Torture

Aerial view of the ‘Salt Pit’, the CIA’s clandestine detention centre north of Kabul, which opened in September 2002. Detainees were kept chained in total darkness, with loud music playing constantly

Do the Americans know who they’re fighting in Afghanistan — or why?

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Early every morning through the spring of 2002, US troops at Bagram airfield on the Shomali plains north of Kabul…

Master of the dark art of interrogation: Alexander Scotland in 1945

A grand inquisitor

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Hidden behind Kensington Palace, in one of London’s smartest streets, there is a grand old house which played a leading…

Chairman Mao devours his foes

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Frank Dikötter, professor of humanities at the University of Hong Kong and winner of the Samuel Johnson prize in 2011,…

From Jekyll back to Hyde: the changing face of Begbie

23 April 2016 9:00 am

Irvine Welsh’s 1993 debut novel Train-spotting flicked a hearty V-sign in the face of alarm-clock Britain. ‘Ah choose no tae…

Further dispatches from Syria’s maelstrom

16 April 2016 9:00 am

The mechanic, blinded in one eye by shrapnel, spent three days searching for his family in the destroyed buildings and…

Britain needs a museum of communist terror

5 March 2016 9:00 am

I went to Budapest last year and did the usual touristy things. I climbed up the hill to the fantasy…

The dark comedy of the Senate torture report

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Like many journalists, I’m a bit of a know-it-all — when information is touted as ‘new’, especially in government reports,…

The face of evil: Irma Grese, one of the most hated of all camp guards, trained at Ravensbrück before moving to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Survivors testified to her extreme sadism, including her use of trained, half-starved dogs to savage prisoners

Process of elimination: the horrors of Ravensbrück revealed

31 January 2015 9:00 am

Concentration camps in Nazi Germany were originally set up in 1933 to terrorise Hitler’s political enemies; as war drew near,…

Catherine Parr, whose dangerously reformist ‘Lamentation’ Shardlake must recover, comes over as a sympathetic and attractive figure

The Tudor sleuth who's cracked the secret of suspense

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Some reviewers are slick and quick. Rapid readers, they remember everything, take no notes, quote at will. I’m the plodding…

Press five to report a funny man on your doorstep with strange tales of dog torture

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Strangely enough, I was in the middle of writing an article about the tactics used by the RSPCA when another…

How to avoid bankers in your nativity scene

19 October 2013 9:00 am

In the vast Benedictine monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore between Siena and Rome, the cycle of frescoes depicting the life…