After World War II, we convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war. At the trial of his captors, then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: "I was given several types of torture. . . . I was given what they call the water cure." He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. "Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning," he replied, "just gasping between life and death."
Nielsen's experience was not unique. Nor was the prosecution of his captors. After Japan surrendered, the United States organized and participated in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, generally called the Tokyo
War Crimes Trials. Leading members of Japan's military and government
elite were charged, among their many other crimes, with torturing
Allied military personnel and civilians. The principal proof upon which
their torture convictions were based was conduct that we would now call
Even if he signed the bill some dire circumstance would come up and people would just try to be stealthy about it. No bill will stop America from torturing anyone who risks 'national security.' I think it is terrible and never even be used even as a last resort. My english class read these articles today and I thought they were relevent to this.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense.
The order set into motion the exclusion from certain areas, and the evacuation and mass incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast, most of whom were U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens.
These Japanese Americans, half of whom were children, were incarcerated for up to 4 years, without due process of law or any factual basis, in bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards.
They were forced to evacuate their homes and leave their jobs; in some cases family members were separated and put into different camps. President Roosevelt himself called the 10 facilities "concentration camps."
Some Japanese Americans died in the camps due to inadequate medical care and the emotional stresses they encountered. Several were killed by military guards posted for allegedly resisting orders.
At the time, Executive Order 9066 was justified as a "military necessity" to protect against domestic espionage and sabotage. However, it was later documented that "our government had in its possession proof that not one Japanese American, citizen or not, had engaged in espionage, not one had committed any act of sabotage." (Michi Weglyn, 1976).
Rather, the causes for this unprecedented action in American history, according to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, "were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."
Almost 50 years later, through the efforts of leaders and advocates of the Japanese American community, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Popularly known as the Japanese American Redress Bill, this act acknowledged that "a grave injustice was done" and mandated Congress to pay each victim of internment $20,000 in reparations.
The reparations were sent with a signed apology from the President of the United States on behalf of the American people. The period for reparations ended in August of 1998.
Despite this redress, the mental and physical health impacts of the trauma of the internment experience continue to affect tens of thousands of Japanese Americans. Health studies have shown a 2 times greater incidence of heart disease and premature death among former internees, compared to noninterned Japanese Americans.
It came to be called the Long Walk -- in the 1860s, more than 10,000 Navajos and Mescalero Apaches were forcibly marched to a desolate reservation in eastern New Mexico called Bosque Redondo. Nearly one-third of those interned there died of disease, exposure and hunger, held captive by the U.S. Army.
A new memorial center dedicated to remembering the tragedy that almost wiped out the Navajo Nation opened June 4 in New Mexico. The great-great grandsons and granddaughters of the survivors of the Long Walk were there to pay homage, to mourn the dead and celebrate the tribe's ultimate survival.
The Long Walk was largely ignored by a nation embroiled in the Civil War. Beginning in 1863, Gen. James Henry Carleton, commander of New Mexico Territory, decided to solve, once and for all, the "Navajo problem." Some Indians escape the brutal roundup in the Four Corners area, but most surrender.
Ragged queues of defeated Navajos left in batches from Ft. Defiance, Ariz. Men, women, children and the elderly walked 450 miles, in frigid winter and baking summer. Some drowned crossing the Rio Grande. Stragglers were shot and left behind.
Their destination was Fort Sumner and a camp called Bosque Redondo -- 40 square miles of shortgrass prairie and thorn desert, bisected by the Pecos River in New Mexico. The Navajo, and a smaller number of Apache, lived in crude shelters improvised from branches and tattered canvas. Pneumonia, dysentery and smallpox devastated their numbers.
After four years at Bosque Redondo, the Army considered it a failed experiment and escorted the survivors back to their homeland -- but only after an estimated 2,380 people died. But times have definitely changed: While it was the U.S. Army that almost obliterated the Navajo Nation, it was the Department of Defense that contributed most of the funds to build the Bosque Redondo Memorial.
We've torture our own people without evidence.
And I, like most people, don't know what the CIA actually does so I can't really give my two cents on that.