Missing The Effing Point!
I, as promised, have kept silent during the first days of our new President’s administration. I hoped, along with most of the rest of America, that we would see substantive change, even though I knew it would be far more socialist change that I personally would be able to stomach. Nevertheless, there were even deeper American issues that I really believed that President Obama would wish to address.
Of course, looting the American treasury and mortgaging the future of our grandchildren was not exactly a good start, but I still hoped that our new president would want to address issues in blatant violation of our Constitution and our national values – issues like torture and warrantless wiretapping.
Instead, President Obama chose to keep and expand the warrantless wiretapping program, which has led to my recent work on a book soon to be released, intended to teach the average computer and cell phone user how to avoid said wiretapping. Watch for Naked in the Cyber Winds: A Survival Guide for the Surveillance Age.
As reprehensible as I find said wiretapping, particularly after learning of the tap on Senator Harman (although I do believe the lady should be jailed for treason – as I am sure there is ample other evidence that could found in more traditional and acceptable ways), I find torture even more morally repugnant, as I think would any sane human being.
I was all in favor of President Obama’s declassification and release of the torture memos, and I believe there are many more still to be released. I was, however, stunned and disgusted by his initial stance that there would be no torture prosecutions, even though torture clearly violates both U.S. and international law. After considerable pressure from Congress, he seems to have modified his stance to the extent that those at the top who may have ordered torture might be prosecuted if his Attorney General chooses to move forward. After all, it isn’t up to him. He is only the President of the United States. This is actually quite true, but most presidents seem to honor it only when it serves their purposes.
Meanwhile, Dick Cheney is trying to twist the debate by calling for the release of still classified material that supposedly proves what incredibly valuable information was gained from torture. This disgusting and creepy excuse for a human being just won’t go away.
To begin with, I believe that no information of value is ever gained from torture, as the victim will simply admit to anything whatsoever to get the torture to stop. You would, and I would, and any ordinary human being would. The only persons throughout history who have even attempted to resist torture were extreme idealogues, both good and bad – and guess what our so-called “high value” detainees were?
Second, in several of these “high value” cases, torture was the desperate attempt of a madman to justify an illegal war. According to reports this very morning, enormous pressure was put on interrogators to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Can you spell obsession?
Furthermore, in trying to shield the foot soldiers who actually carried out such interrogations, President Obama has aligned himself with every disgusting tyrant throughout history. “Just following orders” is not an excuse for torture. It never has been, and it never will be. I would be interested in seeing an actual count of how many times that defense was used during the Nazi trials at Nuremberg.
So let me be very clear here. Dick Cheney says the point was the high value information obtained, but that is missing the point altogether. These men and women may well have believed that they were using torture to protect me, the American citizen, from death at the hands of terrorists, but I vehemently reject that relationship. Not in my name! Not ever!
I believe that I am an average citizen of my country, perfectly normal in every way, not unusually brave at all, but let me put this in words of one syllable so that I cannot possibly be misunderstood: I would rather die horribly at the hands of terrorists than have torture and abuse committed in my name! How hard is that to understand?
How can anyone tolerate this type of moral degenerate? How can their wives share their beds? How can husbands even look at their wives? How can their children ever respect them? How can their neighbors live near them? Frankly, I’d rather have Jeffrey Dahmer for a neighbor than anyone who has committed this sort of crime. And I don’t give a tinker’s damn who ordered it in the first place. All are equally guilty.
Those who committed, and those who ordered, the crime of torture should be unemployable, even to scrub toilets and clean sewers. They should be shunned by every decent human being on the planet. By their actions, they have seceded from the human race. They are not welcome in my home, my city, my state or in my country. They should be tried at once for the nastiest and ugliest crime one human being can ever commit against another, and if convicted in a court of law, they should be imprisoned for the rest of their miserable lives – not in Club Fed type prisons, but in maximum security prisons that have guards with nasty attitudes. They should immediately be assigned large and sexually active cellmates.
And when, as will inevitably happen, they find their new circumstances too horrible to endure, we should be more merciful than they were to their victims – and allow them to take their own lives.
You can call me naive. I will wear that badge with pride. But I do believe that nothing less will cleanse this stain upon the honor and the decency of the American people.