23 April 2009

9/11 and Torture as Terrorism

I commented in my long post on Torture (link) that Torture is Terrorism. By which I meant that when used by smart, but evil, people, it has nothing to do with obtaining intelligence. It is used to terrorize populations or segments thereof. I submit this is a fact, and welcome any discussion. State actors who think they are using torture to obtain useful information are stupid as well as criminals, because it doesn't work for that purpose, as has been well understood by those who have wielded it as a terror weapon for centuries.

Some might say, as Rightists often do, that criticizing, or worse (in their minds), calling for the prosecution of, those who committed potentially illegal actions in defense of our country is part of a "Blame America First" mentality. I say, this is riproaring bullshit, and I'm sick of it. What makes America something other than just another powerful amoral empire is that we have, throughout our history, more often than not, upheld moral values in our laws, and maintained a system of due process of law, checks and balances, humane treatment of those accused, (including foreigners and prisoners of war), and openness. When we fail to uphold these values, we fail to uphold American ideals. Those who have fallen so far short of these values as to actually commit torture in the name of the American people do not defend the fallen of 9/11. They dishonor them.

Further, as I hope I've made abundantly clear, they do not help to secure our country, or ensure that further attacks do not occur. Torture doesn't work.

Worse, Torture is the worst imaginable P.R. for our country. It is an Al Qaeda recruiter's dream. Abu Ghraib, (as an example) has been cited by numerous later detainees as the reason they joined the Islamic extremist movements with which they were associated when captured.

Now there is even evidence that some of the obviously useless, but nonetheless criminal and inhumane, waterboarding that was ordered was done specifically because the top officials had preconceived notions of a (non-existent) connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and were displeased that this connection hadn't emerged from the normal interrogation of Al Zubayda in particular. Egad. How much more depraved can you get than to order torture because the intelligence doesn't fit your false world view, so you want fake, false, torture-obtained 'evidence,' to justify your false views? These people must be held accountable.

This doesn't mean I've prejudged them guilty. I haven't. I believe in due process. But the credible evidence is there. At least, investigation to determine whether charges should be filed must be conducted, and if the evidence is there to infer that conviction is likely, prosecution must follow. This is the way our system works and anyone who says otherwise is advocating a government of men, not of laws, and I say, with no irony and no room for humor, for shame. For dreadful, awful shame.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.