Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hello kettle? This is pot

It is a bit ironic that a day after George Bush compared Bin Laden to Hilter and Lenin, he admits to what boils down to essentially illegal activities worldwide involving secret prisons in countries all over the world.

Mr Bush said the CIA had used an "alternative set of procedures", agreed with the justice department, once suspects had stopped talking.

But he said: "The US does not torture. I have not authorised it and I will not."

Yea, ok. We've all seen Alias. Come on, Bushie! I know another leader who used an “alternative set of procedures”. Those are dangerous words.

"This programme has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they have a chance to kill," the president said.

Mmmhmm. Maybe it did. But I can think of a few other actual mass murderers who are still on the streets.

This may not have repercussions on Dubya. But it will have repercussions on the European countries that were hiding these secret prisons. Sure, none of us are surprised it is actually true, but what it boils down to is another big, fat, old fashioned lie – but not just by the U.S. this time, I can think of a few European countries that denied the existence of these secret CIA prisons. A world conspiracy! I can’t think of anything more fun. We might as well all go straight to hell right now, we are already well on our way.


Tim said...

Unfortunately, King "Is our children learning?" is one of those embarrassing dopes that will never pay for his crimes. We're stuck with him and whomever else we get after 2008. Sigh . . . what can I say? Our Republicans are gun-toting, power-hungry, religious-wack-a-doodle bullies, and our democrats are weak, whiny, sickly, vegan schmucks.

What does that leave us? Ooh, ooh! I know, I know! Humans!

Sandra said...

The U.S. definitely does torture prisoners. We've all seen pictures of it from Iraq and people released from Guantanamo have confirmed it.

Scruffy said...

Good article Mel. What should we do with terrorists that we capture?

Can anyone give a thoughtful answer to this? Bring em back to the states so the ACLU ensures they get "3 hots and a cot" and that they get all lawyer'd up and then no useful info is obtained to save other innocents from attacks.

Thanos, you are quite eloquent at times and fair. What is a realistic approach that will save lives and not give these bastards any advantage when we capture em.

Thanos said...

What you don't understand and what many people don't understand in the U.S. and elsewhere is that fighting terrorists by becoming terrorists ourselves negates the very core of our beliefs, the very reason we have for fighting.

Let me remind you of a scene from "A Man for All Seasons" (movie or book, whichever you prefer).

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

You want the US to go around the world arresting terrorists, perceived or real? Fine, let's suppose that is a legal activity (which it is not). Afford them rights not of US citizens, but of human beings under the Geneva convention. Question them, but do not brutalize them.

"But, but but... this way we may miss information! A terrorist plot might succeed! People may die!"

And now you come to the core, the center of the problem: In order to preserve our morality, our humanity, in order to preserve our Democracy and our Law some people will die. Some information will remain hidden within the fanatic who carries it and here and there a plot will succeed.

But you know, in the long term a righteous, democratic, lawful nation will conquer all others by its shining light of intellect, culture, fairness. Such a nation, in the long run will have no need to abduct terrorists, real or perceived, hold them in secret prisons, deprive them of their rights, torture and kill them. Ask yourself hard questions (everyone, not Scruffy, all countries, not just the US): IS your country such a nation? Do you WANT your country to be such a nation?

If the answer is no, go ahead! And why stop at torture? Why not attack and conquer sovereign nations for their resources? Why not scheme and manipulate the weak to bring them under your influence? Why not support corrupt leaders who hold nations hostage under their dictatoric sway? Oh wait...

Scruffy said...

Ok Thanos. I respect your point, but it seems a little like "conspiracy theory" thinking if you go down too far on that path.

For a military man, you are quite the liberal thinker (not that it's wrong) but most of Greek military officers I've met in the last 20 years seem pretty conservative and favor the US' approach to the war on terror.

melusina said...

I don't see where I said that we should give terrorists five star hospitality. There is a big difference between doing something legally and doing it illegally, and then lying about it to the world when asked direct questions about it.

Even the most sadistic killers in America have their rights protected to the fullest extent of the law. Why should terrorists be any different, especially when some of those detainees are merely suspects, without any proof? What if you or someone you loved was held in that way?

By taking underhanded measures and mistreating people, we've allowed the terrorists to win. We've let them win on so many levels. Why should we do that?

To me, we lost the war on terrorism a long time ago. We aren't making any progress, either.

Scruffy said...

What if you or someone you loved was held in that way?

Well, no one I love is a terrorist, so I don't have that much to worry about.

But, I suppose I could ask you "What if someone you loved was in the World Trade Center, and some terrorist had info". That's the real question.

So, are you saying you wouldn't want to tickle a terrorist a bit if you knew that one of your loved ones was in danger of being hurt?

Well? Or is it that you can't answer that because you wouldn't be able to remain objective in that circumstance.

I'm not trying to provoke, just asking a question..

melusina said...

Well, some of these people aren't terrorists either.

You are asking me a dual question, it can go both ways, in the world we live in now. What if someone I loved was in the WTC - or what if someone I loved lived next door do a suspected terrorist? Either way, their building gets blown up.

I am not against capital punishment. And I acknowledge the human need for revenge. But I'd prefer to think that in reality, I would keep my actions well within the law. I might scream and shout a bit, but I want to protect MY future more. Certainly, any government should keep themselves within the law. What happens if the Geneva convention, or any other human rights endorsing law worldwide gets thrown out of the window? What if Greece decided to round up all the Americans and incarcerate them? We have these laws for a reason - and they should be abided by. Someone could just as easily think you or I was a terrorist - for the wrong reasons. Then what? You think it couldn't happen, but why not? Innocent people are arrested every day.

Scruffy said...

Yes, I agree that innocent people get arrested. I'm the first person who complains about that also. But, when it comes to terrorism, I think it's a bit harder to accidently get arrested. Generally, I think the FBI does a good job with investigating these things.

But, I'll give you your point. Because, in the criminal justice system, I certainly agree I'd rather have 9 guilty men go free than one innocent man go to jail. But, with terrorism and terrorists, it just frustrates me and many Americans like me.

Anonymous said...

Mujhar misses you.

melusina said...

Muj!!!! We miss you too!!! The last time you sent us an email, both Thanos and I tried to email you back but both attempts kept bouncing back. =( If you want to try again, we still have the same emails.