Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
On December 5, 2002, an Afghan taxi driver named Diliwar was taken to America's prison at the Bagram Air Force Base. Five days later he was dead. At first the military said that he had died of "natural causes," but in a later inquiry the coroner testified that his lower body had been "pulpified." On his death certificate issued by the military the box marked "homicide" was checked. Taxi to the Dark Side won an Academy Award as best documentary for portraying detainee abuse and torture at Bagram, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo. There are at least 83,000 detainees in US custody; over 108 of them have died, at least 37 by homicide. The film combines interviews the military police who interrogated Diliwar, genuine heroes in this sordid story like Alberto Mora (General Counsel to the Navy 2001–2006), grotesque still photos that shock the conscience, justifications of the abuse by John Yoo, and commentary by investigative reporters and attorneys. If you think that this film exaggerates, or if you still believe that American torture consisted of some isolated incidents by a "few bad apples," and was not official public policy engineered by our top officials, then read the books by Philippe Sands, Torture Team; Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values (New York: Palgrave, 2008), and Jane Mayer, The Dark Side; The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (New York: Doubleday, 2008).