Skip to content

Stronger than Torture?

2016 December 2

It’s Going to be a Scary Four Years…

This blog, and most of my work over the past several years, has dealt with the issue of torture: why, where, and when it happens; who’s responsible for it; who are its victims. trump-5My documentary, REFUGE: Caring for Survivors of Torture, tells the stories of several torture survivors who have managed to make it to the United States, and some of the people – social workers, psychiatrists, physicians, and ordinary, caring citizens – who are devoting a good chunk of their lives to helping survivors recover from their trauma and make new lives here in the United States.

Right now, I wonder what those survivors are thinking.

Many of these men, women – and yes, children – have spent years in refugee camps abroad, waiting for admission to whatever country will welcome them. For one of the people interviewed in my film, a woman whose children had been murdered in front of her, it was nine years. Those who make it to the United States think they are the lucky ones. They don’t expect to have it easy, but they expect to be safe.

And now they’re treated to the spectacle of the new president of their country of refuge calling for some of them to be thrown out, and promising to build walls to keep others from coming in. He’s also announced that “Torture works, OK folks? and waterboarding is your minor form, but we should go much strongepompeor than waterboarding.”

Trump was reportedly considering nominating Jose Rodriguez – one of the architects of the Bush administration’s torture program – to run the CIA. Instead, we’re getting Mike Pompeo (at right), who has called our prison at Guantánamo “a goldmine of intelligence,” where detainees “are treated exceptionally well.”

It’s going to be a very scary four years.


Below are links to a few sources of information
about refugees and the refugee resettlement process:

International Rescue Committee
Refugees & Resettlement
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch



Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS