Friday, April 17, 2009
Torture ExcusedIt's an absolutely lovely evening in DC. Spring seems to have finally arrived, and I've moved my computer out to the sun porch. I really should be posting about something pleasant, but the all the spring pollen has made my nose itch, and my eyes water, and the Claritin I took has made me a little bitchy. Anyway, I'm not the nature lover of the group, that's Marigolds, but unfortunately for you dear reader, Marigolds is having computer issues. Before I wish you a pleasant weekend, let me first give you nightmares by speaking at length of torture.
Actually, the things I've heard so far from the torture memos released yesterday are not as bad as I imagined them. Okay, I admit, I haven't read them, but the only new horror I've heard about from the news media is that banging prisoners heads against the wall was okay as long as someone was holding the prisoners head. Which doesn't make any sense really, how can you bang someone's head against the wall if you're not holding it? By remote control? Telekinesis? Magic? There were a lot of horrible things done at Abu Graib, and I was concerned that these memos would be somehow worse. I always imagined that the crimes that are still kept secret from the Bush era must be truly horrific, because the ones we already know about are just disgusting, and quite honestly, depraved. Look, I don't want this to sound like it's no big deal, because it is, it's a huge deal.
I'm simply a little relieved that there were not massive pits dug to bury the fingers and toes that were removed during interrogation.
So our President said that we would not prosecute the CIA officials who committed these heinous acts. I can see his point. These acts were approved, and encouraged. The people who carried out the wishes of the superior officials of the armed forces and the CIA should have known better, we all know what is right and wrong. Those people should feel shame, and who knows, maybe they do. What I can't understand is how the lawyers, the ones who made this atrocity legal, can be exempt from the consequences. And the men who ordered these Americans to break the law, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush, how is it possible that they will not have to answer for their actions? And it is not just torture that they must answer for. What about the entire unnecessary war in Iraq? What about the lives of thousands of American soldiers? What about the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians? What about cluster bombs and white phosphorous? What about Fallujah? These crimes are so much more than banging a prisoner's head against the wall.
I want to bang my own head against the wall.
Justice will not be served by arresting the CIA officers who tortured prisoners. We cannot let major crimes fall by the wayside, while we ignore the huge unnecessary horror of Iraq. The crime of the century goes unpunished, and the criminals will never see the inside of a jail cell. There is a whole war out there with hundreds of thousands of victims, thousands of dead American soldiers, thousands of American soldiers who have lost limbs, lost hands and feet, and the ability to function in the world. There are hundreds of thousands of people displaced, hundreds of thousands of children who have lost parents, brothers, sisters, men and women who have lost spouses, children.
And for what?
Until the real criminals go to jail, I'm okay with letting the torturers go free.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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