Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First, Do No Harm?

Wow, today I am going to shine some much needed "lyte" on torture.  I am hard-pressed to find anything even remotely funny about the International Committee of the Red Cross's scathing report, originally written in 2007, that is now available online.

My recommendation is that you read it in between meals.  The treatment of 14 "high value" detainees reads like something from an episode of "24" that was written in hell.  What was done to these people is criminal.  It violates not only the Geneva Convention, but the boundaries of decent human behavior.  The fact that medical personnel were on hand to ensure that no one died, makes me furious.  How could anyone trained in the care of human beings stand by and allow torture?  One of the medical personnel is quoted in the report as saying, "I look after your body only because we need it for information..."

And what information did this torture procure?  According to then-President Bush, "nothing or little of intelligence value".  See, life isn't like a "24" episode, torture does not get the terrorist to reveal where the bomb is, it only reveals our inhumanity and creates newly minted terrorists with legitimate reasons to hate us.

I was hoping that our new President, with his pledges of transparency, would expose these practices to light of day.  But so far, the actions of the current administration mirror the actions of the previous administration.  Sure, we are going to close down Gitmo, but investigate and prosecute those who ran it?  Not so fast.  I can understand the CIA resisting any type of investigation, those guys claim they were just following orders.

Hmmmm?  Where have I heard that phrase before?  Nuremborg?  Do we really want to use the same defense as Nazis?  Is that the American way?  Besides, I think that we should prosecute the ones who issued the orders.  They are the real criminals.  Obama needs to grow a pair on this issue.  

As for the medical personnel who assisted the CIA in torture, you better hope they are not working for your HMO.  Wow, I guess I did manage to find a joke in all this.

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