Torture Is Poised For a Comeback. Also: Black Sites and Guantanamo.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


As we all know, President Obama signed an executive order banning torture when he took office. That can be reversed with the stroke of a pen. However, Charlie Savage of the New York Times has gotten a copy of a proposed new executive order which notes that last year Congress put this ban largely into law:

Interrogation is limited to methods in the Army Field Manual. What to do?

There you go. Just change the Army Field Manual. But no worries: the proposed EO goes on to say that no prisoner will ever be “subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, as proscribed by U.S. law.” That will work great, unless Trump finds another John Yoo to assure him that pretty much nothing qualifies under this definition. I wonder if Trump’s new attorney general can do that?

Waterboarding isn’t back yet, but apparently the Trump administration is thinking really hard about it.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest