The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Torture is the giveaway

When all is said and done, with this administration trying to tell us that black is white, even those people who have a rosy film of American exceptionalism over their eyes have to finally wake up and realize that we are torturing people, and that makes us . . . for lack of a better word . . . evil. Don't they? When systematic, cruel torture on people, many of whom we know to be innocent, is ADVOCATED by our highest officials, doesn't that straw finally break our camel-ly backs? Arthur Silber notes this in a post that quotes from two extremely important articles from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:


It is only our belief that we are somehow special, that we are unique, that prevents us from recognizing this starkly obvious historical reality. Even if it were true that we are unique, and even if we are unique in critical ways, none of that alters the course of history -- and it does not change the ultimate outcome once barbarism is embraced and set loose.

But we acknowledge none of this, and insist that the rules that apply to all others do not apply to us, for some reason which is neither convincing nor, more importantly, true. Our self-imposed blindness may well destroy us, and we will not finally see the truth until it is too late.

The articles quoted say, among other things


But don't take just our word for it. Experienced and well-trained interrogators within the military, the FBI and the police say that torture does not yield reliable information. Such extraneous information distracts, rather than supports, valid investigations. F. Andy Messing, a retired major in U.S. Special Forces and director of the National Defense Council, told Insight magazine, "Anybody with real combat experience understands that torture is counterproductive."

...

At the time the photos were taken at Abu Ghraib, the Red Cross estimated that at least 80 percent of those imprisoned should never have been arrested, but were there because it was easier to arrest persons than to let them go. They were all vulnerable to abuse not because of their guilt but because they were there.

...

Discussions of torture invariably deal both with questions of morality and effectiveness. In truth, torture fails both tests, as Douglas Johnson writes on Page AA1. But while our leaders state flatly that it doesn't work and that the United States does not torture, thereby seeming to agree that torture is immoral, they have acted otherwise. They have redefined what torture is, they have allowed U.S. personnel to engage in abusive "enhanced techniques" of interrogation and they have "renditioned" detainees to nations known to torture under any definition.

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