Synopses & Reviews
"When torture photos from Abu Ghraib became public in spring 2004, Americans reacted with revulsion: how could our military commit such horrible acts? In fact, Harbury's well-documented volume reveals, American representatives abroad have been involved in torture for decades, much of it in Central America, where U.S. agents apparently encouraged the kidnapping, maltreatment and murder of left-wing fighters and their suspected sympathizers. Harbury's own husband became one of the Guatemalan victims-she described his fate in Searching for Everardo-and this new volume alludes to his story repeatedly. Its central chapter compiles testimony from Latin American torture survivors, making a case for U.S. involvement in 'torture by proxy.' Harbury accompanies her evidence with passionate if unsurprising denunciations, calling torture not just inhumane and illegal but ineffective: since tortured suspects confess to anything, she says, their statements may be worth nothing. Making use of her Harvard Law training, Harbury suggests legal avenues through which even federally sanctioned torturers may be held responsible. If her book holds few surprises for those who have followed these stories closely, its cases will certainly stoke the fires of outrage. Radio host Amy Goodman, of Pacifica's Democracy Now program, contributes a foreword (not seen by PW). " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Jennifer K. Harbury took her law degree from Harvard. She has lived and worked with human rights activists, peasants, and Mayan villagers in Guatemala. Harbury also worked with members of the U.S. Congress and the Organization of American States to locate her husband and thirty-five other members of the Guatemalan resistance believed to be held by the military. She is the author of Searching for Everardo and Bridge of Courage and currently directs the STOP (Stop Torture Permanently) Campaign at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.