Monday, November 4, 2013

Yet More Evidence That the U.S. Tortures With Impunity

As I've written so many times, most recently in this post on October 30th, the U.S. has embraced torture. The U.S. cannot pretend to stand for the rule of law or continue to spout platitudes about "democracy," "freedom," and, most gag-inducing, "American values."

And today's news bears that out.

Headline from The Guardian: 
CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds
Of course we already knew this. We already knew that American physicians participated in torture -- and continue to do so at Guantanamo, where force-feeding of prisoners is still going on.

How many "patriots," how many "good Americans" have asked over the years, when talking about WWII, "How could the Germans have done that?" 

Or these days, "Why do they hate us?"

And how many of us have implored, over and over again, that we not look at human beings, any human beings, as Other, because all human beings have similar impulses and all human beings can be induced to do brutal, unspeakable things, and if we don't acknowledge that fact we're just setting ourselves up to do brutal, unspeakable things when certain circumstances present themselves?

And how many times have we been told that we don't know what we're talking about, that The Other is different, evil, inhuman?

And how many times have we pointed not only to history, which bears us out, but to research, which also bears us out? How many times do we have to reference the experiments of Solomon Asch, Stanley Milgram, Philip Zimbardo?

The crux of the matter is this: people put in positions of unlimited power will abuse that power. It's not a question of "if"; it's a question of "when."

Yet still it doesn't matter. Still, Americans persist in touting how "special" they are, how "exceptional." Has there ever been a more pernicious self-image? My God, if you aren't reminded of the self-glorification of the "Aryan race," you're missing a few marbles.

"Why do they hate us?" Stop asking that. Open your eyes. Start asking instead, "Why wouldn't they hate us?" Start acknowledging the mote in your own eye. And start doing something about it.