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Response to MineralMan (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:10 AM

175. Sometimes sarcasm is the only way to deal with hypocrisy.

Obama's speech avoided admitting the ugly fact that his administration is responsible for excusing, hiding and covering up the torture committed by the Bush/Cheney administration.

Torture -- cruel and inexcusable treatment of prisoners (however despicable and cruel themselves) who were captive, helpless, alone and unable to do harm to anyone.

And the torture went on for years even after it should have been clear that the torture was eliciting very little if any useful, truthful information.

Not only did Obama's speech excuse the torture and minimize the horror of the cruelty with which suspects were treated by the CIA and our government, but it glossed over the terrible lies, yes, once again, lies that our government told to cover up its abominations.

The torturers were able to perpetrate their crimes because of the silence and "niceness" of people like me and you who vote for politicians like Bush and Cheney and Obama and Hillary Clinton and many, many others who put on a good show, who pretend to have consciences in order to get elected and then wallow in corruption and moral mediocrity. Pleasant we call them. Just pleasant. "Nice." Nice because they close their eyes to the horror that is done in their names.

Obama's speech today was at the same time inane and both morally corrupt and mediocre. Mediocre because the moment called for greatness that the speech did not provide. Mediocre because this was the moment for a call to moral renewal and there was no such call.

It is pleasant people, people who hate sarcasm and wit, people who are forever and boringly "nice" who enable the kinds of respectable criminals that the torturers who embed themselves in great institutions like the CIA and our NSA are.

The Bush, Cheney torturers' crimes cannot be excused on the ground that the torturers claimed to be motivated by noble purposes .

Noble purposes do not make the crime of torture of helpless captives less despicable, less cruel, less oblivious to the human suffering., to the screams and gasps of the tortured.

Noble purposes do not excuse us from having compassion for the suffering even of criminals, even of those who are themselves cruel if they are completely and totally submitted to our control, if their well being is our responsibility and if we really trust that due process and the rule of law deliver justice. And so Jesus forgave the thief who was crucified with him. Because compassion must be coupled with justice -- always. Because we are all human.

Our Constitution and our nation are founded on the principle that due process and the rule of law will ultimately deliver justice.

Torturers are like parents who savagely beat their children and then claim they did it for their children's own good or to right some wrong.

The CIA, NSA torturers harmed people who were in their custody, people who could do the torturers and our nation no harm, people who were helpless. And they did not just torture their victims until they felt pain and were nearly numb, they continued to commit cruel acts to them once the tortured could no longer resist, had no strength, no power and could pose no harm to anyone.

The torturers continued to torture even when it was obvious that the tortured would or could not provide any information that was not already known, had not already been obtained through other means or was useless.

The torture was sheer sadism, senseless. There is no excuse for it other than peer pressure, weak character, vengeance and venality, the fear of the torturers to resist the pressure from their bosses pushing them to continue to torture.

Manny's sarcastic post responds to the absurdity of the President's speech on torture today. The speech deserved Manny's sarcastic response. The speech trivialized the inexcusable on the ground that it was intended to serve a noble purpose. Nonsense.

It's time to draw a line on torture. Not just in the US but around the world. the people who are in positions to draw the line, however -- like Obama and our attorney general -- do not want to take the risk, make the effort to insure that no one in the future will resort to torture in the name of the United States. They do not want to prosecute or call at least for apologies and reconciliation.

I am not suggesting reconciliation with or apologies to Al Qaeda or even the suspects who were tortured (with the exception of those who were innocent and not involved in terrorism). We know that the culture in those quarters is one that also condones and commits torture. Some of those tortured would have tortured in their turn had they been in the place of our jailkeepers.

I am calling for reconciliation and an apology to the American people and the free world and an acknowledgement from all those who committed and ordered the torture that a) they committed heinous acts on helpless people in their custody however reprehensible the conduct of those people had been, b) that they violated the standards that our Founding Fathers, most notably George Washington established as guidelines in our society -- no cruel and unusual punishment, the right to a fair trial, to confront witnesses, no torture whatsoever, c) that they soiled the reputation of the United States earned for our dedication to moral conduct in war and peace and d) that they have offended the very high standard of fairness that makes us a great nation.

Manny's writing is in a long tradition of satire. It is bound to hit home and make those who hide behind "nice" masks feel uncomfortable. So be it.

Manny is absolutely right to ridicule Obama for his speech today. It was drivel.

Keep it up, Manny.

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