Discourses That Make Torture Possible: The Abu Ghraib Case

Ariane Belanger-Vincent


Based on the evidences provided by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2004, I will show in this paper how some U.S. governmental discourses created what has been called a “torture-sustaining reality” that produces a favorable environment to commit acts corresponding to torture. In order to do that, I will first explain how the governmental discourses can be connected to the actions perpetrated in Abu Ghraib. Second, I will show how this torture-sustaining reality results from two discursive processes found in some U.S. governmental memos: dehumanization and authorization.

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