Torture and the Laws of War

Torture and the Laws of War

The 9/11 attacks have raised difficult legal, moral and political questions about what rights should be granted to potential terrorists captured by the United States, and how international laws of war should shape America's behavior in its war on terrorism.  We examine the debate over the tough interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and other prisons. 

Guests on this program include: 

  • Jonathan Bush, adjunct professor at Columbia University Law School
  • Ayman Safadi, editor-in-chief of the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad
  • Guillaume Parmentier, director of the French Center on the United States 
  • Yehuda Shaffer, former assistant attorney general in Israel's Ministry of Justice 
  • Jessica Montell, executive director of the human rights organization B'tselem
  • Dana Priest, Washington Post national security correspondent
  • Lee Casey, served in the Office of Legal Counsel for President George H.W. Bush and the Office of Legal Policy for President Ronald Reagan
Segment 1

Garrick Utley narrates an archival audio tour of the history of the laws of war and debate over the definition of the legal combatant.

Segment 2

Margaret Warner examines the global response to the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay controversies.

Segment 3

Steve Roberts looks back at the evolution of Israeli law and policy on the interrogation of Palestinian detainees, from the 1987 Landau Commission to the landmark 1999 Supreme Court ruling.

Segment 4

Marvin Kalb and Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU 88.5FM moderate a special town hall event in Washington to examine the debate over torture and American policy.