Karen Greenberg

Karen J. Greenberg is the executive director of the Center on Law and Security at New York University and the editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (with Joshua Dratel), The Torture Debate in America, and Al Qaeda Now: Understanding Today's Terrorists.

Recent Articles

Defusing the "Ticking Time Bomb" Excuse

Life does not imitate 24, and the Democratic candidates, led by Hillary Clinton, are finally learning to address the unrealistic scenarios that Republicans often use to justify torture.

Left, Kiefer Sutherland in a still from his hit TV show 24. Right, Hillary Clinton at the last Democratic debate. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Torture, it seems, just won't disappear from the American political landscape. Last week's revelation of the U.S. attorney general's authorization for the use of torture is one more chapter in a story that the American people will have to live with for time immemorial.

Split Screens

Lynndie England is dressed in an orange jump suit -- Prisoner Number 9J7327 -- with her stringy hair pulled back. She stares at the audience in the Culture Project's theater on New York's Bleecker Street. Several feet away, a British journalist attaches Post-its to a board. They are separated from each other by the length of the stage -- as well as by nationality, education, and class. Yet, as the audience learns during Peter Morris's award-winning play, Guardians, which opens at the Culture Project on April 11, their lives are intertwined because of Abu Ghraib.

The Accused

For God And Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire by James Yee (with Aimee Molloy) (PublicAffairs, 240 pages, $24.00)

One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story by Janis Karpinski (with Steven Strasser) (Hyperion, 256 pages, $24.95)

Figures of Speech

One of John Kerry's stronger moments in the first presidential debate came when he explained that, contrary to what George W. Bush would still have had inattentive viewers believe, Saddam Hussein did not attack the United States. To this cold reminder, Bush snapped back defensively, “Of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us. I know that.” He also stumbled embarrassingly into the following boast: “Of course we're after Saddam Hussein -- I mean bin Laden. He's isolated. Seventy-five percent of his people have been brought to justice.”

Figures of Speech

One of John Kerry's stronger moments in the first presidential debate came when he explained that, contrary to what George W. Bush would still have had inattentive viewers believe, Saddam Hussein did not attack the United States. To this cold reminder, Bush snapped back defensively, “Of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us. I know that.” He also stumbled embarrassingly into the following boast: “Of course we're after Saddam Hussein -- I mean bin Laden. He's isolated. Seventy-five percent of his people have been brought to justice.”