When a group of 50 high school students visiting the White House in June handed President Bush a letter urging him to stop the torture of suspected terrorists, the president took their letter, read it, then told the students that "the United States does not torture."
By the time a president has alienated even high school overachievers, the cat is out of the bag; it is now general knowledge that the United States of America tortures people. We know that torture rarely if ever works. So what are government officials getting out of it?
...When babies cover their eyes, they assume the world has disappeared because they can't see it; they think they're invisible too and that the world can't see them. Donald Rumsfeld, in Hersh's article, comes off like an innocent child rubbing his eyes and waking in a world he never made. "My God! Did I authorize putting a bra and underwear on this guy's head and telling him all his buddies knew he was a homosexual?" asks the former Defense secretary. Heck, was it all just a dream?
Maybe the reason members of the Bush administration are reluctant to look at evidence of torture is that if they did, they would be forced to admit that, for them, what happened at Abu Ghraib really wasn't torture. For them, evidently, it was sex, and that's why they won't watch.
It's not like government officials have never come right out and said that. In 2004, Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) bridged the gap between the painful and the erotic by dismissing the Abu Ghraib abuses as a mere "sex ring": "I've seen what happened at Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib was not torture. It was outrageous, outrageous involvement of National Guard troops who were involved in a sex ring." When asked to clarify, Shays backtracked and dug himself in deeper at the same time. "It was torture because sexual abuse is torture. This is more about pornography than torture."
Monday, July 30, 2007
Found an interesting article in the LA Times today. Here's a slice: