My uncle was an Army Ranger during the Korean War who saw the results of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ performed by the North Koreans on American GIs. Although there were no waterboardings mentioned that I recall, sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, lengthy confinement in small spaces, prisoners kept for days with their head covered by burlap bags, and other forms of torture were routinely practiced. There were no ‘major organ failures,’ yet my uncle, and every one who saw the psychologically broken, hollow-eyed men released by the NK knew what they had ungone was torture, without question. He was proud to say that America didn’t torture our captives. So was my father, who witnessed the results of torture of American POWs in the Pacific Theater during WWII.
It was simple: America does not torture.
The Bush/Cheney Gang, supported by those other execrable toads Bybee, Bradbury and Yoo, have dishonored the service of my father, my uncle and millions of others who sacrificed their youth and risked or lost their lives for a Constitution and a form of government that adhered to its own laws and didn’t descend to barbarism out of panic or sadism or incompetence. Dick Cheney knew very well that Americans would not countenance torture so he had his lawyers invent another name for it, and he continues to dishonor our veterans, living and dead, and all Americans, justifying the crimes he committed in our name and without our permission by insisting he has protected us, when he is really only protecting himself. If Cheney had the kind of guts he is purported to have, he would come out and admit he ordered the torture and take responsibility for it, instead of wrapping himself in weasely euphemisms and the flag. But ‘tough guy’ Cheney doesn’t have the courage to do that — my father and my uncle had more courage in their little fingers than ‘desk jockey’ Cheney has displayed in his entire career. They risked their lives for their country; Dick Cheney has done nothing more than play pathetic political games for his own profit. To say he is disgusting is an understatement.
Perhaps the House and Senate, before voting on Bybee’s impeachment or, indeed, the prosecution of any of these war criminals, should be required to see a film of what American soldiers looked like after they had been subjected to the techniques outlined in the Bybee/Yoo memos, and allow men like my uncle, who have seen the terrible results of Cheney’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ and those who have experienced them first-hand, to testify in public. It might wake them up to the true horror of what the Bush/Cheney Regime has done in our name.
“Everyone Should See ‘Torturing Democracy'”
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Common Dreams, May 30, 2009.
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2009 R.S. Janes. LTSaloon.org.