Comments: Our Mess

I don't think the public outcry is missing. I just think the public outcry doesn't make it into the state-controlled media.

Posted by Elayne Riggs at June 27, 2005 01:43 PM

I'd tend to agree with Elayne: the blogospheric reaction and letters to editors, etc., seem to me to be pretty consistently opposed to the idea of torture (except that small and vocal core who're really, really in favor of it) and us as torturers. The stories keep coming out: even though they contain disclaimers and there isn't any accountability yet (I never really understood the value of divided government until this decade), but the flow continues.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at June 27, 2005 06:19 PM

I know there's outcry that's not making it into the media, but we all have to remember that the media is a business. If there was enough outcry, they'd publish it because they'd know most people were interested. They'll publish whatever they think people will buy papers to read.

Besides...what I'm seeing in most of the MSM is coverage of the story, not outrage. The people I talk to (not on blogs) mostly agree that torture is wrong, but they're so...so offhand about it.

"No, we shouldn't be doing that." "Someone should do something about that."

There's still the sense that Washington and all its doings are something remote, not something that matters in people's "real lives." The sort of people who sign petitions would sign a petition, but every one else just shrugs, even when it makes them angry, and moves on.

Posted by Anne at June 28, 2005 08:30 AM

We'll see. My very own congressional rep (Case, D-HI) got a dog-and-pony show at Gitmo and announced that everything was fine, no evidence of torture, and everyone there deserved to be there. Dangerous sorts, all.... He's relatively new, but this takes naive and shallow (or grasping and kowtowing, I'm not sure) to new lows.

We'll see if my letter makes the local paper, but at least I cc'd Case on it.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at June 29, 2005 05:27 AM

Of course he did, Jonathan. And I don't doubt that he reported on exactly what he saw.

Given enough notice before such an inspection, how can anyone believe that things weren't going to be peachy-keen?

In the end, what's hurting us the most is the publicity that the USofA is torturing helpless people who have not been convicted, or even charged, with any crime. The only way to solve that is to allow the U.N., Amnesty International, and the Red Cross, reputable international bodies, free and unscheduled access to the entire facility.

If we didn't have anything to hide, there wouldn't be any reason why we couldn't allow unannounced and thorough inspections.

The Bush Administration could give every prisoner a Barca-lounger, an ice-cream soda, and a gold-bound copy of the Koran and it wouldn't help if they wrapped it in this kind of paranoid secrecy.

Posted by Anne at June 29, 2005 11:17 AM