This Friday, at 3:30 p.m. in Philosophy 150, one of the speakers from “A Conference on Torture” will meet with students in a more informal setting than the conference. The conference will take place this Saturday.
The speaker is Joshua Phillips, author of None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers And Torture. He discusses, among other things, two soldiers who committed suicide after having engaged in detainee abuse, though the Army ruled their deaths accidental. Phillips interviewed fellow soldiers from the tank battalion of these two soldiers, their family members, as well as detainees in Afghanistan and many Iraqis, trying to understand how it came about that US soldiers began torturing detainees, even before the ‘torture memos.’ No single answer has been found to explain this phenomenon.
If you saw the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side about Dilawar, Joshua Phillips interviewed one of the passengers on the trip that ended in Dilawar’s death at Bagram. Chapter Two is about Dilawar, who drove a taxi and was ‘arrested’ by US troops, taken to the prison at Bagram Air Force base, and died while in custody, though not from natural causes.