Torturing Democracy

May 29, 2009

“If the Americans are doing it, and they’re not accountable, then who’s going to come to your rescue?”

-Moazzam Begg, Detainee #558 in Guantanamo Bay.

Moazzam Begg’s statement, made after years of detention without charge, echoes the sentiments of many Americans and much of the world who have traditionally viewed the United States as a pillar of the rule of law.

The 2009 documentary Torturing Democracy tells the story of how the United States government circumvented tradition and law to adopt torture as official policy. The film, produced by award-winning filmmaker Sherry Jones, draws on interviews, archival footage, and recently declassified documents to piece together the development and dissemination of torture tactics from Bagram in Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib — and the document trail leads right to the top of the chain of command.


Sherry Jones is an award-winning producer with dozens of television documentaries to her credit. Based in Washington, D.C. she heads Washington Media Associates, an independent production company.

Jones’ films have won eight Emmy Awards, three duPont-Columbia Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, three George Foster Peabody Awards for significant and meritorious achievement in broadcasting, two Robert F. Kennedy awards for outstanding coverage of the problems of the disadvantaged, three Edward R. Murrow awards from the Overseas Press Club of America, and two consecutive Silver Baton awards from the American Bar Association.

Sherry Jones is a Fellow of the National Security Archive, and has been honored as a “Woman of Vision” by Women in Film and Video. She holds a Masters degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, and is a member of the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Fame.

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