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?


Matthew | Polaris Rising said...

I know it doesn't make it right, but this sort of torture goes on all the time, in pretty much all governments. It's gotten more visible - which is a good thing. It's existed historically for the vast majority of human history.

I think it exists because we deny that we have this energy inside ourselves - and so it comes out in a horrific way.

Having it go public is a good thing.

two crows said...

hi, Matthew--
I know it's been going on throughout history. And, I've known for 6 years that it was going on here. I've posted about it many, many times over on my political blog.

But this is different.
Our president is condoning torture by refusing to prosecute it. And he is setting precedent for future administrations who want to get away with criminal activities.

This I cannot abide.
I just went to the Obama website where input is requested. I told his staff that, if he doesn't back down from the stance he has taken, I will donate to and work for anyone who challenges him in his next primary. And if he wins the nomination, I will, for the first time in my life, vote for a Republican.

oh, lordy, I hope it doesn't come to that.

Dave Dubya said...

I would not vote for Obama if he appeases torture. That said, I will not vote for a republican either.

I keep saying the only difference that matters is who they appoint to the Supreme Court. This is why I'd never vote republican.

two crows said...

you're right, Dave--
I don't know what I'll do in 2012. if Obama keeps on deserting the values I THOUGHT he held, I can't, in good conscience vote for him -- but, like you, I'm sure I couldn't bring myself to vote for a rethuglican.
and, voting for a 3rd party would, probably, amount to voting for a rethug.

To be honest, this is tearing me up.