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"Syriana" and Torture, American-Style

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik November 20, 2005 at 4:35AM

"Syriana" and Torture, American-Style
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There's a scene in Stephen Gaghan's upcoming geopolitical thriller "Syriana" where a CIA agent (played by George Clooney) is brutally tortured. The enhanced interrogation techniques used on Clooney's character were developed by the Chinese, according to the torturer, which involve yanking out the man's fingernails with pliers. It's a gruesome scene, and one that plays into the current debate about the Bush Administration's push to legalize torture.

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While the film was studiously researched by Gaghan and producers Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, and couldn't be more on-target in its analysis of U.S. government/corporate interests in the Middle East, the "Syriana" team seemed to get this one fact wrong: Why credit the Chinese with such torture tactics? As this ABC investigation proves, the U.S. is quite adept at using torture, and doesn't need help from the Chinese to execute such human rights abuses.

Water boarding, anyone?