New Column

Torture and the cowardice it covers:

If we had irrefutable evidence against people plotting terrorism in and against the United States, we would not need to hide that evidence from those defendants. If we had reliable intelligence about who was and was not acting against the national interest, we would be able to tell those detained the reason for their detention. If we had the manpower and technological capabilities to investigate every alleged crime for which someone is detained, there would be no reason to hold them; if we could determine cause, we could charge them under a system that has served us well for more than two centuries.

First off, I’ve come to hate the word “detainees.” Detained is something that implies you’ll be released in the morning after you’ve sobered up. Detained implies stuck at the airport, or in line at the coffee shop. These are our prisoners. Let’s at least grant them the significance of calling them that.

Second, we put all this energy, spend all this time, defending our national torture program and winding our way in and out of all its legal complications. I’ve not yet heard anyone give a convincing explanation of why we couldn’t put just as much energy, why we couldn’t put the resources of our country, into actually prosecuting the cases of those we’ve imprisoned. Into sorting out their status, trying them, convicting them if guilty and releasing them if innocent under a legal system which has served us for more than two hundred years. Into, you know, preventing terrorism, which is supposed to be this bunch’s big kink, and instead starts looking like an excuse to lock a bunch of people up and see just how much shredding of the Constitution they can get away with before somebody stops them.


4 thoughts on “New Column

  1. Torture? Don’t be such a bore Athenae. Nobody wants to talk about torture. Unless we can make it FUNNY! And joke about it! Club Gitmo!
    Grab an Arab prison! Yuks!
    I always drag out my question when we talk about torture but now I’ll put it in a form of a quiz!
    How many died from abuse in Abu Ghraib?
    A. 0
    B. 3
    C. 5
    D. 23
    D. 28
    Answer: D
    If you answered 5 you get 2 quatloos because that is the number that the ARMY officially said died from ‘abuse’ in Abu Ghraib. But as of Nov 2004 there were 28 total with only 5 cases having been confirmed as being from Abuse. I should really look into that figure and see how many have been classified as “Death from natural causes”
    But Talk Radio Hosts LOVE to down play torture. Torture: It’s just like our STAFF Meetings! Stress positions: It’s like Marching BAND! WHEEEE!
    Take a listen:
    Also note: Melanie Morgan on 560 AM who is in this clip with “Officer Vic” Tom Brenner and Brian Sussman, still wants her waterboarding. You know, cause she’s a good Christian and all.
    Video: Man dressed like Bin Laden. Beard, rope is being waterboarded.
    He comes up for air looks at the camera
    “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”
    Fade to black
    Did YOUR Christian senator vote for torture?
    -Brought to you by Christians against Torture

  2. this bunch is never about what they’re supposed to be about. it ain’t about preventing anything. never has been. it’s about wielding power and making money, both of which they’re doing quite well. let’s pretend for five seconds that there is an actual war on terror and that it can actually be won. if terrorism were somehow defeated and went away, what could republicans use to scare people into voting for them?

  3. Two days ago, Glen Greenwald posted excerpts of a motion to dismiss the indictment against Jose Padilla’s by his lawyers. Those excerpts tell how Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil, has been treated during the last three and 1/2 years. If this doesn’t make one cringe as an American who supports the Rule of Law and has any ethical standards, I don’t know what will – no charges, let alone conviction in a court; no access to a lawyer for two years; and treatment that can only be considered torture by any civilized standard.
    It’s definately worth a read. See just what kind of black hole into which President Thumbscrews and the Republicans have allowed our democracy to be sucked while promoting fear in the public. The Founding Fathers would be appalled. I certainly am.

  4. .
    If your going to call a spade a spade, call the “prisoners” at Guantanimo what they are: Trophies.
    Chew on the implications of that for a while.

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