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Torture: It's The American Way

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I've wanted to talk about our country's embrace of torture as A-OK for weeks now. Should I post when the New York Times runs a story on A-11 (deep inside the paper) that casually mentions more cases of torture and then even more casually states that the US has routinely shipped off prisoners to third countries like Saudi Arabia that we know will torture them? How about the fact that virtually the last paragraph even more casually mentions that the President repeatedly insists we never do this, which is known as extraordinary rendition? In other words, the New York Times says the President is lying to the American people but finds this so unremarkable it's barely mentioned in a small story buried in the paper.

Should I bring up torture when the New Yorker runs an exhaustive feature about yet another INNOCENT MAN who was grabbed, bundled off to a third country, brutally tortured and then dumped back into society with no one in government thinking this was unusual or unfortunate?

Bob Herbert of the New York Times finally couldn't wait any longer for outrage to build and asks today if the US has a conscience.

A Kafkaesque country where private citizens are grabbed off the streets and dumped in a hole never to be heard from again. A government that refuses to admit those people have even been detained or confirmed their names. Secret locations where people KNOWN TO BE INNOCENT are beaten, raped, sodomized, tortured, punched in the head and even killed. A leader who believes he is above the rule of law and must answer to no one for his actions. Sycophantic minions who do Orwell proud by insisting they would never torture someone, but simply redefine torture as anything that doesn't lead to organ failure or death. Electric cables attached to your genitals and giving you shocks? Not torture. Punching you in the stomach every day for a year? Not torture. Stripping you naked an d keeping you in a tiny box away from all human contact for six months at a time? Not torture.

This used to describe evil countries like Saudi Arabia, the Soviet Union, China, Iraq, Cambodia under Pol Pot and others. Now it also describes the United States of America. And every day we accept that torture is part of the post 9-11 world, every day we don't write to our elected officials and demand it change (just like we used to write letters for Amnesty International and send them off to OTHER countries), every day we fail to speak out for the innocent people who have been found guilty without a trial or a lawyer or even being told the charges against them, every day that this continues is another day our hands are bloodied and everything we stand for is sullied.

Here's betting this posting doesn't garner more than a handful of comments. Why? This is old news.

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