Sunday, March 06, 2005

Special Award for Most Extraordinary Rendition

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
iraqis_tortured_abc-b Can you find the cognitive dissonance?

From the NYTimes yesterday:
"In the most explicit statement of the administration's policies, Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, said in written Congressional testimony in January that "the policy of the United States is not to transfer individuals to countries where we believe they likely will be tortured, whether those individuals are being transferred from inside or outside the United States." Mr. Gonzales said then that he was "not aware of anyone in the executive branch authorizing any transfer of a detainee in violation of that policy."
But in the same story:
"The unusually expansive authority (for rendition, the practice of exporting prisoners to other countries for interrogation) for the C.I.A. to operate independently was provided by the White House under a still-classified directive signed by President Bush within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the officials said."
What kind of evidence are the American people waiting for before they call this president a liar? How much more of this do they have to have their noses rubbed in before they finally admit their government is run by goons:
"Under field conditions since the start of the Afghan War, Agency and allied interrogators have often added to their no-touch repertoire physical methods reminiscent of the Inquisition's trademark tortures - strappado, question de l'eau, "crippling stork," and "masks of mockery." At the CIA's center near Kabul in 2002, for instance, American interrogators forced prisoners "to stand with their hands chained to the ceiling and their feet shackled," an effect similar to the strappado. Instead of the Inquisition's iron-framed "crippling stork" to contort the victim's body, CIA interrogators made their victims assume similar "stress positions" without any external mechanism, aiming again for the psychological effect of self-induced pain.
Although seemingly less brutal than physical methods, the CIA's "no touch" torture actually leaves deep, searing psychological scars on both victims and - something seldom noted - their interrogators. Victims often need long treatment to recover from a trauma many experts consider more crippling than physical pain. Perpetrators can suffer a dangerous expansion of ego, leading to escalating acts of cruelty and lasting emotional disorders. When applied in actual operations, the CIA's psychological procedures have frequently led to unimaginable cruelties, physical and sexual, by individual perpetrators whose improvisations are often horrific and only occasionally effective."
Ever since the Rodney King video was played, I have been stunned by the ability of human beings to ignore what is plainly right in front of their eyes, and how even the most intelligent of them can see a pile of dogshit and call it a flower. Back at the NYTimes story:
"In public, the Bush administration has refused to confirm that the rendition program exists, saying only in response to questions about it that the United States did not hand over people to face torture. The official refused to say how many prisoners had been transferred as part of the program. But former government officials say that since the Sept. 11 attacks, the C.I.A. has flown 100 to 150 suspected terrorists from one foreign country to another, including to Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan."
Syria (the big bogeyman of the moment!), Pakistan (remember how they helped bin Laden escape our troops--with Washington's assistance? See pgs. 128-134 of Seymour Hersh's "Chain of Command"), Saudi Arabia (the real source of the 9/11 killers), and Egypt... ah, Egypt.

Well, guess what, boys and girls, patriots and dissidents, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Freepers and Kossacks? We are the very people we used to despise. We are all complicit. We have lain down with these dogs, rolled in the rotten carcasses of the dead and dying, and we all smell so bad even God has turned away. We are shamed, and shameful. We have no moral authority left to show our faces anywhere in the world and complain about somebody else's unattractive habits. We are a nation of liars who have embraced a government of lies, and we continue to lie to ourselves every goddamned day to keep the bloody wheel turning. Peter Beinert writes a long pissant rant in TNR about how liberals, who used to be good little Nazis back in the McCarthy era, are failing their country by not getting behind Bush's War on Terra sufficiently, and the whole left blogosphere falls all over itself to say it ain't so. Well, fuck that. Bush couldn't have had more complicit and compliant little lapdogs if he'd ordered them up from The Sharper Image. The evil isn't that we failed to line up in sufficiently tight formations to be reamed by Bushco's propagandameisters. The evil is that we continue to let him sit in that chair in the Oval Office and speak for us. The evil is that we are so cowardly and spineless that we didn't even have the guts to get out into the streets like the Ukranians and demand his head.

The evil is that we have been spoon-fed the most ghastly evidence of horror and degradation for years now, and we no longer even care.

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