Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Today, I sent an email to President Obama. I hope enough of these are sent so as to catch the attention of his staff and they get brought to his attention.

Since a groundswell of small donations got him into office—I hope a groundswell of angry voices will wake him up to the disastrous mistake he is making.
The defense, 'I was just following orders' didn't work in Nuremberg. Why should it be allowed here?
And, what about holding accountable the people who gave the orders? And the people who drafted the memos giving the people who authorized torture the justification for their orders?

If the President refuses to take action against torture-- thereby giving precedent to the presidents who follow him --I will find it necessary to donate as much money as I can to any Democrat who challenges him in his next primary. I will campaign for him or her, as well.

If Mr. Obama secures the nomination, I will be compelled to vote for a Republican president for the first time in my life.
After all, if Mr. Obama does not appoint a special prosecutor and throw his full weight behind this matter---- what is the difference?

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Now We Know
I'm departing from the usual sort of post I put in this blog. Somehow, I can't go on just as if nothing had happened. I'll return to my usual format, soon. But, for now, I simply cannot move on without purging my soul a bit. Please forgive this lapse.
It’s official. We now know what the torturers did in our name. I, for one, can’t live with what I know. I just can’t.

I’m not sure where to go from here with this post. What can I say?

People were deprived of sleep.

People were slapped.

People had their heads banged into walls.

People were manacled in body-cramping positions for hours on end.

People had their faces “walled”. I’m not sure what “walling” is—but I can guess.

People were locked in boxes filled with insects.

People were deprived of food. Physicians were on tap to advise the torturers about how few calories people could be given for extended periods before they starved to death.

People were kept in very cold conditions. If they covered themselves with their prayer rugs, the rugs were taken away. The justification? They were being ‘uncooperative’.

Waterboarding was justified by saying that we didn’t mean to harm people. We proved it by having a doctor in attendance while it was going on. Scratch that. We had medical personnel available.
What does ‘medical personnel’ mean?
What does ‘available’ mean?
And why does that matter?

If you watched Rachel Maddow last night you were treated to a demonstration of just what waterboarding is.
I wanted to turn away. I forced myself to watch. After all, this was done in my name. It was done to ‘make me safe.’

I don't feel safe.
And, yesterday, Obama said, "We must move forward."

What he is really saying is this:
We must not prosecute the people who did this in our names.
We must set a precedent so that any future president or CIA director can, without fear, disappear anyone s/he wishes to take off the street. Any president can lock people up indefinitely without access to counsel. Any president can dispense with Habeas Corpus whenever it becomes inconvenient to uphold. Any future president can order the torture of human beings without fear of prosecution.
Any president [including this one] can choose not to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States' if it is inconvenient to do so.
Any president can simply refuse to honor his oath of office as it benefits him personally or politically.

So, I ask you: Do you feel safe?