Against the Grain

Torture and the Third Degree

Was the post-9/11 use of torture by U.S. personnel unprecedented, as many have claimed? Alexa Koenig reveals that in the early decades of the twentieth century, police in the U.S. routinely employed torture during interrogations. Koenig draws parallels between those abuses, which were part of a cluster of practices known as “the third degree,” and the coercive interrogation techniques used after 9/11.

Anderson and Nussbaum, eds., Confronting Torture: Essays on the Ethics, Legality, History, and Psychology of Torture Today University of Chicago Press, 2018

The Human Rights Center

Stover, Peskin and Koenig, Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror University of California Press, 2017

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