Back to News & Commentary

ACLU Studio: The Torture Report

Share This Page
January 6, 2012

Sometimes the truth is buried in front of us. That is the case with more than 140,000 pages of government documents relating to the abuse of prisoners by U.S. forces during the “war on terror,” brought to light by the ACLU.

Since 2004, the ACLU has requested and received thousands of documents on the Bush administration’s torture program. The task of extracting a narrative from this intimidating pile of documents was left to Larry Siems, Director of Freedom to Write at the PEN American Center.

First started as an ongoing online report (, Siems’ new book — The Torture Report: What the Documents say about America’s Post 9/11 Torture Program — isnow available in print and online. The book presents an array of eyewitness and first-person reports — by victims, perpetrators, dissenters, and investigators — of the CIA’s White House-orchestrated interrogations in illegal, secret prisons around the world, and of the Pentagon’s “special projects” in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to tell the story of the Bush administration’s torture program.

While Siems was upset by the stories he discovered of the systematic abuse of detainees, he was also inspired by how many “American servicemen and servicewomen, intelligence officers recognized immediately that this was torture and tried to stop it.”

In the latest episode of ACLU Studio, Alex Abdo, ACLU National Security Project Staff Attorney, talks with Siems about the new book.

Next week on January 11 at 7 p.m. in New York City, the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer will join Siems and others in New York City to launch the book. For more information about the event and how to attend, click here.

Subscribe to our podcast feed in iTunes, or subscribe via RSS.

Learn more about accountability for torture: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page