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:
Chris Lombardi of Guernica magazine interviews Joshua Phillips on the left media's standard torture story, untrained soldiers making it up as they go, and becoming a suicide hotline. In the interview, Phillips, the author of None of Us Were Like This Before, describes some alarming changes in attitudes toward torture that he's observed taking place in the military over a number of years:
I visited West Point classes in early 2009 and I visited a class where they openly discussed using torture for interrogation. I'd been told worrisome stories by some instructors about cadets who argued for torture after 9/11, saying "we have to change our protocols because the paradigm has shifted with these suicide bombers." The professor was telling them no, the paradigm hasn't shifted. Remember kamikaze suicide bombers? The cadets would make arguments using anecdotes about "times torture worked," none of which has ever been proven. So much of that stuff is folklore and anecdotal success stories, lacking any corroboration or verifiable facts. That's what the Bush administration was selling.