Regarding Torture, Detention, and Morality:
When future generations of Americans look back on this disgusting era that we have been damned to live through in our nation's history , there's so much that will be ascribed to being the fault of the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time. And thus it should be. But there's gonna be some shit that these descendants of ours will examine every which way and still come out with one conclusion: "Are you fuckin' serious?" Chief among these, the Rude Pundit is sure, will be that the United States government created, implemented, and defended policies of torture and indefinite detention during what by then will have been shown to be the failed "war on terror."
Every time the subject rears its subhuman head, the Rude Pundit has to recalibrate in order to get his brain around the idea that we are actually talking about torture as if it's a rational thing to be batted around like a mathematical theorem in a classroom at Princeton. Sure, he's not so naive as to believe that the United States never secretly tortured prisoners (including having other countries do it) prior to this president's interminable term, but there was never any attempt to make it legal to do so. It was hidden with the idea that crimes were being committed for which people could be punished. The Bush policy was kept under wraps for as long as possible because it might have led to people trying to argue whether or not the legal opinions were wrong. That's like the difference between fucking your neighbor's dog and getting your neighbor's kid to agree that you could fuck the dog before you fuck it.
When you read the executive summary of the Senate Armed Services Committee's "Inquiry Into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody," you get to relive that sickening feeling of even tangential culpability you should have felt when the Abu Ghraib photos came out. It's our government, motherfuckers, so anything they do is done in our name. This recognizes, of course, that way too many citizens didn't/don't give a shit or were/are all for whatever shit we can do to hurt those Muslim bastards.
What's striking is the near mundanity of the creation of a cover-our-asses paper trail, as if the Omaha branch of an office supply company wanted to sneakily try blue paper clips. Like this chilling little passage: "Two GTMO [Gitmo] behavioral scientists who had attended the JPRA-led training at Fort Bragg drafted a memo proposing new interrogation techniques for use at GTMO. According to one of those two behavioral scientists, by early October 2002, there was 'increasing pressure to get "tougher" with detainee interrogations.' He added that if the interrogation policy memo did not contain coercive techniques, then it 'wasn’t going to go very far.'"
Read the whole thing, about how military lawyers tried to stop things before they went too far, about how Donald Rumsfeld was demanding that techniques previously considered torture be determined legal, about how alleged 9/11 plotter Muhammed al-Khatani was treated: "While key documents relating to the interrogation remain classified, published accounts indicate that military working dogs had been used against Khatani. He had also been deprived of adequate sleep for weeks on end, stripped naked, subjected to loud music, and made to wear a leash and perform dog tricks."
Whenever some conservative spoogebucket attempts to defend the techniques, using idiot arguments like al-Qaeda doesn't abide by the Geneva Conventions, the Rude Pundit just wants to say, "Really? You measure the standards of your morality by how they stack up to terrorists?" And don't even get started on the whole "a bomb's about to go off in an hour - whatwouldyoudo? whatwouldyoudo?" bullshit. Let's remember that none of the tortured detainees, however evil they are presumed to be, was actually charged with a crime at the time of their torture.
Over in Bosnia, three men have returned home after seven years at Gitmo. They were released because a judge in the United States said, in essence, "Are you fuckin' serious?" and ordered the three (and two others) released. Arrested in 2001 in their home country on suspicion of ties to al-Qaeda, they had been cleared back in January 2002 by the top court in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But, according to former Prime Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija and other officials, the Bush administration had threatened to cut off aid and diplomatic ties to Bosnia, still recovering after its long war.
A good many Bosnians are angry at Lagumidzija, declaring that his actions showed his "moral and political bankruptcy." His administration's participation in handing the men over to the United States has been under investigation since June, with a demand that reparations be made to the men. Will any of our officials ever be so condemned and pursued? The three men were held with no charges and no recourse until the U.S. Supreme Court allowed them to challenge their detention just a few months ago. One of the men told the Bosnian daily paper, "I spent seven years at the end of the world, in the worst place in the world, it’s indescribable."
Considering the methods that our government considered legitimate means of extracting information, one really can't imagine.