What America Is Today: Wearing A Flag Lapel Pin While Torturing

Today, the NYTimes Editorial Board opines:

Once upon a time, it was the United States that urged all nations to obey the letter and the spirit of international treaties and protect human rights and liberties. American leaders denounced secret prisons where people were held without charges, tortured and killed. And the people in much of the world, if not their governments, respected the United States for its values.

The Bush administration has dishonored that history and squandered that respect. As an article on this newspaper’s front page last week laid out in disturbing detail, President Bush and his aides have not only condoned torture and abuse at secret prisons, but they have conducted a systematic campaign to mislead Congress, the American people and the world about those policies.

And then asks:

For the rest of the nation, there is an immediate question: Is this really who we are?

Indeed America is not simply a Nation that tortures. It is a Nation that insists that an American flag lapel pin be worn while we torture.

Patriotism? No, jingoism. Fascism.


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    • on October 7, 2007 at 17:13

    It’s similar to how Japan deals with its record during World War II. Act like nothings happened but lecture others for committing human rights violations.

  1. has been about this week? I haven’t really been paying attention to it.  I say good for Obama.

    This morning on the Sunday Morning show on CBS, there was a very brief story about “PO Box 1142” and the story behind it. It was about a program of interrogation and how the interrogators during WWII got information from captured Germans. And they got a LOT of information.

    Guess how they did it…by making friends with the prisoners, by making them feel respected, by playing chess and checkers…torture was never considered.

    I don’t know my country anymore.

  2. it’s uglier than people think.

    I put this in Winter Rabbit’s diary below but want to repost it here:

    Here is a history of executive orders allowing the executive branch to seize total control (from this diary which features satellite photos of one known concentration camp on US soil):

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to seize all means of transportation, including personal cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports, and waterways.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10999 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and ?aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has broad powers in every aspect of the nation. General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA’s Civil Security Division stated in a 1983 conference that he saw FEMA’s role as a “new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental leaders from assassination, and of civil and military installations from sabotage and/or attack, as well as prevention of dissident groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis.” FEMA’s powers were consolidated by President Carter to incorporate the…

    National Security Act of 1947 allows for the strategic relocation of industries, services, government and other essential economic activities, and to rationalize the requirements for manpower, resources and production facilities.

    1950 Defense Production Act gives the President sweeping powers over all aspects of the economy.

    Act of August 29, 1916 authorizes the Secretary of the Army, in time of war, to take possession of any transportation system for transporting troops, material, or any other purpose related to the emergency.

    International Emergency Economic Powers Actenables the President to seize the property of a foreign country or national. These powers were transferred to FEMA in a sweeping consolidation in 1979.

    • srkp23 on October 7, 2007 at 17:21

    but I think we need to come out from behind the fantasy that the U.S. doesn’t indeed have a long history of condoning and facilitating torture. BushCo just institutionalized it officially and is now attempting to produce a discourse of legitimization. Every time anyone repeats the sick phrase “enhanced interrogation techniques” the success of that legitimization process is a little bit more secure.

  3. can be very enticing when youre walking the moral low ground.

    just imagine what a wonderful country we’d have right now if time spent by our executive branch in the cover-ups and legal wrangling perpetuated in support of policies we’re to believe were ‘legal’ all along…was spent in diplomacy and actual governance. 

  4. I don’t think Obama is ever going to be President.

    The attacks on his patriotism plus the unending Hussein comments will simply make it impossible for him to win Florida or Ohio.

    Then, of course, there’s the latent racism that we still haven’t gotten past. 

  5. if the system wasn’t gamed from all sides. From money to the Media the people are really not part of the equation as to choice of candidates, it’s one big machine. Obama is not at all like Stevenson, who was an ivory tower intellectual much like Mc Govern. Obama has more pop appeal. AS to Hillary ‘s poll numbers Jeezuz, who are these people that vote for her! I know lots of Dems and they are moderate, nobody in real life seems to like her. Perhaps these numbers are like Karl Roves. 

    As for torturing wearing the pin, the pin is odious and has always freaked me right out. Didn’t the Republicans wear them before 9/11? Good for Obama, stupid to fight the battle on their terms.

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