Sunday, December 09, 2007

From " Torture " to " American Idol "- American Ideals

Anyway things are getting worse not better . In this the Christmas season we are not supposed to talk about that which people find unpleasant. Instead they prefer their Santa Claus Myth & their myth of a loving & caring Christian society .So they tell us not to talk about injustices in our society . We are to ignore a government spying on its citizenry treating everyone as potential enemies of the state .We are not to mention the rise in police brutality . Besides those whom the police abuse they tell us probably deserve it. As for torture & unjust wars these are not topics suitable for this joyous season .

But here we go again as we discover that in America the CIA is destroying any evidence of their use of torture . We are told again & again that torture is moral & ethical & necessary to protect our perfect civilization from all those evil barbarians who want to destroy us . But what are these wonderful ideals our civilization stands for that need to be protected .

It seems to me that we are dispensing of those traits which defined our society as a society which believes in equality before the law . Where once we believed in justice & fairness & tolerance now we believe in revenge & fill our hearts with hate .

Inquiry Sought On CIA Tapes By Dan Eggen and Joby Warrick The Washington Post Saturday 08 December 2007

Destruction is said to be news to Bush.

Democratic lawmakers yesterday angrily demanded a Justice Department investigation into the CIA's decision to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogation tactics used on two terrorism suspects.

The White House said that President Bush was unaware of the tapes or their destruction until this week, but administration sources acknowledged last night that longtime Bush aide Harriet E. Miers knew of the tapes' existence and told CIA officials that she opposed their destruction.

The Senate intelligence committee also announced the start of its own probe into the destroyed videotapes, said Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.).

"We do not know if there was intent to obstruct justice, an attempt to prevent congressional scrutiny, or whether they were simply destroyed out of concern they could be leaked," Rockefeller said. "Whatever the intent, we must get to the bottom of it."

one of things of note here is that the Washington Post being a supporter of the Bush Regime refers to the use of torture in the language of the Neocons as " harsh interrogation tactics". One can't expect the US media to even suggest Bush & Co. used torture since the term torture for the Post & Bush is so " vague " . Besides only the radical unAmerican left would dare accuse the Bush Regime of using so-called " torture ". And like most of the American elite the Post believes that all these silly , pussified international laws against torture do not apply to the United States. Of course they forget The former Soviet Union also denied using torture or claimed they needed to use " harsh techniques " against their enemies . Other leaders & countries have also defended their use of such " harsh techniques ":
from the Grand Inquisitor & the Catholic Church to the Tzars of Russia to Stalin to the French in Algeria & Vietnam to the British in Ireland in the 1920s & then again in Ireland in the 1970s-1980s to Franco in Spain from the 1930s to the 1970s to Pinochet in Chile & the Shah of Iran to the generals in Burma, Indonesia , El Salvador , Honduras , Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Maoist China & pre-Maoist China & post-Maoist China , to the Nazis to the Japanese in WWII, to Saddam of Iraq & Musharraf of Pakistan to the Taliban in Afghanistan to the KKK or the South African Apartheid state ( which also received a great deal of support from the Americans ).

As one can see America is in good company . It seems there are only a few countries who don't practice torture . Its purpose is not information but to terrorize .It terrorizes the individuals and sends a message to his co-conspirators or sympathizers In some cases it is used to get a somewhat dubious if not outrageous & unbelievable confession but one which can be sold to the public at large who haven't the time, the inclination or the desire to question what those in positions authority tell them .

The second major issue is who is going to investigate the matter . The American Judiciary has been compromised by the Bush Regime through its political appointments , its interference in case after case & its insistence that the Judiciary is to answer not to the people or Congress but to Bush & Co. And from what I can see there is barely more than a few lawyers in the United States able & willing to stand up to the Bush Regime. The American Bar Association like other elite groups in America don't really care about such issues, are indifferent , or in fact support King George in whatever he does from fixing elections, to kidnapping, to wiretaps, & stripping all detainees of their basic rights while being incarcerated without being charged, without due process or Hebeas Corpus & even the use of torture. The American Bar Association represents a bunch of quislings who refuse to use words like "moral " or " ethical " because they are too vague. Their only interest is that their members make as much profit as possible defending Big Corporations & other members of the elite . Unlike the lawyers in Pakistan who were & are willing to fight a corrupt government . Such a wide spread revolt in America could change the course of its history but it will not happen .Americans on the other hand like Canadians believe that everyone must obey the law & those in authority no matter how unjust the law & no matter how corrupt & self-serving those in authority are.

As for Congress or the Senate investigating such accusations of malfeasance well that's for the most part a joke as we saw in their investigations of Black Water & other private contractors aka Mercenaries or in dealing with the General Petraeus /Betrayus report & the propaganda spin on the "Surge ". The surge has had little or no lasting effect on the dismal situation in Iraq.

During the hearings with Mr. Prince ,the President of Black Water , the members of the committee made Mr. Prince out to be a great American Patriot & Hero no matter how many innocent Iraqi civilians were beaten, tortured, shot,or massacred . The media also claimed Blackwater was getting bad press solely because the radical left was twisting the facts concerning Blackwater to promote an anti-Bush & anti-American agenda.

The big concern over General Petraeus was the calling him General " Betrayus ". I don't see how it is all that offensive especially given his rather incredulous testimony which he expected every American to believe because of his position & reputation as a general in the US military when in fact he was just playing politics as a pawn in Cheney/ Bush's game. But this sent journalists & political pundits & Talk Radio Hosts & their television equivalents into hysterics that someone would dare criticize a US General. So much for Free Speech & the right to dissent. You can dissent only on issues that don't matter ie a new stop sign on your street or a new crosswalk or a lack thereof or who should have won American Idol etc. During the hearings the public was more interested in the private lives of such American Icons such as Paris Hilton , Brittany Spears or Mel Gibson or whomever was the rising or falling star that week.

Or the public was voraciously gleefully chewing on the grizzly details of some murder case . Its odd that the media can describe in detail such horrific crime scenes &and even show video and photos but don't dare show them photos or video of detainees being abused, humiliated,degraded, beaten & tortured by America's golden haired military heroes.

And for more on the Spread of these great American Ideals -
also see :
Nonstop Theft and Bribery Are Staggering Iraq
By Damien Cave, The New York Times Sunday 02 December 2007

Baghdad - Jobless men pay $500 bribes to join the police. Families build houses illegally on government land, carwashes steal water from public pipes and nearly everything the government buys or sells can now be found on the black market.

Painkillers for cancer (from the Ministry of Health) cost $80 for a few capsules; electricity meters (from the Ministry of Electricity) go for $200 each and even third-grade textbooks (stolen from the Ministry of Education) must be bought at bookstores for three times what schools once charged.

"Everyone is stealing from the state," said Adel Adel al-Subihawi, a prominent Shiite tribal leader in Sadr City, throwing up his hands in disgust. "It's a very large meal, and everyone wants to eat."

Corruption and theft are not new to Iraq, and government officials have promised to address the problem. But as Iraqis and American officials assess the effects of this year's American troop increase, there is a growing sense that, even as security has improved, Iraq has slipped to new depths of lawlessness.

One recent independent analysis ranked Iraq the third most corrupt country in the world. Of 180 countries surveyed, only Somalia and Myanmar were worse, according to Transparency International, a Berlin- based group that publishes the index annually.

And the extent of the theft is staggering. Some American officials estimate that as much as a third of what they spend on Iraqi contracts and grants ends up unaccounted for or stolen, with a portion going to Shiite or Sunni militias. In addition, Iraq's top anticorruption official estimated this fall - before resigning and fleeing the country after 31 of his agency's employees were killed over a three-year period - that $18 billion in Iraqi government money had been lost to various stealing schemes since 2004.

The collective filching undermines Iraq's ability to provide essential services, a key to sustaining recent security gains, according to American military commanders. It also sows a corrosive distrust of democracy and hinders reconciliation as entrenched groups in the Shiite-led government resist reforms that would cut into reliable cash flows.

And here's another strange bit on America becoming a Fascist State as if American cared one way or the other .All you have to do as Hitler did is to promise security , future prosperity & find a marginalized group to demonize & persecute such as illegal immigrants or Arab & Muslim Americans . Set up giant sized or Super-Sized detention camps & prisons . Follow this with a little torture to uncover a myriad of ( non-existent ) conspiracies against the American citizenry & American Institutions & before you know it the people will be more submissive & agree to just about anything ...maybe even a few mass executions to teach those Latinos or Arabs or Muslims a lesson. Meanwhile the Neocons rake in the money while the Religious Right is given more power to enforce Taliban like laws & continue with government support to Christianize the world .

America is going fascist "The signs are all there for anyone to see, and time is getting short for action" By Michael Nenonen

12/04/07 "The Republic" -- -- Reading Naomi Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007), I realized the hour is later than I thought.

Many of us have watched the Bush regime’s actions with a growing feeling of horror intertwined with a sense that somehow we’ve seen all of this before, but we aren’t sure where. We’re confused because what we’re seeing conflicts with unexamined and deeply held assumptions we have about American freedom. Wolf’s short but meticulously documented book shows that what is happening in America has indeed happened many times before, not in the United States, but rather in places like Chile, Italy, Russia, and Germany. In each case, people couldn’t understand why they didn’t recognize where they were heading before they passed the point of no return.

It's shifting fast

Wolf argues that the United States is undergoing a “fascist shift” from an authoritarian but still relatively open society to a totalitarian society. The techniques for forcing this shift have evolved over the last century and are now studied by aspiring tyrants the world over. These methods are even part of the formal curriculum in places like the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, previously known as the School of the Americas, in Fort Benning, Georgia, where thousands of Latin Americans have been trained by the United States government in the most savage techniques of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Fascists use ten basic strategies to shut down open societies. They invoke an external and internal threat in order to convince the population to grant their rulers extraordinary powers. They establish secret prisons that practice torture, prisons that are initially few in number and only incarcerate social pariahs, but that quickly multiply and soon imprison “opposition leaders, outspoken clergy, union leaders, well-known performers, publishers, and journalists.” They develop a paramilitary force that operates without legal restraint. They set up a system of intense domestic surveillance that gathers information for the purposes of intimidating and blackmailing citizens. They infiltrate, monitor, and disorganize citizens’ groups. They arbitrarily detain and release citizens, especially at borders. They target key individuals like civil servants, academics, and artists in order to ensure their complicity or silence. They take control of the press. They publicly equate dissent with treason. Finally, they suspend the rule of law. All of these strategies are being employed in America today.

take care,

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