Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The executive summary of SSIC Torture Report is released, sort of - Will it really make a damn bit of difference?

"Hubris consists in doing and saying things that cause shame to the victim…simply for the pleasure of it. Retaliation is not hubris, but revenge.…Young men and the rich are hubristic because they think they are better than other people."

~ Aristotle, "Rhetoric"

“The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”
~Wade Davis, Anthropologist/Ethnobotanist

After September 11, 2001, the world changed for America (again).  We were shocked out of our complacency and into abject fear.  "It can't happen here" proved false - it can and did (again).

For the third time in a matter of a few decades, the nation was attacked - twice by al Qaeda on the same building - but to the average American, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon was the first time, in their awareness, that the real world came crashing into their living rooms.  

Fear does a lot of things to people - it can cause blood pressure to rise,  acting out, and a flight into hubris and vengeance.  We did it all.

The War on Terror - just another name for exceptionalist hubris

Today, the US, finally, admitted to torture - sort of.  We still refuse to accept the term. We still call it "enhanced interrogation".  Just a bit nicer.  Kind of like calling the men stolen from their families and sold to the US for $5000 a head by anyone and everyone, "detainees"; or calling the flagship of Black Sites sitting on Guantanamo, a "detention center."

No, we aren't "capable" of TORTURE - After all, the god of willful ignorance and arrogance, Ronald Reagan, said it was illegal; the UN said it was illegal; the US said it was illegal...This "Nation of Laws" went into a fugue state forgetting we have always BEEN a nation of torture (Trail of Tears, Andersonville, Abner Louima - I won't recount here the anecdotal stories of Intel Spooks ordering American soldiers to get buckets of water to be used on POWs in the jungles of Vietnam ...I think I've made the point).  This "Nation of Laws" is still a nation of torture (Force-feeding prisoners of war at Guantanamo, use of isolation in all prisons - to include Guantanamo -  and in "adolescent treatment centers").

The War On Terror just gave us sanction to torture more and then claim it was all for "the greater good" but there is no good, only more fear, anger and hate that comes with torture.

The War on Terror is a scam to appease otherwise thoughtful people into accepting and even justifying our blatant inhumanity and into believing we are exceptional,  yet we have proven to be anything BUT exceptional by our ignorance, cognitive dissonance and our inhumanity.

(USA, USA, Fuck yeah!).

To this very day, the CIA (and its paramours from Hayden to Kerry to the rest of the imperialist fools we have allowed to be in office), is, still, trying to deny its policy of human rights abuse;  policy of war crimes; policy of torture.  It is, still, attempting to smokescreen with justifications, denials, and "threat alerts" - sounds like the Bush days of "Yellow Alert" at every election, "Yellow Alert" when the people began to question, "Yellow Alert" when some us were in the streets screaming, "No More!" to torture.

Yesterday, Mark Udall said we "will be disgusted!"

Yes, Senator Mark, we should be disgusted but we should have been disgusted all along.  We all knew it was happening, we had ample information - reports by the IRC, HRW, AI. even the friggin' State Department have been released over the past 7 years...all with public access.  Even the MSM in the US - that bunch of sanctimonious corporate whores manipulating the news as they see most profitable - reported on the reports and the evidence compiled by organizations around the world.

Whistleblowers Brandon Neely,  Terry Holdbrooks, and Chris Arendt have been speaking out since 2008; UC Davis' The Guantánamo Testimonials Project has been on line for 6 years!

An Iraqi detainee appears to be restrained after having suffered injuries to both legs at Abu Ghraib.
It is unclear whether his injuries were from dog bites.
"Use of Dogs to Scare Prisoners Was Authorized
Military Intelligence Personnel Were Involved, Handlers Say"
By Josh White and Scott Higham
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 11, 2004; Page A01

We had Abu Ghraib and no one really believed it was "a few bad apples".  Well, at least, no one with an attention span longer than a Rovian soundbite and the ability and curiosity to use the "googles."

Then there is John Kiriakou, former CIA, now in prison for his whistleblowing on CIA torture.

"How 'bout them Broncos?" ("USA!  USA! Fuck, yeah!)

Today is the day when a few more people might get a clue as to the evil committed by men in our name.  Something the rest of the world already knew for over a decade.

Now what will the people of the US do?  Oh, right - Thursday Night Football is coming up - Rams and the Cardinals,  YAY!

The Senate Select Intelligence Committee's Torture Report, has yet to be released - only 500 pages of the original 600 page executive summary, culled of any real blame, homogenized and redacted to protect the not so innocent, will be the discussion of a few journalists over the coming weeks.

The summary will be inspected, dissected, and regurgitated in university classrooms and in a few newspapers.

Partisan bloggers will link to it and use it to browbeat the "other" side as the 2016 elections roll out.

Some of us will continue to scream about torture and our inhumanity.

But will the general public learn anything from the experience or will it just fall back into the complacency and willful ignorance that has plagued us for decades?

Will the cognitive dissonance and hubris of exceptionalism remain standard operating procedure?

USA, USA, Fuck, yeah!

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