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Some of the people who have been held and interrogated as suspected terrorists by the US in detainment centers have been released. I have heard interviews and read about some of these people. In the ACLU newsletter there was a story about a German Muslim who was held so long that his family moved, thinking he had desserted them. He was an innocent man. We detained and tormented him when he tried to go on a vacation to the Middle East. Other innocents have been held and tortured by US. According to one man interviewed on This American Life we have offered a bounty to people turning in terror suspects, and a great number of the people who were turned in for a bounty were innocent. Too many people have died on our watch, and we will never know their real stories.

There is something very sick about all this torture. Only the most warped people actually enjoy inflicting pain. Healthy and respectful people prefer to alleviate pain than to cause it. Children who torture pets are more likely to hurt other people later on. Violence inflicted breeds the desire to inflict. A sticker on my truck says "we are creating enemies faster than we can kill them" and I believe it. Our president and his cronies fought tooth and nail to stop McCain's anti-torture resolution----until it was evident that they couldn't stop it, and then they pretended to agree with the principle. Liars. These men who claim to be Christian espouse values that are the very evil that they cast on others. What is one more lie to a pack of murderers?

Tonight over dinner friends spoke of the wonders of modern anesthesiology. For a procedure as routine as a vasectomy a person can be drugged such that he is completely conscious and functional, but remembers nothing. Dan said it is as if a door shuts--the door to memory and perhaps pain---and then when the drug wears off the door opens and one remembers up to the door shutting but no more. He couldn't help but to contemplate what information might be extracted from a person while they were in some such mentally disconnected state.

Modern drugs could be used to extract the truth from a criminal without having to physically torture them. If we can drug people to get at their truth, then why all the torture? If we could find out everything just by shooting them full of chemicals, do we really need to "stress" them? Why are we torturing people? Beyond the possible explanation of simple sadism, it occurred to me: it takes a lot more than drugs to get a person to admit to something that they did not do. It takes torture, to get an innocent man to admit to crimes, just to stop the pain. This seems to be what we are doing. The US is out there in the world forcing innocents to admit to crimes in order to justify our sick domination. And the ones that refuse to admit to anything sometimes get released and sometimes speak up about their experiences. In spite of their fear.

The US is detaining internationals just because somebody fingered them for a bounty. It is only one very tiny step from here to the "detainment" (what a euphemism), torture, and assasination of citizens here in the states who politically oppose Shrub. And though there are a lot of us, most people are keeping their mouths shut because they are afraid. How long before people start disappearing right here in my home town? Do you remember what happened under the Nazis? Do you remember what happened in Chile under Pinochet? People who openly opposed the government simply vanished. Remember that old saying about "first they came for the Jews, but I wasn't a Jew, so I didn't speak up", and on through the unwanted populations. The gays. Whoever. Well they're taking the Muslims. Already. From anywhere. They're busting down the doors to people's houses and taking them away. Not in my home town yet, but anywhere on this planet is too close for comfort. Unwarranted spying is a done deal. Our government has to be stopped and our voting system is already rigged in their favor. What now?

I recently read that Shrub wants to model the revision of our Social Security system on the federal retirement plan in Chile that has been a huge flop there. The retirement scheme that is making Chilean banks ridiculously wealthy while the common man is ripped off and without help in his old age. Our government is taking a page out of every book that shafts the people and benefits big biz. Shrub should be impeached.

If this remains the land of the free, I will be permitted to write all this and not be taken away. I am afraid. I do not trust my own government. I believe that they are propagating terror for profit. I pray that my legal and actual freedom of speech and religion and thought and belief are sustainable. I hope that our congress and supreme court buck up and stop the outrageous overstepping of legal bounds so routine for this administration. I pray that real Christian values (which are remarkably similar to the core values of every major religion) prevail over and conquer the sickening hollow immitation proffered by our executive branch. I want you to know that I will not stop writing here without saying goodbye unless 1) I die or 2) they take me away.

There is no amount of placation from the mouth of Shrub that can undo the facts that are already out there on the loose....eventually people will have to see, eventually I will not feel so alone...this is what I tell myself. And I am utterly stunned to see how far it has already gone. We live in UNBELIEVABLE times.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
Why so alone?
Why do you feel so alone? Of all the people I know, only two or three support our current president. The rest of them oppose. I think the majority is with you now, although most don't express themselves through the written word as you do.

I suppose we do live in unbelievable times, given our "modern" situation... but this has happened time and time again throughout human civilization. In big things, those that really matter, humans don't learn from other humans' mistakes. Very unfortunate.

These sorts of things have been happening since this country's inception. They're just a lot more public now. Prior to us, it was England who was terrorizing the world, torturing people, ruining people's lives to better their own. Prior to them it was the Romans, and before them... and so on, back to the Mayans, and even before them. Heck, the Mayans made people line up and climb the temple stairs, which were running with the blood of the people who had gone before them, to be sacrificed and then eaten by royalty.

IMHO, not much has changed. Things are just hidden now, because they're taboo in our "modern" society.
Apr. 14th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Why so alone?
Well thanks for that. I'd like to think that I am not alone. And I do feel alone. My sense of politically being out on a limb is because there is such lag in public awareness and opinion. So many people prefer not to look, because knowing is painful. The utter corruption of this administration has been obvious to me since the beginning. That many more people disapprove of Shrub now is hopeful, but it is not the same as getting voting reform DONE. It is not the same as rebuilding the Democrat party in such a way as to bring truth and integrity to the political arena. It is not the same as real change. Disapproval is not enough. Voting is not enough, not anymore. Activism is required. And even just the word (activism) has a tinge of disgrace on it. It's a backlash against the 60's. Being an activist is to be a hippie and hippies are not cool...

I guess I know more proud Republicans than you do. Just had the conversation with one of my drivers. He voted for Bush and he believes that we should not talk politics at work. OK then. Most of the Monsoon Warriors are Republican. Doing river trips with them requires my utmost diplomacy and sometimes I end up with steam coming out of my ears. Many of the college students in my classes claim Republicanism. The 21 year old in Physics class who is studying construction management so he can take over his daddys' business. He supports Shrub. I try to have dialog with them--without alienating. And we do live in very different realities.

That our species has always been violent and duplicitous doesn't help me to feel better. I would like to believe that we humans are capable of living in peace. I would like to believe in a mass enlightenment as predicted for 2012 in the Mayan calendar. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were some beautiful transition after which compassion rules all human interaction, and the profit motive is forgotten? But I don't really believe all that, I only want to. I also don't believe that we are doomed to pour blood down the steps like the Mayans.

If my dream of a better world to come is fantasy, should I just give up, and not try to prevent bloodshed in my name? Should I consider my hands clean if I personally don't kill anyone, only my tax dollars do? Is it sufficient for me to live nonviolently and compassionately in my immediate circle, and not try to understand the impact of my ripples in the waters of the Universe?

I ask these questions because I really don't know the answers. That's why I journal about it: this stuff bothers me, my heart is unresolved. I do believe in starting at home. And it is so hard to do. It seems silly to look beyond my own little life to see this much greater problem. I am on bad terms with my neighbor. I am alone because I am surrounded by sick people, lonely people, angry people, people in denial and people in too much pain to register that there is someone else around. I am alone because aloneness is a central truth of existence. We are all alone.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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