An open letter to the American public: declare obvious torture, demand Truth and Reconciliation
hyperlinks and video live at source: http://www.examiner.com/x-18425-LA-County-Nonpartisan-Examiner~y2009m11d...
"I will never apologize for the United States of America - I don't care what the facts are."-George H.W. Bush, repeatedly in 1988 in his campaign for US President. Mr. Bush was responding to the U.S. Navy warship Vincennes, illegally in Iranian waters, shooting down an Iranian commercial airliner on routine flight in a commercial corridor in Iranian airspace. All 290 civilian people in the aircraft were killed. This was at the end of the US-backed War of Aggression of Iraq upon Iran. When a military targets and fires upon another country’s peaceful aircraft, that is a blatant act of war. The US, to this day, denies responsibility for the attack.
A constitutional republic, like the US in name, can only survive with citizens holding their elected officials accountable within their limits of authority. As Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The consent of the governed expressly forbids torture in the US Constitution. This restraint is replicated in domestic law and three times in US-ratified areas of international law (here, here, and here).
The extent of recent US torture of detainees is horrific. The New York Times just reported new memos from the FBI document “rack and screw” tortures that included naked shackling on floors and ceilings while enduring sleep deprivation, and threats of imminent death from gunshot and/or power tools. This torture evidence is on top of what we already know (here and here), that Bush’s lawyers wrote that "non-torture" included everything that did not result in death, and even death could be excused if the primary purpose of the interrogation was questions and answers, not torture. Documented techniques of apparent "non-torture" included controlled drowning, being naked in 45° F. cells for days, sleep and food deprivation for days, shackled in painful positions for days, threats to sexually assault and torture family members, and if Abu Ghraib tactics are included: sodomizing with broom handles and lights, forced homosexual acts, rape, pouring on phosphoric acid, and smearing faces and bodies in feces.
Moreover, the human beings who were tortured are “detainees,” people not charged with a crime. This is in direct violation of habeas corpus and most of the “inalienable rights” our founders sacrificed to realize in our nation. These techniques were also applied to known American citizens under the authority of the US Executive Branch.
Torture upon detainees puts US troops at risk of being tortured, of course. Think about that when you think about supporting our troops, along with thinking the greatest support is to bring them home in light of the lies that put them in harm’s way
Americans: your charge as an adult citizen is to think, speak and act in support of the US Constitution and values of the Declaration of Independence. Being American is a political distinction; responding to torture with anything but opposition is un-American by definition.
Americans: it’s your charge as an adult to recognize torture when it’s brought to your attention. If you read the applicable laws I’ve linked, they’re intended to be easily understood. Torture is pain and/or suffering, or threat to apply it. Cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment is torture. Proper treatment is respect for the inherent dignity of human beings, and only convicted criminals get punished, not detainees (detainment without charging a crime is also illegal on its face). You are responsible adults; your heart and mind are sufficient to declare what does and does not fall into these categories.
Americans: it’s your charge to demand national security through justice, dignity, cooperation under law, and freedom. Unless you feel comfortable arguing that the documented evidence is not torture, then you are obligated under the Constitution to act to stop and prosecute torture. The alternative is to believe your political “leader” (Fuhrer in German), to accept whatever the leader dictates. So, if you choose to be un-American, when George Bush and Barack Obama say, “We do not torture,” then that’s good enough for you no matter what the facts are.
Benjamin Franklin predicted that the American experiment would end in dictatorship, because whatever political leadership dictated would be good enough, that Americans would be incapable of the responsibility I've explained:
On September 18, 1787, just after signing the US Constitution, Benjamin Franklin met with members of the press. He was asked what kind of government America would have. Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it.” In his speech to the Constitutional Convention, Franklin admonished: “This [U.S. Constitution] is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end in despotism... when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”
The Quotable Founding Fathers, p. 39 http://books.google.com/books?id=TizXI1yOTBQC&dq .
Americans: will you do your part in thought, speech and action to form a more perfect union, establish justice, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity? Will you work and love for the US to truly be the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Choose well: you will live in the land of your choice. I recommend a policy response of Truth and Reconciliation. The criminality is so pervasive among the leadership of both parties in our political duopoly that they will never prosecute each other. The most practical response is to exchange the end of criminal activity, return of stolen public assets (~25% of annual Department of Defense budgets), and truth for their freedom from prosecution. There are probably hundreds of people who would love to have a “Scrooge conversion” to transform into constructive professionals working for the good of all humanity.
Please watch this powerful 9-minute video clarifying why what has happened is obviously under the legal definition of torture. The source is Alliance for Justice.
As always, please share this article with all who say they choose American law and values over propagandized criminal acts. If you appreciate my work, please subscribe by clicking under the article title (it’s free). Please feel free to use my library of articles to help build a brighter future.