"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." -- James Madison - (1751-1836)


"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " :
Ayn Rand in "The Nature of Government"


"Throughout history there have been tyrants and murderers. And for a while they seem invincible, but always they fall. Always."-Mahatma Gandhi

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings: Helen Keller


The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is , more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime ; he is a good citizen driven to despair.--H.L Mencken


"When even one American-who has done nothing wrong-is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth-then all Americans are in peril" Harry S. Truman


"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943


"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed: Ayn Rand - (1905-1982) Author - Source: Atlas Shrugged, Francisco's "Money Speech"

"Loss of freedom seldom happens overnight. Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with toothbrush moustache and swastika armband -- it creeps up insidiously...step by step, and all of a sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone." ~ Baron Lane

U.S. Constitution - R.I.P.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where Is the Outrage? By Robert Scheer

Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of the detailed 370-page report on U.S. complicity in torture, issued last week by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Because the report was widely cited in the media and easily accessed as a pdf file on the Internet, it is fair to assume that those of our citizens who remain ignorant of the extent of their government’s commitment to torture as an official policy have made a choice not to be informed. A less appealing conclusion would be that they are aware of the heinous acts fully authorized by our president but conclude that such barbarism is not inconsistent with that American way of life that we celebrate.

But that troubling assessment of moral indifference is contradicted by the scores of law enforcement officers, mostly from the FBI, who were so appalled by what they observed as routine official practice in the treatment of prisoners by the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo that they risked their careers to officially complain. A few brave souls from the FBI even compiled a “war crimes file,” suggesting the unthinkable — that we might come to be judged as guilty by the standard we have imposed on others. Superiors in the Justice Department soon put a stop to such FBI efforts to hold CIA agents and other U.S. officials accountable for the crimes they committed.

That this systematic torture was carried out not by a few conveniently described “bad apples” but rather represented official policy condoned at the highest level of government was captured in one of those rare media reports that remind us why the Founding Fathers signed off on the First Amendment.

“These were not random acts,” The New York Times editorialized. “It is clear from the inspector general’s report that this was organized behavior by both civilian and military interrogators following the specific orders of top officials. The report shows what happens when an American president, his secretary of defense, his Justice Department and other top officials corrupt American law to rationalize and authorize the abuse, humiliation and torture of prisoners.”

One of those top officials, who stands revealed in the inspector general’s report as approving the torture policy, is Condoleezza Rice, who in her capacity as White House national security adviser turned away the concerns of then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft as to the severe interrogation measures being employed. Rice, as ABC-TV reported in April, chaired the top-level meetings in 2002 in the White House Situation Room that signed off on the CIA treatment of prisoners — “whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called water boarding. …” According to the report, the former academic provost of Stanford University came down on the side of simulated drowning.

Americans will be outraged when the cable goes out or the fuel to fill their SUV's isn't available anymore, but the majority of the sheeple can't be bothered spend much time away from the latest "reality show" or shopping mall to think about torture. Whether we care to think about it or not, we are responsible for putting these criminals in power and letting them remain in power long after it became clear that they were corrupt and ruthless. How discouraging...how horrible....that most Americans can cheerfully tune out the reality of such savagery, condoning it with their silence.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe people are afraid of becoming victims. Torture sends a message to the population about what could happen to them if they step out of line. Naomi Klein wrote about it in "The Shock Doctrine." Scary times. Phil

Melinda L.Secor said...

You are probably right. Many people may indeed be repulsed by the actions of our government, but be too afraid to take any sort of action for fear of reprisals. That, of course, is the point of public violence in any despotic regime...intimidating the masses into compliance.

However, the unfortunate fact is that historically, bending to the will of a despotic regime only keeps one safe from their savagery for a minute. The violence and intimidation always gets worse until the breaking point is finally reached. Just like any schoolyard bully, appeasement only breeds more violence.

But, since Americans are no longer taught history in today's dumbed down public school systems, they seem bound by their ignorance to repeat the mistakes made by so many other populations that have fallen under the rule of despotic tyrants.

The Militarization of Our Police