The Torture Question

The decision to use torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib can be traced to the highest levels in U.S. government, and much of the value of this excellent documentary by Michael Kirk, broadcast on PBS’s Frontline last October, lies in its comprehensively mapping how the policy got carried out. Kirk reveals the pecking orders and blurred lines between military police and military intelligence, and the impression of ill-informed incompetence leading to frustration and sadism on the part of the torturers is devastating. The interviewees include General Janis Karpinski, who appears to have been a convenient scapegoat, and Tony Lagouranis, an army interrogator in Iraq for four years who also speaks chillingly of how innocent Iraqis were and still are abused and tortured in their own homes. 90 min. Fri 1/20, 7 PM, Chicago Filmmakers.

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