Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Water over the bridge

A neighboring coworker who seems to think highly of my depth of knowledge and intellectualism, asked what I thought of the latest news of the CIA having destroyed interrogation tapes.

I responded that it was a load of horseshit. That they had destroyed the tapes ostensively to protect the identities of interrogators but what they were really doing was covering up illegal torture. A former CIA agent had even come forward yesterday to say that he was in those tapes waterboarding detainees and he now thought it was wrong to have done so.

From behind me, one of the Red State cubicle residents started ranting that waterboarding wasn't torture. There was no danger to the interrogated and it was all psychological. He claimed to have been waterboarded himself and it wasn't a big deal.

I ignored him until my phone rang and then I tried to focus my attention on the Help Desk call while we continued his spew. Eventually he tired of talking to the back of my head and went back to reading the latest book from wingnut Glenn Beck.

I'm not going to waste my time on this coworker. My first thought is if his claim of being in Military Intelligence in Iraq is true, why are you a wage slave at $12 an hour at a bank help desk? If you were really waterboarded you, no doubt, were subjected to this by your comrades who, at the first sign of discomfort, would stop. You weren't strapped down and in fear of being drowned by people who hate you and are screaming at you that, given the choice, they would jut put a bullet in your head.

That's torture. It's not merely uncomfortable. It's abject terror and it's illegal and wrong.

And guess what. . . the US said so. In 1947, the United States prosecuted a Japanese military officer, for carrying out a form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian during World War II. American soldiers photographed waterboarding Viet Cong prisoners in 1968 were courtmarshaled. In 2005, the Department of State formally recognized "submersion of the head in water" as torture in its examination of Tunisia's poor human rights record. The U.S. is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which explicitly probibit torture under any condition. The U.S. is a signatory to the Geneva Convention which clearly spells out the way prisoners are to be treated. The Eighth Amendment of our Constitution prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment."

The Bush Administration has violated all of these. By definition, what they have done in secretly authorizing these so-called "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" are war crimes. They are crimes against these individuals. They are crimes against the laws they swore to "preserve and defend." They are crimes against humanity. They are crimes against reason and justice and all the things that we as Americans should hold sacred. They are monsters. They are the new Inquisitors. They are all that we were told was evil in the world.

They are not Americans.

And you, fucktard ranting to the back of my head, justifying their actions. . . you are and embarrassment to humanity.

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