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Friday, April 24, 2009

Torturing Me With Stupidity

What is old is new again.

It seems to me that we knew about the torture shit LONG ago. At least two or three years ago. And the conclusion was this.

There was no torture. At least not by our definition of the word. Come on - it is not like we are using thumb screws here! Just a little water boarding and some other stuff. And yea, the Japanese in WWII did the same thing. So did the Khmer Rouge. But they did it to good people! We are doing it to bad people in order to keep everyone safe!!! So it is OK.

And that was all there was to it. Congress was a bunch of pussies, and the White House was not going to do anything. The Attorney General even gave the OK!

This from an administration that lambasted the previous administration for parsing the legal definition of "sex". Which by the was was ridiculous - oral sex! Otherwise it would not be called "oral sex" now would it? It would be called "oral not sex". But to slam someone for parsing the legal meaning of sex and then go on to play the legal meaning of torture is insane.

But now what is old is new again. More shit was released. We, the United States, was using at least some of the same tactics used by the Khmer Rouge. Granted, the USA has not tortured hundreds of thousands if not millions to death - but still.

We are tainted. The nation that so often in the past took the more moral road sunk to their level.

And the excuse is the same. Kept us safe no more attacks bad people blah blah.

So a few days ago I was out drinking with people. And the subject came up. I got blasted for not supporting the torture.

The same old tired fictional "ticking time bomb" shit kept coming up. So did the "kept us safe" line.

Well yea, except for that one isolated incident we were "safe". But never mind that.

So I countered. Did the torture uncover the plot in Madrid? Did it uncover the plot in London? Did it uncover the plot in India?

No, no, and no. And why? Because these cells are not organized like the military. The left hand does not always know what the right hand is plotting. So sticking bamboo slivers under the left hand is not going to be productive.

The counter to my counter was some what predictable. Screw Spain. We were not concerned with attacks over there - that was their problem. We were only trying to make our homeland safe.

Yea - screw the UK. Our biggest ally and Bush's biggest supporter - until Tony Blair was voted out. Why would we have alerted the limeys to anything? And Spain?? Aren't they communist anyway? Something like that. So screw them.

Or is it possible that we did not alert them because we did not know? That seems a lot more reasonable to me. what a PR campaign that would have been huh?

The hero of 24, who gets the right info at just the right time busts in and finds the bomb makers installing the detonators - saving London and Madrid at the last minute!

Only it did not happen. Because that is not how things happen.

And I also pointed out that I can apply torture to someone and make them admit to being almost anything. I told the people I was talking to that I could have them chained up, deprived of sleep, beaten gently, strung in "stress positions" while naked and viscous attack dogs were all around, and water boarded - and have them admit to being witches! And not the Wicca witches, I am talking green faced with the wart, flying around on brooms, making magical potions, fairy tale witches here.

I could also get them to admit they were the Pope. Or even Mickey Mouse. Hell I could get them to confess to anything!

But would that be a valid confession? Would that be useful intelligence? Could the courts or law enforcement use any of that information?

No, probably not. It would be useless. It would be based in fiction.

It would be someone telling me only what I wanted to hear, so that he punishment would stop.

There never were any witches - even though plenty of people confessed to being one.

So all this is just confusing to me. We are safer, by applying methods intended to elicit only what we want others to say. The truth? Who needs that? We can just get someone to confess to something we want to hear and make that the truth!

Just like The Grand Inquisitor did.

But my point seems to be too abstract to grasp. For I am wring you see. Torture works, and always gets good information that keeps us safe.

The LA plot that was busted up is also back in the news, as an example of how getting information out of some bad dude works. Only problem is that when the plot was uncovered - the bad guy in question was not yet captured. So he could not have been the source of the tip.

So not one plot can be pointed to. Not one example of useful information obtained by torture can be pointed to. Go back as far as you want. Go back to the Salem Witch Trials. How good was the information obtained then? The devil is in the rafters of the court room, and if you do not see him then you are a witch!! And now we will torture you until you confess! Then we will hang you.

Clearly a guilty person there.

If you can, watch "Taxi To The Dark Side". It is about this subject. People who were actually there talk in it. People who actually took part in the interrogations. People who witnessed it.

Perhaps the most damning segment of the movie - and the most depressing for me - was when former military people said that when the case for a war with Iraq was forming, there was tremendous pressure from the "top" to get information linking Iraq to 911. the CIA had none. Nobody had any. There was none.

But they used"enhanced" measures and got some poor slob in Afghanistan to admit there was a link. And so the case was made. Solid proof! Whatever they wanted to hear, they gut the guy to confess to.

The rest as they say is history.

It also turns out that at least some of the "worst of the worst" who were put in GTMO were turned over by an Afghan warlord. See, the USA was paying the guy cash for everyone he turned over. So he would turn over lots of people. And get paid. Until one day the warlord was captured - on the battlefield, by US forces. See he was really a bad guy, who was covering his tracks by just turning other people over. For money.

The men turned over by the warlord were released from GTMO. I am sure they have nothing but fond memories of their treatment there. If they did not likethe USA before they sure do now!

Now if that is true - and I do not see any evidence to suggest it is not true - that is really bad. All the people killed, all the money spent. And for what? For us to not be any safer? For a war based on "evidence" that was not only not true, but actually manufactured?

Unless of course you want to think that there was never anything said about WMDs in Iraq - even though none were found.

But we are "safer". And more investigation will make use "unsafe". The CIA operatives are "scared".

Only none of it is true. The only ones who are scared are those who were in on the decision making process, or those who are ardent supporters of those who made the decisions. The wall is about to fall down.

The whole thing needs to be uncovered. And those who made the decisions need to be called to the carpet for it. Not the lowest ranking Army Reservist they can find. No, they need to find the highest ranking people they can.

There is not any other option really.

Once this nation's honor is restored, we can truly look forward.

And let Lindsy England out of jail. She took most of the rap for the whole Iraqi prison thing. And she was a private in the reserves! The janitor was a higher rank than her. Yet the grand investigation only found her. She did it all. Alone. By herself. She was the one and only mastermind. Nobody else knew anything.

What a crock of bullshit that was. And what a disgrace to the honor of this nation.


Blogger Dusty said...

Bravo Lazy BRAVO!!!!

Thanks for this post m'dear. ;)

Blogger Fuzz said...

I suppose this is a low point in American history. But why should we expect our politicians to be any different then politicians in general? The name of the game is "the end justifies the means". Unfortunately, the "end" is usually maintaining personal power.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a brilliant post.
Thank you

Blogger Dusty said...

Fuzz, our dear Lazy doesn't do many posts like please don't get all butt hurt that I reply to your comment, ok?

We should expect more from Obama, only because he said he was different. He promised sunlight and transparency.

Even if he doesn't do a damn thing about the torture committed in our name, the truth is out there.

But as an aside..I want people prosecuted for this. I really friggin do.

Take care your name. ;)

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Fuzz - We should expect our politicians to be different than politicians in Iran, North Korea, Cambodia, and so on. Why? Because we are American. That's why. No other reason.

I do not expect perfection. And I fully expect strange things. I also expect to be lied to. I mean - they all lie! When a lit is better than the truth.

But what went down is just....well...very disappointing. I did expect better from Bush. I did not expect to agree with everything, but I also expected better. I do not expect to agree all the time with Obama either - but I also do not expect him to run this great nation like a third world despotic nation. And if he does- his ass is out the door come next election cycle. Count on that.

Dusty - I have mixed feelings about putting people into jail. It will draw the nation out along political lines again. Of course, the people who were in charge had no issues locking up the lowest ranking army reservist they could find - but that is them. There is a much wider agenda out there, and you know this will just sidetrack the process.

on the other hand, someone most likely deserves to go to jail. and someone high up going to jail will make future administrations think twice before breaking the law. So that could be good.

But....well....I just do not know. I am happy as a pig in shit I am not the new Attorney General!

I do think releasing all the information will be positive. These are things that our government did - in all of our names. People will be able to draw their own conclusions, and form their own opinions.

Blogger Fuzz said...

I can get a bit cynical at times. I tend to be a bit conservative politicaly, but I was disgusted about this torture stuff. Especialy all the shit about how it's not "real" torture.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Fuzz - I was really disappointed. I am on the center right sometimes, center left other times, and possibly even "left" other times. But that really depends on who is judging me so I do not pay a whole lot of attention to it.

But regardless if I voted for the President or not, I really do expect better. What was done was shameful. And to me, as an American, embarrassing. We are better than that. We are America! The shining city on the hill.

What we did was more like what the Soviet Union would have done.

Blogger Lily Strange said...

Blasted for not supporting the torture? I'm sorry to see that you were drinking with morons!
Once we start supporting torture we are doomed to being just as bad as those we claim to be so much better than.


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