Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Torturer's Tortured Conscience

Another crack in the doorway that reveals the festering monster that has been created in the laboratory known as the Global War on Terror:
"I tortured people," said Lagouranis, 37, who was a military intelligence specialist in Iraq from January 2004 until January 2005. "You have to twist your mind up so much to justify doing that."

Being an interrogator, Lagouranis discovered, can be torture. At first, he was eager to try coercive techniques. In training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., instructors stressed the Geneva Conventions, he recalled, while classmates privately admired Israeli and British methods. "The British were tough," Lagouranis said. "They seemed like real interrogators."

But interrogators for countries that pride themselves on adhering to the rule of law, such as Britain, the United States and Israel, operate in a moral war zone. They are on the front lines in fighting terrorism, crucial for intelligence-gathering. Yet they use methods that conflict with their societies' values.

The border between coercion and torture is often in dispute, and the U.S. government is debating it now. The Bush administration is nearing completion of a new executive order setting secret rules for CIA interrogation that may ban waterboarding, a practice that simulates drowning. Last September, President Bush endorsed an "alternative set of procedures," which he described as "tough," for questioning high-level detainees. And in Iraq last month, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander, warned troops that the military does not sanction "torture or other expedient methods to obtain information."

As you'll read in the final excerpted paragraph, George is seeking to further legitimize in law the abhorrent practices that have already soiled the reputation of the United States and its troops. The situation is changed now, however, because he will have to get the Democratically-led Congress to go along with his evil plans.

It's changed right?

No. Not at all.

More than any other issue than I can recall, aside from the original Shocking and Awful campaign in Iraq, the torture debate has made me feel like a crazy person. How can a society and government look the other way on a topic that causes such a deep revulsion inside my soul? Clearly there's something wrong with me.

Only, I'm not the only one who recognizes that morality's boundaries have been raped.

So where is the leadership on this facet of modern-day U.S. policy that should finally have its coffin nailed shut? Lukewarm responses to 'calls to action' from the public are unacceptable by the Democrats. And opposition to torture is certainly not going to come from the GOP. Recall this during the 2008 Campaign's First Presidential Debate last month:

During tonight’s presidential debates, candidates were asked whether they would support the use of waterboarding — a technique, defined as torture by the Justice Department, that simulates drowning and makes the subject “believe his death is imminent while ideally not causing permanent physical damage.”

Both former mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) suggested they would support using the technique. Specifically asked about waterboarding, Giuliani said he would allow “every method [interrogators] could think of and I would support them in doing it.” Tancredo later added, “I’m looking for Jack Bauer,” referencing the television character who has used torture techniques such as suffocation and electrocution on prisoners.

The audience applauded loudly after both statements.

Think Progress has the video
There is a large base of people that have sold their souls in exchange for winning against terrorists at any cost. Of course, they do so without having any clear definition whatsoever for either term - "winning" or "terrorists". Enough propaganda and lack of critical thought processes has allowed a faceless caricature to become the enemy - muslim and/or brown-skinned. If a target meets those criteria, then any action we take against them becomes acceptable to the sheeple.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel yet? Has the United States woken from its revenge-induced coma following 9/11 (even though Iraq had nothing to do with it)?

I don't think so
The Revs. Louie Vitale and Steve Kelly kneeled to pray at Fort Huachuca and now face a trial in federal court in Tucson that will decide whether they will go to prison.

On Nov. 19, the Catholic priests were part of a small protest against torture that activists claim the U.S. uses against war captives.

The priests asked to see the head of intelligence or the officer of the day at the fort but were denied access to the fort.

So they began praying, refused to leave and were arrested.
We have not reached the point where public outcry would fight the injustice rained down upon the Fathers, who could really be any protester exercising their right to assembly. Nor has this incident spurned additional protests that raise the volume of opposition. Instead, the military campaign goes on unabated, without the introspection that is required to regain any semblance of morality.

When's it gonna end?

When's it gonna end?

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

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