Council Cosponsors Panel on Question of Torture

May 6, 2005


On Wednesday, June 1, the Carnegie Council, The New York Public Library, and The New York Review of Books will co-host a moderated panel discussion on the question of torture. The panel consists of four leading experts on this topic:

  • Mark Danner, author of Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror;
  • Mark Bowden, Atlantic Monthly contributor and author of Black Hawk Down;
  • Elaine Scarry, author of The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World; and
  • Darius Rejali, author of the forthcoming Torture and Democracy.
The panel will be moderated by Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Institute and a founder of Human Rights Watch.

"Since the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, there has been much discussion about the treatment of prisoners and the use of torture, whether in Iraq, Guantánamo Bay, Afghanistan, or through extraordinary rendition," says Carnegie Council president Joel Rosenthal. "The Council is pleased to be cosponsoring a public forum on this timely and important topic, featuring Mark Danner and other leading experts."

Rosenthal added that although army officials recently announced their plan to issue a new interrogations manual that prohibits the harsh techniques used at Abu Grhaib and other army prisons, "the need for debate and further investigation is as strong as ever."

Panelists at the June 1 event will address issues such as:

  • What is torture? Are any measures to coerce information from a reluctant captive ever appropriate?
  • What "laws" should govern the treatment of captives?
  • Should a war on non-state terrorists have different rules than those of a so-called "conventional war"?
  • What is the larger significance of the recent American torture scandals, and who is ultimately to blame?
  • To what extent is torture, especially during war, inevitable? And if it is inevitable, how can a nation control it?

The event will take place at the New York Public Library's Celeste Bartos Forum from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Tickets are $10; to sign up, call 212/868-4444 or go to NOTE: A limited number of free tickets are available for Carnegie Council members, limit of two per person. To register, please email Rebecca Kraley at [email protected].

The Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs is a premier forum on ethics and international policy. Through our programs, our publications, and our Web site, we offer expert guidance on the great moral issues of war, peace, and social justice.

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