The making of a monster in wartime: How Torturer Happens

April 12th, 2014
killing-fields-and-s21.jpgThe task of bearing witness to war and terror, even for a journalist, is not to reduce events to our own understanding, but by acknowledging and reporting them, to serve both the dead and the living. Thierry Cruvellier has done this as one of the only journalists to have attended the trials of all of our contemporary international war crimes tribunals.  

Yet few such trials are more powerful than that of a mild mannered math teacher who was one of the principal executioners of the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge and the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia in the 70’s.  He tells that story in his new book The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer.

My conversation with Thierry Cruvellier: