We can’t heal until we face our demons

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

The United States of America tortures people.

Get used to that.  It is no secret – it isn’t even up for debate.  There is not one person that has even the cursory knowledge of what was discussed, what was authorized, what was justified or the acts that were carried out on detainees by people representing the United States of America.

This is not a “time for healing”.  Not yet.

This is the time of reckoning for the people and future of America – an accountability moment.  The corporate media here in the US, not surprisingly, is ignoring this story but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t widely reported or known around the world.  This isn’t new, although the revelations about the entire uppermost level of the Bush administration spent hours discussing sadistic acts that they could do via proxy to others “in the name of freedom” is new.

This can not pass – this can not fall into the waste heap of all of the dozens, nay, scores of scandals, crimes or “just” unethical acts taken by these torturing, lying, thieving, murderous criminals since stealing the 2000 election.  This can not be swept under the rug.  It can not and will not be forgotten.  After all, civilized countries do not torture people, no matter what.

We can’t just move forward and put this bad period behind us.  We need to understand how we got to this point, how we allowed this to be done in our names, and why those who were supposed to be “the opposition” did not object when briefed, did not investigate in any meaningful manner and are not screaming from the rooftops at the most recent discovery.

Torture is not something that will be excused – not for any reason.  There needs to be justice.  There needs to be a recognition of how far we have sunk – how a callous disregard for law and a complete and utter lack of any humanity by those who occupy the top offices in the United States Government has resulted in a sanctioned program that was specifically designed to do nothing other than torture people.

The current Congress is at a crossroads – not that it hasn’t been on other issues, but this is a defining moment in our country’s history.  With all of the other illegal acts where no meaningful action was taken (other than continuously funding the disaster in Iraq, which is part of the same thing), ignoring the issue of torture specifically discussed in great detail by Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Powell, Tenet and Bush himself is one that will show the world what kind of country the United States of America is.

The next President will have to deal with the fallout of this as well.  Revelations that the President and his top officials discussed torture is what emboldens terrorists.  This is what puts our troops at risk, as they will more likely be tortured now if captured.  That will not go away.

Both Clinton and Obama have indicated that they will investigate the Bush administration crimes.  Whether they will, with what zeal they will and which crimes they will investigate remains to be seen – one of them has to beat McSame first.  But the issue of torture is one that should carry no excuses, no leniency, no tolerance.

This is not a partisan issue.  It is an American issue.  It is what will define us and what our role is in the global community.  It will define us here at home – right now, torture is carried out in our name, and we are finding out how high up in our government this goes.  

If we do not confront this, it will define us.  If we attempt to “let this pass”, it will come back to haunt us for generations.  If we don’t step up, we will forever be “one of those countries that tortures”.

It is up to us to make sure that something is done about it, since we are not getting much help from those whose job it is to do something about it.


Please join the ACLU in demanding a special prosecutor to investigate the role that was played by the highest officials in the Bush administration – including Bush himself in the acts described above.

And please spread the word – even if the corporate media doesn’t think that this is important enough – it is how we act now with respect to accountability that will determine who we are as a country.


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    • Edger on April 16, 2008 at 11:32

    define America?

    Jesus Christ!

  1. escorting the Pope off that plane is horrendous.

    The fact that he was allowed to do it unimpeded, unarrested is only a testament to how stupid, brainwashed and dysfunctional our society is.

  2. cleanse the wounds.  Not until we acknowledge the illegalities and hold accountable the arrogant leaders who practiced corruption, criminality and inhumanity in our names.  

  3. We here in the progressive world have no trouble seeing the rabid, clinically ill hate mongers for what they are. The polls are with us, showing less support for them as the days weeks and months roll on. Yet even as a conservative will agree that the country needs to change its direction, that same conservative is a stone wall when it comes to fessing up to the mistake in judgement made in electing cheney/bush, and will actively defend the current administration. I am working (for free on my own old wooden boat) in a shipyard in Puegot Sound filled with big plastic tubby yachts ,costing 1/4 million and up. Many of the owners are actually nice people until they look up and see my Impeach Cheney ? ball cap. At that time they either turn into an iceberg or a Rush impersonator.

    The divisions and the acrimony in American politics these days seems to preclude any rational conversation about the subject of impeachment or of the crimes this gang of slobs have perpetrated on, first and most heinously, Iraq, Afghanistan, America, and the world in general. The demons we see on TV, the ones actually in charge of our country, are but the tip of an iceberg. Our neighbors, and yes even some of our friends are infected by this same demon virus.

    The Dalai Lama has been Seattle for the last 5 days, and while I didn’t get to see him, one of his messages was repeated on local news, paraphrased, “Compassion and correct conduct will do more to change an intransigent than any amount of coercion.”

    While I find it very, very hard to feel any compassion for the pukes who have nearly destroyed our country, I have found that exhibiting my compassion for the victims of their crimes warms up those icebergs in the shipyard. The demon in the white house and his cohorts are beyond my influence, other than LTEs, and LTCs (Congresscritters), petitions and the like, however the demon in the shipyard can be approached, and can be healed, at least partially, of the virus that has swept our nation since Nixon.

    The demons on TV are but the symptom of the virus infecting our country, and the world– ego driven materialism. “Look at my shiny new tupperware yacht, look at my shiny new SUV, look at my shiny new 8000 sq foot home, look at my shiny new phone that does everything, including wiping my ass”. “Give me more of everything, because I’m smarter, and I’m smarter because I have more of everything”. It goes on and on.

    As the Dalai Lama said, compassion and correct conduct; to me it seems to be the only answer. Ultimately I am responsible only for myself, and accountable only to myself.

    My favorite bumper sticker? Live simply so that others may simply live.



  4. Here is a writeup on violations of Article 49 concerning the forced removal of citizens by an occupying power. There is a secret memo from the Department of Justice authorizing the transfers and using wording that legal experts call disturbing. Let’s let a judge have a look.

    This report (pdf), under the umbrella of the Global Policy Forum spells out in detail many, many war crimes that we have committed there. It is a disgusting read except for:

    Those with

    command responsibility have remained

    beyond the law. But the immunities they

    have created for themselves can and will

    be broken. They must eventually be

    brought to justice.


    Courts, both national and international,

    should pursue those with command

    responsibility, to hold them accountable

    for the many grave violations

    of international humanitarian and human

    rights law.

    Also, according to Ramsey Clark, aspects of Bremers decree of de-Baathification were in complete violation of the Geneva Conventions.

    You have a great way with words, clammyc. Thanks for this.

    • shpilk on April 17, 2008 at 19:22

    of the media/press that keeps digging away at the stories.

    What we do not realize, and I keep trying to drive this point home, is that all of the things we see happening now happened during the Reagan administration, and earlier. Perhaps not as widespread, but torture, wholesale violations of the Constitution and Geneva Conventions started in the 70’s with Nixon and continued in the 80s with ReaganBushI.

    Eisenhower warned us, he saw it.

    The Democratic Congress’s failure of that time to take action then is why we have seen the broad usurpation of power across all spectra of governance by the current clowns in charge. There were attempts – the Church Commission was an answer to Nixon, but it was weakened and diffused by the gross failure of Congress to rein in gross violations and corruption of the balance of power by ReaganBushI.

    Rest assured, the failure to take action now against Bush Cheney means that the next cycle of oppression, whenever it comes will be that much worse. This criminal spree of these filthy bastards will shortly be tamped down, but next time violent revolution will likely be the only answer, or we shall truly become a dictatorship.

    The failure of the next President and Congress to restore a balance of power within the 3 branches, and to ‘reboot’ Constitutional protections for the populace will mark the death of the United States as a Nation.

  5. I was amazed it got so little attention at dailykos.  Too many over there in the throes of the barapture, I guess.

    What an important issue!  Our pathetic executive branch has ceded any claim out country might have to being a beacon of human rights.  Protecting the rights of those who are most reviled (correctly or incorrectly reviled) is a mark of true humanity.  Character is what you do when ain’t no one looking.  And we’ve lost it.

    • kj on April 18, 2008 at 04:08

    read this, clammy.  wanted some time and space to give it justice.  (printed it out, with comments, to read over the weekend.)  have felt pretty certain however, based on the title, that this goes with dharmasyd’s essay from a few weeks back.  certain enough that i’m going to link to hers, which i keep re-reading, before reading yours. hope you don’t mind. and thanks in advance.



      • Edger on April 16, 2008 at 19:48

      And I thought I was being nasty!

      How about asking her, under oath and on camera, if she thinks that her and Bush and Cheney and the rest of the putrid lying scumbags should be treated better than the prisoners they’ve been torturing enhanced questioning, or not?

      With her mother sitting in court looking at her…

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