Our present complacency with American torture

 

InkSpot-main_FullI usually like Ray Warner’s thoughtful, measured essays on the issues of the day, but he really missed it by a mile on this one. First of all, there is absolutely no evidence that torture works. There is only hearsay by the proponents of torture. These are people who are, in fact, international war criminals with a vested interest in convincing gullible and blood-lusty Americans that their disgusting means are somehow justified by ends for which they offer no proof.

Alfreda Bikowsky, for example, is one of the CIA’s biggest cheerleaders for torture (the lead character in the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” was based on her) but she’s also the analyst who failed to share information that might have prevented the terror of 9-11.  She is, in fact, responsible for a series of deadly blunders that Glenn Greenwald described as “a long string of significant errors and malfeasance.”  She likes to talk up torture but the other stuff, not so much…

And here’s what Robert Fisk wrote on December 14, about the man who is everywhere these days defending torture, the Dark Lord himself: “Cheney wishes us to believe, of course, that these poor men gave important information to the vile creatures who were torturing them. That’s exactly what medieval inquisitions discovered when they accused the innocent of witchcraft. Almost to a man – and woman – the victims admitted that they had flown through the air. Perhaps that’s what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, after being waterboarded 183 times, told his CIA torturers. He could fly through the air. A terrorist human drone.”

Our present complacency with American torture reminds me of a scene from Sidney Lumet’s 1964 movie “Fail-Safe”, where a right-wing (and self-important) professor is arguing for a nuclear sneak attack on Moscow.  It goes something like this:

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: You know what you’re saying?

Prof. Groeteschele: Do you believe that Communism is not our mortal enemy?

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: You’re justifying murder.

Prof. Groeteschele: Yes, to keep from being murdered.

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: In the name of what? To preserve what? Even if we do survive, what are we? Better than what we say they are? What gives us the right to live, then? What makes us worth surviving, Groeteschele? That we are ruthless enough to strike first?

Prof. Groeteschele: Yes! Those who can survive are the only ones worth surviving.

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: Fighting for your life isn’t the same as murder.

Prof. Groeteschele: Where do you draw the line once you know what the enemy is? How long would the Nazis have kept it up, General, if every Jew they came after had met them with a gun in his hand? But I learned from them, General Black. Oh, I learned.

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: You learned too well, Professor. You learned so well that now there’s no difference between you and what you want to kill.

And that, my friends, is the ultimate argument against torture.  Even if “enhanced interrogation techniques” were not about sadistic impulses to exact kinky revenge on the perpetrators of 9-11 (and, by extension, on all boogedy boogedy Muslims), once we Americans began openly doing it, there was then no difference between us and those we like to torture.  None at all.

Never has the hypocrisy of our “Christian nation” exceptionalism been so exposed as it is now.  Where do we, as a people who once claimed high ideals, go from here?  We finally ended our genocide of indigenous populations and the practice of trading dark-skinned humans as if they were expendable farm-supply commodities.  Will we now abandon our affinity for torture?

Jacques d’Nalgar
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Related Posts

We expect people to die. The destruction of the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul is another example of the 'culturecide' we've become so used to By Robert Fisk, Thursday 29 June 2017 ...
A holy harangue   Franklin Graham made a recent appearance in Little Rock.  The Arkansas Times described it this way: He preached against godless politic...
Mother of all Hypocrisy If Trump cares so much about Syrian babies, why is he not condemning the rebels who slaughtered children? By Robert Fisk, Monday 17 April 2017 12:15 ...
The need to generalise Why 'they' still don't hate 'us' By Mark LeVine, 26 Sep 2012 08:07   I knew the title to my second book would be Why They Don't Hate Us ...
On the wilder shores of American Christianity George W Bush's new 'crusade': converting Jews to Christianity By Andrew Brown, November 14, 2013   Some people think George W Bush did ...
Xenophobic panic "Conservatism Is True." By Andrew Sullivan, 16 Jun 2011 09:57 PM ... It's funny that Fareed Zakaria and I are now seen as beyond the conservati...
Purely on the enlightened continent Meanwhile, Gideon Levy receives a death threat By Gideon Levy, Jan. 11, 2015 3:55 AM   “The European Court for Anti-Semitic Crimes. Court ...
These are revolutionary times Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned...
Peaceable revolution America's Dumbest Congressman says 'Selma' shows why we should fight 'radical Islam' By Hunter (Daily Kos staff), Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 09:53 AM PST ...
Narrative of Western perfidy The myth of the murderous Muslim By Haroon Moghul, 03 Jan 2013 10:02   Muslims are subversive jihadists. The Middle East is perpetually un...

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2014/12/29/our-present-complacency-with-american-torture/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.