Honor Bound to Defent Freedom, We Tortured People
Watching Frontline's bit on torture now. Yeah. The little details like how when General Miller came in to take over GTMO to replace the "softie" Baccus he implements a policy that all salutes would be coupled with the exchange "honor bound / to defend freedom," between saluting individuals...
And this was at the high-end, our response to international terrorism. This was before we invaded and occupied a non-threatening foreign nation and started processing thousands of detainees, mostly with reservists as staff. That got considerably more ugly, with a lot more deaths it would seem. The decision to use Abu Ghraib. The decision to use private contractors. It couldn't be more dramatically wrong.
There's a DOJ lawyer Yoo -- a political appointee and member of the Federalist society -- saying that there's evidence from Israel that aggressive interrigations helped to reduce suicide bombings. I'm curious about that, because from my understanding, the use of state brutality in many ways perpetuated the Intifada.
General Miller seems set to take the fall here. Sanchez, Gonzales, Rumsfeld and Bush are all responsible here, as well as John Ashcroft, but unfortunately I don't think they'll be held accountable in any meaninful way.
Tony Lagouranis, who actually tortured people -- e.g. keeping them locked in a storage container, hovering above hypothermia (rectal temperature taking), scaring detainees into pissing themselves with dogs -- has some of the most compelling stuff, but nothing tops the home videos. Not just the brutality. Watching kids tape themselves fucking up a folding chair with a knife, whooping it up... it's familiar, and deeply disturbing in context.
The truth is we're all accountable for this, whether we like it or not. This administration has got to be stopped. It's too bad we had to wait a year after the election for America to realize this. McCain and Graham are clearly positioning themselves for '08. That's going to be a pretty wild circus.
You can watch the whole thing online -- something PBS is doing correctly -- though they should really put DVD quality versions out on bittorrent so that people can watch it whenever they want. That would be serving the Public Interest.