Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

My Photo
Location: Oaksterdam, California

Monday, September 25, 2006

Torture is so Horror Show

Dave Neiwert says about the religious folks who supports the Bush's program of torture.
Yes, it's true that fundamentalism attracts all kinds of right-wing authoritarians. And frankly, there is no hope of reaching the hard core among them. But there are many, many of them who are not fully absorbed by it, whose humanity lies not too far under the surface. And I believe we can reach them.

I'm not so sure. Not because they claim to be Christians, but rather people who advocate taking the gloves off are lacking in empathy. It is possble these same people would not treat dogs so inhumanely as they say we need to treat suspects in the GWOT. But then again we do have laws against cruelty to animals because we need them.

I am reminded of this scene of sociopathic Alex in the filmA Clockwork Orange:

Alex reading the Bible.

It was my rabbit to help the prison charlie with the Sunday service. He was a bolshy great burly bastard, but he was very fond of myself, me being very young, and also now very interested in the big book.

Priest walks by and nods pleasantly.

It had been arranged by the prison charlie, as part of my further education to read him the Bible. I didn't so much like the latter part of the book which is more like all preachy talking, than fighting and the old in-out. I liked the parts where these old yahoodies tolchock each other and then drink their Hebrew vino and, then getting on to the bed with their wives' handmaidens. That kept me going.


Biblical fighting shot. Alex slashing away. Blood spurting.


Alex lying with three semi-nude handmaidens.


Christ being whipped on by Alex, dressed as a Legionary.

Move on there. Move on.

I read all about the scourging and the crowning with thorns and all that, and I could viddy myself helping in and even taking charge of the tolchocking and the nailing in, being dressed in the height of Roman fashion.

Authoritarian measure will always attract extreme types. The history of the inquisition is replete with stories of abuses and atrocities. Maybe they were fervent Christian warriors rooting out the evil doers of their day, but they were monsters by all modern and civilized conventions.

Yet lo, we are about to take a giant step backwards in the name fighting for civilaization. You have religious leaders arguing that torture is a Traditional Christian Value.

How far back must one go to find that is a tradition. The Romans would not allow the testimony of a slave in court unless that slave had been tortured first. It like the part of the package the President wants. Or like this article from December 2004 says, Detainees have no rights:
Evidence gained by torture can be used by the United States military in deciding whether to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant, the government concedes.

Statements produced under torture have been inadmissible in US courts for about 70 years.

I can only imagine that information gained under torture was part of the unimpeachable evidence that the Cheneyites claimed as a basis for Saddam's WMD and ties to Al-Queda. Most like it was also the impetus at Abu Grahib to go further with degrding improper interogations to find that incontrovertable evidence, which atthat time proved to be false. So more evidence was needed - most likely extracted under agressive interogation techniques. Torture begets torture and still no clues provided to the supposed WMDs or ties to Al Queda.

I must admit that it is possible that you'll get reliable and actionable intelligence through torture. All things are possible. But we have as of yet we have not been given one concrete example of this to be true. We are told we must trust the adults. We must be droogs and follow the sage advice those smarter than us.

And the way things are turning out it is, as they say in Nadsat, real horrorshow - not!