No, we never truly atoned for the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors. Instead, we swept it under the rug, because being an American means never having to say that you’re sorry, much more actually atoning for your sins. Maybe next month’s release of even hundreds more images of the abuse of detainees at the hands of their American military “liberators” under the command of the unelected, mass-murdering Bush regime will force the United States of America to finally atone for its sins against those it claimed it was “liberating.”
I haven’t said much on the whole issue of torture, because what is there to say?
Torture is wrong. (Always. If you call yourself a Christian, as most Repugnicans do, ask yourself whom Jesus, himself a victim of torture — and a victim of the death penalty, which the Repugnicans also overwhelmingly support — would torture.)
Torture is criminal. Criminals — all criminals, not just poor, non-white, non-Repugnican, non-powerful criminals — should be pr0secuted, fairly and appropriately, for their crimes.
I have hesitated to write about the torture issue, I think, because I’ve thought that the whole issue is so complicated, with so many legal twists and turns, that I, a non-lawyer, couldn’t really illuminate the issue of torture. But is torture really that complicated an issue? Do the paragraphs above not pretty much sum it up?
The bottom line is that the United States of America cannot go forward as a nation until and unless as a nation it acknowledges its sins of the past. Really acknowledges. Which means not just paying lip-service acknowledgment, but really examining the national wrongs that were committed — and committing ourselves to never allow these wrongs to happen again.*
We, as a nation, never did that with the Vietraq War. We, as a nation, never have have apologized to the Iraqi people for having allowed our unelected, mass-murdering dictator, George W. Bush, and his henchpeople illegally, immorally, unprovokedly and unjustly invade their nation in March 2003 for the war profits of then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s no-contract-bidding war-profiteering corporation Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.
We, as a nation, lie that we truly believed the Bush regime’s lies that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed some sort of threat to the United States when the fact is that we, as a nation, didn’t care whether Iraq actually was the problem or not (and it was not); we just wanted retaliation for 9/11, just wanted some Arab/Muslim nation to pay for 9/11.
Today, we — even President Barack Obama — tell the Iraqi people that it’s time for them to stand on their own two feet, as though the Iraqi people had asked us to destroy their nation in 2003 and cause the deaths of more than 110,000 innocent Iraqis, which is The Associated Press’ conservative body count.
Fewer than 3,000 Americans died on Sept. 11, 2001. More than 110,000 innocent Iraqis have died as a result of the Vietraq War, which, although Americans will deny it now, was some insane “retaliation” for 9/11.
Only the United States’ partner in war crimes and crimes against the humanity, Israel, has anything near such an insane, evil sense of proportion. (But at least the bloodthirsty Israelis can attack the group that actually is their enemy, the Palestinians, whereas the United States, with dumbfuck Bush at the helm, didn’t even strike back at the right nation; not a single of the 19 9/11 hijackers was from Iraq, but 15 of them were from U.S. ally Saudi Arabia.)
So that’s more than 110,000 innocent Iraqis unjustly and unnecessarily dead because of the United States of America and still millions of dumbfuck Americans scratch their heads and query themselves and each other like they did in the days following Sept. 11, 2oo1: Why do they hate us so much?
We, as a nation, not only have yet to apologize for the Vietraq War (but have only told the Iraqis, whom we “shocked and awed” for our television entertainment, to pick themselves up by their bootstraps), but we have yet to fully acknowledge, much more apologize for, the crimes that we committed at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and elsewhere.
Luckily, the American Civil Liberties Union, under the Freedom of Information Act (which, appopriately, does not allow the government that we, the people, pay for through our tax dollars to act in secrecy), has forced the release next month of even more images of “freedom-” and “God-” and “Jesus- lovin'” Americans torturing detainees — the vast majority of them innocent of any crime — at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and elsewhere, including Afghanistan, the Middle Eastern/Asian nation that we are “liberating” now.
Reports The Associated Press:
The White House vowed Friday it will not be distracted by an upcoming disclosure sure to gain attention at home and abroad: hundreds of photos showing U.S. personnel allegedly abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in the post-Sept. 11 environment.
The images will show mistreatment at locations beyond the infamous U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where pictures emerged in 2004 of grinning U.S. soldiers posing with detainees, some naked, being held on leashes or in painful positions. That revelation caused a huge international backlash against the U.S.
The Pentagon plans to release the latest photos by May 28 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The move comes after the Justice Department lost its latest round in federal court and concluded that any further appeal would probably be fruitless.
The release of the photos, while underscoring President Barack Obama‘s promise of transparency, poses risks for the administration.
Politically, it could again focus attention on the troubling past and prompt more calls for investigations and prosecutions. Every bit of time and energy centered on examining misdeeds of previous years could undermine the president’s ability to rally Congress and the public behind an ambitious agenda.
Already, the White House spent much of this week dealing with questions about the era of George W. Bush, following the release of documents that detailed brutal interrogation techniques used by the CIA against terror suspects. Obama was prompted to release those memos in response to an ACLU lawsuit, too.
“The president is not concerned that this is going to distract from a larger agenda,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday, referring to the combination of events. “I think the American people are focused on moving forward.”
Gibbs said the release of the photos was “largely compelled by a court decision” and not something that was in the White House’s control. He declined to say whether Obama would support releasing the photos even if he were not pressed by a court case.
Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, said the release of the photos could cause a backlash that will put U.S. troops in harm’s way at greater risk. She said the issue is not Obama’s agenda but rather protection for the U.S. men and women in the military.
“The administration should have fought this all the way to the Supreme Court,” Ferrier said.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the pictures were part of Army investigations of abuse allegations. The Pentagon has pursued more than 400 such investigations, he said. Whitman said some of the forthcoming pictures would be edited to mask the identity of those pictured.
Defense officials said the total number of photos would be in the hundreds.
“The disclosure of these photographs serves as a further reminder that abuse of prisoners in U.S.-administered detention centers was systemic,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU National Security Project.
“Some of the abuse occurred because senior civilian and military officials created a culture of impunity in which abuse was tolerated, and some of the abuse was expressly authorized,” Jaffer said. “It’s imperative that senior officials who condoned or authorized abuse now be held accountable for their actions.” …
There are the Repugnicans again, using the American troops as their human shields, politically speaking.
The release of further images of the Nazi-like treatment of detainees by Americans, the “good guys,” while the members of the unelected Bush regime were behind the wheel must be stopped in order to prevent harm to our troops, the insanely hypocritical Repugnicans are “arguing” now.
If the Repugnicans truly cared so fucking much about the welfare of our troops, then why did they march in lockstep when the unelected Bush regime sent more than 4,275 of our troops to their wholly unnecessary slaughter in Vietraq? And why don’t the Repugnicans ensure that those troops who return from Vietraq maimed and disabled for life receive the support that they need, instead of calling the use of Americans’ tax dollars to help Americans in need — instead of helping the already filthy rich, which is the Repugnican Party’s agenda — “socialism”?
I expect the reaction to the ACLU’s victory under the Freedom of Information Act from the topsy-turvy Repugnicans, who call tyranny “freedom” and freedom “tyranny” and who call murder “liberation” and call liberation “murder.”
But I expect much more of the Obama administration.
“I think the American people are focused on moving forward,” the Obama White House mouthpiece proclaimed.
Isn’t that the same “argument” that Repugnican she-wolf in sheep’s clothing Sarah Palin-Quayle kept making during her vice presidential debate with Joseph Biden? That we musn’t look back upon the ugly deeds of the unelected Bush regime, but must only look forward?
But if the Obama administration truly wants to move the nation forward, then the Obama administration must not adopt the same tone and “arguments” of the Repugnicans to simply ignore the crimes of the past and to press ahead.
The ugly sins of the past, like ugly wounds, do not simply go away because we simply wish them to. Ignored, they simply fester from our neglect to deal with them, until one day the poisons from our neglected sins overwhelm us and they cause our demise.
Until and unless those who, in the name of the people of the United State of America, committed war crimes and crimes against humanity are brought to justice, the United States of American cannot go foward. It might appear that the United States is going forward, but it only will be that the neglected wound is continuing to fester, waiting to break open and spill out it putrid pus at any time.
We have to go back and correct our mistakes, as a nation, if we want to succeed in the future as a nation.
*This begins with such things as not simply allowing presidential elections to be stolen blatantly, as was the 2000 presidential election, because clearly, a group of thugs who are willing to steal a presidential election and who actually get away with it are more than happy to go on and to commit even more serious crimes, more crimes of treason and even war crimes and crimes against humanity.