Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What's All The Fuss Over A Little Torture?

by Al Falafel

Some people I know - and who should certainly know better - still don't get it.

To this day I continue to hear the opinion that the real problem was the release of those photos from Abu Ghraib that broke the news story, exposing the American torturous treatment of Iraqi detainees. As if it would be better had no one ever found out about how we conduct our invasions of any foreign country because "they" deserve it because "they attacked us."

Do you think I do not want to scream?

That kind of attitude may have been excusable in some quarters in the first days after 9/11 and was bound to survive in those who are predisposed to blind reactionary patriotism that was stoked and exploited by the war-hungry, profiteering forces that had inhabited the Administration after the Bush coup of 2000. But after all we've learned about the rationale for going to war in Iraq - WMDs, ties to Al Queda, yellow cake uranium - all now exposed and accepted for being nothing but a pack of self-serving evil lies - how can anyone separate out the well-known acts of torture from all the other surreal and malicious lies we are still force-fed by the cynics and apologists for the deposed Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove/Rice/Ascroft/Gonzales cabal?

With the recent release of those torture memos it has come to light that this too - TORTURE of human beings - was just another part of their PR campaign engineered to establish a reason for the invasion of Iraq AFTER it became clear that all their other reasons were nothing but bold face lies.


Apparently, most of America is not.

Since the memos came out all the TV talk still centers on whether waterboarding is torture or whether torture "works" or not. We have become so jaded - so inured to hearing of the depths to which the Bush Administration was willing to dive in order to justify their nefarious war-mongering intentions - that we just gloss over the revelations that torture of detainees in the Iraq War were NEVER ABOUT obtaining useful information that might keep us safe or help defeat our enemies who threaten America.

It was all about justifying the Bush-led invasion of a foreign country on false pretenses and manufactured intelligence that has consistently proven to have been invented in order to rationalize and cover up their high crimes and misdemeanors.

Torture of human beings was plainly carried out by our troops and mercenaries under orders straight from the top of this country's government.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Rice and the whole criminal cabal then lied - and continue to lie - to cover up and distract from the facts that are now indisputably evident from their own official words contained in the de-classified memos. Those memos detail how our troops were used to force detainees to say what the cabal wanted to hear -- what they wanted US to hear whether it contained any truth or not.

Cutting through all the shit, this is the bottom line and perfectly explains why the Bush Administration officially authorized torture in blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions. So perfect that we are compelled to shrug it off with a great big, "duh."

Of course: after none of the other lies would hold any water for very long, torture was all they had left.

It was and is their only hope to find some salable justification of their criminal activities. Since no direct evidence could be found to substantiate their headstrong plunge into the huge Middle East catastrophe, they were "forced" to resort to sadistic torture of Iraqi detainees in order to force them to say something that would help make a case for the US having invaded their country and killed all those people including over 5,000 of our own troops!

Wasn't there once a time -- seems not so long ago -- that when the President and other Administration officials LIED about something an investigation was unquestionably warranted? No matter what the cost, how long it may take, or the eventually futile outcome of such an investigation and prosecution after such allegations were made was done almost by routine.

I seem to remember a few things called "Whitewater," "Filegate," "Travelgate" and "the Monica Lewinsky Affair" on which some $60 billion and up to eight years of hearings, house arrests, and impeachment proceedings were justified by the allegations against a SITTING President for things that never amounted to more than a squirt.

How the hell are we going to let the ex-officeholders get away with their devastating ruinous lies even while Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and their apologists are all over the TV circuit bragging about what they did and laughing in our stupid faces?

How now is there the slightest question about whether there should be an investigation and prosecution of those who authorized torture for purely partisan political reasons and, in the process, sold our entire nation out, ruined our reputation -- not to mention our economy -- and cost millions of human lives and trillions of dollars?

All the chatter about whether torture works, or whether it yielded any useful information (we would definitely know by now if it did) is utterly meaningless and wickedly distracting from this central element AND IT NEEDS TO STOP!

For humanity's sake doesn't this warrant more than a wussy "truth commission?" How can we not demand a very serious investigation of these very serious crimes followed by a serious prosecution of the criminals to the fullest extent of the law -- the International Laws against war crimes?

See the New York Times Op-ed piece.

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