USA Today/Gallup Poll shows Americans favor investigation into use of torture in the Bush presidency, but reveals less support for criminal prosecutions

2/9/09 – Sen. Leahy proposes "truth and reconcilliation commission" to investigate Bush-era wrongdoing

2/1/09 - U.S. Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) supports investigation into U.S. use of torture under the Bush administration


1/29/09 - Physicians for Human Rights calls on Obama to close "torture loopholes" in the Army Field Manual


1/22/09 - Obama signs executive order to close Guantanamo Bay detention camp within a year


1/21/09 - Obama puts 120 day hold on prosecutions at Guantanamo Bay


1/20/09 - Obama declares in his Inaugural Address: "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations."

1/15/09 - Attorney General nominee Eric Holder affirms that "waterboarding is torture" in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee


1/14/09 - Guantanamo detainee was tortured, according to a Bush administration official charged with overseeing military trials. Article by groundbreaking journalist Bob Woodward at the Washington Post.



Related Videos
More Featured Videos - Watch Now Online >

Torture on Trial 

Torture on Trial

This Link TV original production investigates the history of interrogations in the "War on Terrorism", and the growing movement calling for accountability for those who authorized and participated in torture.


Global Pulse: Politics and Torture

Media worldwide present the brutality of torture, while the U.S media debate the political ramifications of the “torture” memos.

Brazil: A Report on Torture 

Brazil: A Report on Torture

This 1970 film shows reenactments of waterboarding, pau de arara and other medieval and modern "procedures" administered by Brazil's military government, as well as interviews with torture victims.

Witnesses to the Persecution 

Witnesses to the Persecution

This interview with the filmmakers of "Brazil: A Report on Torture", Haskell Wexler and Saul Landau, covers both the making of the film and the persistence of torture as an interrogation technique.


Condoleezza Rice 

Condoleezza Rice Responds to Accusations of Torture

Rice addresses accusations that the Bush administration authorized the torture of detainees with enhanced interrogation techniques.

More Video From Other Sources >


In this ABC News interview from Dec. 15, 2008, former Vice President Dick Cheney admits approving harsh interrogation tactics against terror suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others - including arguing that waterboarding was appropriate in order to gather information from detainees.


OUTLAWED: Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances in the 'War on Terror'

OUTLAWED is a 27-minute WITNESS production in association with 14 production and distribution partners worldwide. Learn more about this program and WITNESS here.


More Videos...

Link TV Documentary "Torture on Trial" >
Torture on Trial

Torture on Trial

This Link TV original production investigates the history of interrogations in the "War on Terrorism", and the growing movement calling for accountability for those who authorized and participated in torture.
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"Torture on Trial" is a Link TV original production that investigates the history of interrogations in the "War on Terrorism", and the growing movement calling for accountability for those who authorized and participated in torture. Featured guests include Jane Mayer, staff writer with The New Yorker, Mark Danner, author of "Torture and Truth", and others. Learn more here!



Writings on Torture and Accountability >


Washington Post: "The Detainee Shell Game" "Cheney's Torture Trap for Democrats"

Washington Post: "As President, Obama is Unafraid to Disappoint His Allies"

New York Times: "Obama After Bush: Leading by Second Thought"

New York Times: "The Torture Debate - The Missing Voices"

More Writings...



Learn More >


Link TV, an independent source of perspectives rarely seen in the mainstream media, has been airing hard-hitting documentaries and news programs exposing the Bush administration's illegal use of torture in the "War on Terror". Link TV has an archive of information on the torture and accountability issue - click on our archive here for more videos, links, and ways to take action.