Saturday, April 25, 2009

The United State of America Tortures People

This morning I awoke at 4 a.m. I was wide awake. Something was on my mind. Normally I have no problem sleeping. When I go to sleep at night, I’m unconscious until about 6:30 or 7 in the morning. This morning was different. As I lay awake, I reviewed in my mind what was bothering me. Then it came into focus. Our country tortures prisoners. The United State of America tortures people. Never mind that torture has never proven to elicit useful information, our country tortures people. Yes, the United State of America, the self appointed “moral authority” in the world who lectures others countries on human rights abuses, tortures people.

Credit must be given to the Obama administration for releasing the “torture” memos. These twisted logic legal memos that attempted to legalize torture and thus provide cover for the Bush Administration. Last week an additional 2,000 plus photos were released of prisoners in Iraq being tortured and humiliated. What in the world did the Bush/Cheney and Company hope to accomplish by these criminal acts? Didn’t our country sign the Geneva Conventions against cruel and unusual punishment of prisoners or war? The Bush Administration claims that the “terrorists” are different than “normal” prisoners of war because they didn’t wear uniforms. Excuse me? What am I missing here?

The simple fact remains that Bush Administration officials instigated and condoned torture of prisoners. They broke the law. They water boarded prisoners. Cheney admits it. He’s proud of it. Our country executed Japanese soldiers at the end of World War II who water boarded our prisoners of war. How are we any different? Is it because the Bush administration had a legal memo “authorizing” torture and a doctor in attendance?

Barack Obama has a dilemma. He states that he “wants to look forward” and not “backwards.” How convenient. Maybe that’s what the Nazi war criminals should have used as their defense during the Nuremberg War Crimes trials. Maybe that is the defense that Pol Pot should have used when he was caught. No, it doesn’t wash.

Patrick Buchanan, one of the few well known conservatives who will actually listen to other arguments and isn’t brain dead, states that an investigation and trial “would tear this country apart.” He may be right. But the question remains, are we a country of laws or are we not? That is the question. All the conservatives can do is to attempt to drag Nancy Pelosi into the mix by saying she was informed of the torture.

I don’t know the answer. My heart says that we should be a country of laws and not give anyone a pass, even if they are at the highest levels of government. But reality is much different. There is a hard core conservative base in this country which is blind to the abuses, incompetence, and gross negligence of the past eight years of the Bush/Cheney regime. People of this mind set will never change. Most of them think that this country is God anointed for only straight, white people and the rest of us are only “tolerated.” When a complete idiot like the Miss California in the recent Miss USA contest states (response to legalization of same sex marriage) “… MY country and the family I was raised in……”, that tells you a lot about the mind set of these people. It is THEIR country and they don’t have room in their tent for anyone who differs from their views. The rest of us are outsiders. Don’t kid yourself this is the way THESE people think.

I didn’t want to post a negative blog on this beautiful, warm spring day but this idea that our country condones torture bothers me a great deal. Hopefully, as time goes by, I will become desensitized to it as much of our country is desensitized to violence in movies. But for now, I feel shock, shame and humiliation. But then I have always been accused of being na├»ve.

Here is one thing that really bothers me though, these people who initiated the policy of torture. These people who wrote the memos to make torture legal. And these people who carried out the torture. My question is this, how do they sleep at night?


Anonymous said...

You think the torture has stopped?

You think it was "just under busy/cheney" that torture happened & will never happen again?

Once a people start torturing, they don't stop. You're next. I'm next.

Anyone could be tortured by the US government. Or its state or local governments.

Once a people start torturing, they keep torturing. Until they are defeated by a morally superior nation.

We're in deep trouble if we don't hold war crimes trials for those in our government who did these things. Or knew about them & "authorized" them.

Ron said...

Thank you for your comment. No, I don't think the practice of torture has changed, which is very sad for this country. I grew up believing that our country had a higher moral standing that most other countries of this world. However, I am heartened that many in this country don't condone torture. By the same token, I am saddened that so many think it is acceptable. Some people I know personally and respect think torture is a good way to get information (it isn't) and to punish those who want to harm us. This kind of thinking is wrong on all counts.

I am so thankful that those of the previous administration who initiated, justified and carried out these disgraceful policies are out of power.