Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Jail Them All

Today is Wednesday, 6 May 2009.

The entire point of torture as an interrogation technique is simple: torturers must convince subjects that the former have absolutely no compunctions whatsoever about, if “necessary”, inflicting irreversible damage up to and including death. That they would regard a subject’s death as of no more ethical consequence than squashing a cockroach. Threatening death has functionality only if one will actually kill.

Thus, the protestations of the impresarios of waterboarding that “of course we wouldn’t really do it” ring hollow. Either they wouldn’t do it, the threats are pointless, and waterboarding is purely sadism, divorced from any investigative utility, or the waterboarders really would kill by drowning, and are therefore self-confessed criminals against humanity. Given the propensity of American authorities for extra-judicial executions by means of drone-delivered missiles, there is no reason to doubt that they would shrink from murder by drowning.

The interrogation techniques of honest cops are one thing: trick questions, lying about what they know or who confessed to what, etc. Any physical or mental coercion beyond that point is torture and crime against humanity.

By confecting legal arguments rationalizing torture, the pseudo-lawyers of the Bush-Cheney regime violated their responsibilities to honour the Constitution, and shat upon all human decency. (Of course, by their logic, shitting upon a prisoner (or a prisoner’s children) wouldn’t be irreversible damage, and would therefore be permissible.) Such pseudo-lawyers are "blood brothers" of their counterparts in Nazi Germany who concocted the legal machinery for the persecution and extermination of Jews.

If the Obama regime refuses to haul these criminals into the dock and put them in prison, as seems likely, then the regime becomes part of an on-going conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity.

Of course, prosecuting the lower-level thugs, who were, after all, acting not on their own initiative, but "only following orders" of the Leader (German: Fuhrer) class, would logically lead to prosecution of the Leader/Fuhrer class as well. And no American president has ever essayed the decency and courage required to call criminal predecessors to account.

But then, why should the Obama regime repudiate this aspect of the American Way of Life? Torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity have been part and parcel of American imperialism since 1776, and likewise before the Founding Fathers accomplished their hostile takeover of the British imperialism franchise.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.


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