America's Torture Policy During the Reign of the Savage Idiots:
To read Mark Danner's article in the New York Review of Books about America's policy of torture during the Bush administration is to peer over the edge of an abyss that we don't know yet if we've pulled back from. While punk ass, egomaniacal turdmongers like Glenn Beck push the notion that we're heading into apocalypse because the tax rate on the wealthy is going to go marginally higher or because someone said something bad about Israel, the very foundational ideals of America were undermined because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney made us scared of a group of fanatical retards who shit in caves.
Go ahead and read the whole thing, about the Red Cross report on how the United States participated in the torture of bloodthirsty assholes and grubby criminals who, every day they were held nude, cold, filthy, sleepless, stress-positioned, and beaten, had confirmed for them everything that they and their fellows and followers believed about the West. Man, we showed 'em. We showed 'em good.
You might be a cynic on the left who blithely responds that we shouldn't be naive, that the United States has tortured prisoners of war (and others) throughout its modern history. Of course that's true, but it was always done with a wink and with the knowledge that people could be prosecuted. It was not an official and (eventually) openly known and accepted policy of the American government. That little piece of the horror puzzle is new.
You might be a cynic on the right who says that, yeah, we did this, but it ain't nearly as bad as the tortures committed by the regimes of, say, Saddam Hussein or whatever Latin American dictator and/or junta you wanna toss into the dirt heap. Of course that's true, too, but, as the Rude Pundit's said numerous times, do you really wanna judge our nation's morality by comparison to, say, Guatemala's in the 1980s? And it's not to mention how much our tortures seem like the same ones done in China now or in the Soviet Union back in the day. Finally, the other way to look at this is that the bar has been set lower now. The U.S. has no goddamn right to complain if our citizens are treated like this in other countries. Only when it gets worse, only when it gets worse.
And to those who would be idiotic enough to cite the 24 scenario as a reason to torture, you need to at least fuckin' get it right. In that fictional set-up, the criminal/terrorist/soldier knows about something that's going to blow up within, you know, 24 hours. That's the justification for shooting kneecaps or hammering testicles or whatever. What happened to the prisoners in U.S.-sponsored custody (in whatever country they were renditioned to) took place over the course of days, weeks, months. So, even if this unreal situation occurred, at what point does the potential information from torture victims stop being a last-second nefarious plot-halter?
Now, the Rude Pundit's no interrogation expert, but it'd seem, by default, less than a day. So, like, Abu Zabaydah, who was shot three times while being pursued, hospitalized, and treated for his injuries, who was then questioned by the FBI without being tortured, wasn't given "enhanced techniques" until long after he could have halted any imminent attacks. But, you know, that'd be applying logic and reason to a situation where only the animalistically-savage and the emotionally-retarded and the intellectually-bereft are making decisions.