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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

June 07, 2007
Who Are We?

Thanks to Azael in the comments, I was lead to this story.

The world of the interrogator is largely closed. But three interrogators allowed a rare peek into their lives -- an American rookie who served with the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion and two veteran interrogators from Britain and Israel. The veterans, whose wartime experiences stretch back decades, are more practiced at finding moral balance. They use denial, humor, indignation. Even so, these older men grapple with their own fears -- and with a clash of values.

An American in Iraq, a British man interrogating 'Irish Nationalists', and an experienced Israeli interrogator each talk about their experiences with interrogation--and torture.

How do you fight bad guys and stay good? "You don't. You can't."

If you're no longer "good" then can someone tell me the difference between you and the guy you're torturing?

(We're back to "the ends justify the means" again, aren't we?

It's a decision, a choice, that someone in the middle of a desperate situation--in an emergency, might make, but it's not a philosophy that be codified into law.

In fact, I'd suggest that "the ends justify the means" is anti-law. It and law, like matter and anti-matter, don't mix.)

You know, one of the excuses we were given for the invading Iraq is that these were just dreadful people who murdered and tortured and were a danger to innocent people around them and now, yes, I'm still having trouble understanding why us murdering and torturing and invading and endangering innocent people is somehow different.

It's not a failure of "patriotism" on my part at all. It's more likely to be a failure of patriotism from the White House.

What this country means, what it is to most of us, seems to be something very different than the aggressive, warmongering bullyboy state that the White House neocons see when they look at the flag.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:04 PM | Comments (2)
June 04, 2007
Both Sides Now

Zimbabwe: Government Admits Food Crisis

Man Beats World Hot Dog Eating Record.

It's a wacky world.

In other "news," we know that the neocons worship Reagan's memory because they think he "ended" the Cold War by ramping up this country's defense industries (in which many prominent neocons owned large amounts of stock) to the point where if defense spending was significantly slowed, the economy would be in trouble, although that's possibly not how they'd describe it.

I wonder what they're going to think of the Bushbaby when he starts a new Cold War?

Probably eternally grateful at the thought of all of those future defense contracts.

For your perusal otherwise:

Remember when we invaded Iraq? Remember when They were pretending that this unprovoked invasion of another sovereign state was a righteous war that we'd win because our god could beat up their any day They (that other "They" this time) were going to kill us all? Remember when it turned out that none of that was true?

Now we have reason to be grateful that it was all a lie, don't we? Because it turns out that we're not whupping them. U.S. Troop Drive Said Faltering in Iraq (In fact, and as anyone paying even cursory attention to the headlines these days knows, we've been over there for over four years and we haven't even cleaned up a city, much less the entire, bite-sized country.)

Ah, well. With a bit of effort, we could still win a stalemate, helping us achieve our goals of destabilizing the Middle East, pushing USofA fuel oil prices through the roof, and spending this country into near-terminal bankruptcy so that those wacky libruls won't have any money to waste on our decaying infrastructure, the disaster of our public schools, the looming crash of our healthcare system, and the disintegration of the planet's ecosystem and other leftwingnut concerns.

At least, I'm pretty sure that's what they were thinking.

Bush&Co were told something like this could happen, you know.

(And, speaking of reasons to invade Iraq, how many sites like this one have you been thinking about?)

In the meantime, the USofA's mercenaries keep fighting the war that Bush&Co rhetoric insists is being fought solely by patriotic soldiers. (Yeah, I know, there are a ton of actual soldiers over there. But I'd like to see more public discussion, like on the 6:00 news, of the mercenaries.)

Anyhow. Make no mistake. What Bush&Co want isn't to 'pacify' Iraq. They want to own it. (Although it's possible that the surrender monkeys will prevail.)

Remember Gitmo? Here's a story.

The key 'graf:

For people who have been following these issues, the findings were predictable: The aggressive interrogation techniques adopted by the administration after 9/11 are "outmoded, amateurish and unreliable," as the Times put it. They are a relic of a properly discarded past, abandoned not out of any moral compunction but because of "a more practical critique": There's no evidence they work. Dr. Randy Borum, a Defense Department consultant, noted: "There's an assumption that often passes for common sense that the more pain imposed on someone, the more likely they are to comply." But there is precious little evidence to back it up.

(emphasis added)

Some of those people have spent four years in the hands of sadists and/or lunatics who think the more pain imposed on someone, the better.

People? Were tortured.

/end obligatory intermittent posting to keep the sp*mm*rs away.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:35 AM | Comments (3)