The recent violent rampage of an American soldier in Afghanistan who killed 16 civilians has sparked yet another uneasy investigation into US military presence in the Middle East, and in particular, how these shocking instances of violence germinate. In a new article for Latitude News, Joshua E.S. Phillips weighs in on the incident, and goes on to describe the mixed reactions he encountered on his tour for None of Us Were Like This Before, which details the lasting psychological trauma of torture on both detainees and American soliders. Phillips remarks:
I saw people use the book as a prism for viewing U.S. policy, veterans’ issues, and the legacy of torture. For some, the book stoked anti-American sentiment. Some fumed that it didn’t neatly focus blame on President George W. Bush, though the book showed how Bush’s decision to ignore the Geneva Convention on detainee treatment catalyzed what followed. Others were angry that it didn’t emphasize one group’s pain over the other.
Visit Latitude News to read the story in full.
Verso will publish the updated paperback edition of None of Us Were Like This Before in July 2012.
Tune into the Firedoglake Book Salon on Saturday, February 18 at 2pm PST (5pm EST) to join author Joshua E.S. Phillips in an online discussion of his book None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture. In real time, participants, led by TruthOut's Jason Leopold, will weigh in on Phillips' incisive account of how ordinary soldiers in a US tank battalion, ill trained for the responsibilities foisted upon them, descended into the degradation of abuse.
Though the horrific images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib have been burned into the American cultural consciousness, what modes of redress are actually available to victims of US military torture? In an interview with Erika Eichelberger of the Nation Institute, Joshua E.S. Phillips discusses the grim shortcomings of the Detainee Abuse Task Force that he uncovered while researching his incisive investigation of American soldiers and torture, None of Us Were Like This Before. The DATF, Phillips explains, too often fails to properly investigate and resolve reports of torture: