On this edition of Parallax Views, a new joint report by Human Rights Watch and the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s
Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs delves into the 20 years of unlawful detentions and interrogations that have been pursued by the U.S. in the “War On Terror” since the Presidency of George W. Bush. Co-authored by Letta Taylor and Elisa Epstein, the “Legacy of the ‘Dark Side’: The Costs of Unlawful U.S. Detentions and Interrogations Post-9/11” report hones in on the activities that have occurred at the detention center at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and its costs. Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney famously said that the U.S. would have to engage its “dark side” to fight a terrifying new enemy. After 20 years, however, have the policies of unlawful detention, interrogation, and torture in fighting the “War in Terror” actually damaged the U.S.’s moral authority, created terrorist martyrs, empowered jihadist factions like the Islamic State, and led to other extremely negative impacts? Tayler and Epstein argue it has. In this segment of the show Letta Tayler joins us to discuss the report. Additionally, Letta provides us with exclusive news about a prison in Syria that she says is “Guantanamo Bay on steroids” and provides chilling audio she obtained last month from inside the prison.
Then, in the second segment of our show, reporter Maia Szalavitz joins us to discuss her book Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction, a major drug policy story from Oregon, and countering misinformation about drug policy, addiction, and the issue of criminalization vs. decriminalization being peddled by figures like Michael Shellenberger (author of San Fransicko: Why Progressive Ruin Cities). Maia Szlavitz takes us through the problems with the U.S.’s decades-spanning War on Drugs and how it has harmed rather than led to the recovery of those suffering from drug addiction issues. We discuss all of this as well as key misrepresentations being made about drug policy in Portugal by those who call for continuing a more-or-less law-and-order approach to the problem of addiction in society.