Friday, December 12, 2014

It profits a man nothing to sell his soul for the entire world...

...but for Wales?

I'm having a hard time saying anything coherent at the moment because my mind keeps circling the sewer drain of torture that is the national honor of my country, the country I served for 22 years as a soldier, the country I pledged to defend from all enemies foreign and domestic.

Because the domestic enemies who committed these crimes shat on that honor, and all for nothing.

Why do I say that? Given that the "defenders" of these crimes are raging and swearing that the crimes were done to protect me, that the crimes DID protect me in that they obtained intelligence that defeated nefarious plots and evil plans.

To which I say: bullshit.

Let's stop a minute and think about this.

Let's say that all this went down like the torturers and their buddies say it did. Let's say that the heroic CIA torturers knew that Evil Abu Badguy knew where the nuke was hidden. Knew it. Let's say that was you, or me, and we knew that the goddamn dune coon was holding information that could save lives if we just electrified his nuts long enough.

Would you be crankin' that generator?

I would.

Yes, I would. I know because I had to think about the possibility that I might end up with enemy prisoners of war that I knew had intel that could save my troops if I could get it quickly enough, and what would I do then?

Here's the thing, though. I'd be a criminal, a war criminal. My guys would be alive, so to me it'd be worth it. But I couldn't - and, I hope - wouldn't try to deny what I'd done.

I hope I'd have the guts to hunt up the nearest provost marshal and turn myself in.

So ISTM that the thing that sets off my bullshit detector is that the torturers and their masters went to such lengths to hide and destroy the evidence of what they did. If this really was "worth it", if I'm the torturer and my torturing really had produced some sort of valuable intelligence?

I'd have kept those cameras rolling.

Rolling through every horrific thing I did, every vile atrocity I worked on some helpless sonofabitch, every sob, every scream. Rolling as the broken bastard choked out the address of the hidden nuke, the name of the contact, the details of the murderous plan.

I'd present myself and that tape before a judge, or a jury, and say, look, here is what I did to save you. Here is how I did save you.

And then I'd throw myself on the mercy of the court.

Because I would be guilty. I'd just know that no judge, no jury, in America would convict me and if they did no President would be able to refrain from pardoning me. Because my guilt was their guilt, too; they lived because I did horrors in their name.

And yet...there is none of this.

So I know there was no hidden nuke. No contact, no plan, no secret. Just what torture does best at producing; what the torturer wants to hear.

These people tortured because they wanted confessions, for the same reasons that the Inquisition and the NKVD tortured. They wanted confessions. They wanted what they needed for their auto-de-fe, for their show-trial, they wanted to hear that we needed to fight them there so we didn't have to fight them here, that the smoking gun was going to be a mushroom cloud, that they hated our freedoms, that they were coming to kill us.

They wanted to make us afraid, and they did.

So these fucking bastards sold our honor, my honor, for nothing. Nothing. Not a goddamn thing. For worthless fucking bullshit to support their goddamn lies. For a mess of goddamn pottage.

And I think I'm as furious about the worthlessness of the reasons as for the infamy of the torture itself.


Ael said...

Silly Chief, you persist in thinking there are bigger things than yourself. Rest assured that none of the factors you mentioned were given a milliseconds consideration by the players of the Washington Game.

Also, you speaking of conditions where you would willingly become a war criminal reminded me of the case we had in Canada over a mercy killing .

Anonymous said...

I'd happily sell my soul ...for Wales OR the USA. But I wouldn't sell the soul OF the USA! And somehow, looking about me, that is what it FEELS like has happened. So much fear, meanness and hatred seems to BE the "American way" now that it makes my bottom lip quiver.

In war, prisoners have always been at risk of a beating now and then during interrogation. But never before under orders from the very tippy top, with full knowledge of the civilian government.

Barry said...

FDChief, they didn't do it for nothing; they did it for their own power. In addition, they probably did it so that this would be normalized.

Remember that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Roger Ailes, George Bush I and some others got their start under Nixon.

The names we've seen for the last 15 years will pop up again, in the next GOP administration, each up one or two ranks. The mid-level guys will be senior, the senior guys will be Cabinet officials.

We'll see them again the GOP administration after that.

Some will appear in even more dangerous positions, such as the torturer Bybie (sp?) becoming a judge.

FDChief said...

The problem, guys, is that they sold their souls for partisan advantage; that's fine, for them. For me? That's pretty much the definition of "nothing".

And therein lies the horror and the tragedy that is the current Republican Party.

This country - every country - needs political representation for "conservative" ideas. The GOP as presently constituted is not "conservative"; it is a monkeyhouse of fiscal unreality and irresponsibility (when your answer to every fiscal problem is "tax cuts" you're not even kidding yourself anymore...), social toxicity (racism, sexism, every "ism" conceivable outside of "straight rich white people"), and scientific and economic weapons-grade moronity (climate change denialism, Christopathic theocracy, deregulatory fanaticism).

And torture.

The simple fact is that the GOP has completely embraced torture, that is, criminality. It now cannot let go and it cannot back away or accept that those people you mention, Barry, will be indicted, convicted, imprisoned (and thus forever disbarred from public office).

So that sets this up as a horrible problem - because torture has become utterly political. The GOP cannot afford to let any sort of public prosecution or even a "truth commission" sort of public catharsis go forward; in it they would stand utterly condemned.


Anonymous said...

>>social toxicity<<

You're being way too kind.

IMO torture has never been about getting information that can save lives or that can gain an advantage. It's about revenge and power. The other is merely a convenient excuse for violence done to a helpless human being.

Having said that, I can imagine me and few others I can think of torturing every single brainless soulless nitwit of an Oklahoma voter who put that psychopath into such a position of power and responsibility.


Anonymous said...

>>The police say they found his body. From what I've read, Stone was troubled after returning from Iraq. He was described as "a changed man" by people who knew him, and my local rag says he was a member of at least one PTSD group on FB, as well as several veteran's groups. IANAD, but it is not hard for me to guess that if Stone had PTSD, it very likely played a role in what has happened. And that makes Tom Coburn's actions even more despicable.<<