White man speak with forked tongue

The last years of the Bush administration have been one big lie after another, and it hasn’t taken much time to unravel all of them.  Here goes the latest revelation.

The super conservatives, led by the neocons betrayed even their main mentor Ronald Reagan, with their adoption of torture as an instrument in the war on terror, for it was Ronald Reagan who signed the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman degrading  punishment.  It defines torture as

any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.

The Convention left no wriggle room for Bush and his cronies.  It expressly says there are no legitimate reasons for torture, even the phony war on terror.

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

So why isn’t Bush in jail?  He certainly should be

Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.

Moreover, why aren’t we the public who put him in office more outraged at his criminal behavior? Bush steadily encroached on  the rule of law very early on in his term, declaring the UN irrelevant and declaring to all that America was willing to go it alone if it could not get the support of the world community. Along the way, he simply ignored laws that got in the way of his grand schemes and paid no attention to the voices of international bodies and agencies which clamored for the US to follow the laws it signed, agreed to or even wrote. Instead he listened to the polls and until 2006 after all the damage was done, took delight in the fact that the American electorate simply went along with his programs. Our lack of condemnation and outcry for his lawlessness was all he needed to complete his coup d’etat against the American government.  We are as much to blame for torture carried out under the Bush Administration as Bush himself. But there were voices of dissent, opposition to what Bush was doing.

A United Nations anti-torture panel yesterday urged the United States to shut down its Guantanamo Bay detention camp, close any secret overseas CIA prisons, and halt the use of what it said are cruel and degrading interrogation techniques.

The panel also found that many of the detention and interrogation policies the Bush administration put in place for the war on terrorism around the world were at odds with the commitments the United States made when it ratified the global Convention Against Torture treaty in 1994.

The report said that holding detainees in secret prisons, as the CIA is reportedly doing overseas with high-level Al Qaeda suspects, violates the treaty.

So there really isn’t any  excuse for Bush not to be in jail, or Cheney or any of the others within his administration who violated a treaty that the US  Congress ratified.  It simply is a case of the people not demanding accountability of their elected officials to the law.

This is why we lose wars

I read  on some forums how what we see in the video is supposed to be a kick in the seat of the pants motivational speech for the Iraqi police.  Somehow I got the impression the person for whom the tirade was directed, the one who was supposed to get something out of this was not the Iraqi police but the US soldier himself.  He probably had come to the realization at the time he went on his rant that the war for him was over, that the wizard had been revealed and the reason for his being there was a lie, yet he had to get something out of the experience of being in a land that posed no threat to him or his country; he had to find some meaning out of the deception of it all so that it could make sense to him.

On another level however, the words and the method of that military officer are indicative of where the US has come in the last 50 years of wars and deception.  We have become a vulgar nation intent on dominating people.  We made up reasons for being in other people’s territory; made these reasons up just enough to get young men and women to sign on to the idea of fighting non-threatening people only to have that very fighting force realize mid-way through it was not worth the human sacrifice they were asked to make.  That epiphany turned itself into a rage that was directed toward essentially a non existent enemy, and eventually onto ourselves.  The statistic that more US military men died at their own hands, suicide, in January, 2009, is an indication of the futility of this and all other wars we’ve fought since WWII.  No longer able to say we are a light onto the nations, that we have an ideology that is liberating when practiced fully, we have turned into a nation of torturers, invaders, exporting an obscene philosophy of death and destruction and corruption and ignorance.

On yet another level, what was shown in that video should have been expected by all, and the way the Iraqi police endured the diatribe marks the beginning of the end for them as well.  Once they acquiesced to the invasion of their country by a foreign force clearly intent on destroying them, not just getting rid of their corrupted ruler, they signed on to the notion of indentured servitude.  The American officer despite all that’s wrong with where he is at this time still has a human nature that revolts at the idea that people can accept slavery  and that too contributed to his anger towards them.

I suspect in the end, the officer’s rage was directed towards himself, as he probably asked himself the very question many of us have asked these last eight years, and then some; how in the hell did we get here as a country? What is really going on?