OSI-Supported Documentary on Torture and Accountability Debuts

Torture on Trial, a documentary video produced by Link TV, examines how detainees held in U.S. military and CIA custody as part of the "war on terror" were subjected to interrogation methods that amounted to torture, how these methods came to be authorized by high-level Bush administration officials, and the mounting demand for accountability for torture. The half-hour program premieres on Sunday, May 3, on Link TV at 10:00 p.m. ET, and can be viewed online at LinkTV.org.

Torture on Trial features interviews with two investigative journalists who leaked details from a confidential International Committee of the Red Cross report documenting the physical abuse of detainees held by the CIA in secret "black site" prisons—Jane Mayer, staff writer with The New Yorker and author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, and Mark Danner, U.C. Berkeley journalism professor. The report describes in graphic detail how detainees were slammed against walls, placed in excruciatingly painful positions, subjected to waterboarding, and deprived of sleep for prolonged periods.

The program also features interviews with two leading human rights activists, Elisa Massimino, executive director of Human Rights First, and George Hunsinger, founder of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Additionally, the program features interviews with Retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Maj. Matthew Alexander, a U.S. Air Force interrogator, who offer military perspectives on how the use of torture is counterproductive and harms U.S. interests. They also urge a full airing of this tragic chapter of American history so that these mistakes are not repeated.

Torture on Trial was supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute's National Security and Human Rights Campaign.