molly ivans

Submitted by PAAMember on November 17, 2005 - 12:00pm. ::

> this article is good except that it makes this
administration and bush seem like an anomaly. we had
concentration camps in WWII, we have had these
detention centers since before the current war, the
CIA has always tortured. and this has nothing to do
with george w. bush except that he is really bad at
covering it up because his administration seemed to
think that hundreds of disappeared people from one
country would not be noticed.

and it isn't just bush and his aliies who are allowing
this or those 91 other senators would have done
something about this.

and what are we doing to stop it???????

yours in blood-stained hands,
heather
>
> Some Kind of Manly
> Bush administration, dead to morality, says torture
> is the American way
>
> by Molly Ivins
> Austin, Texas -- I can't get over this feeling of
> unreality, that I am
> actually sitting here writing about our country
> having a gulag of secret prisons
> in which it tortures people. I have loved America
> all my life, even though
> I have often disagreed with the government. But this
> seems to me so
> preposterous, so monstrous. My mind is a little bent
> and my heart is a little broken
> this morning.
> Maybe I should try to get a grip -- after all, it's
> just this one
> administration that I had more cause than most to
> realize was full of inadequate people
> going in. And even at that, it seems to be mostly
> Vice President Cheney. And
> after all, we were badly frightened by 9-11, which
> was a horrible event.
> "Only" nine senators voted against the prohibition
> of "cruel, inhuman or
> degrading treatment or punishment of persons under
> custody or control the United
> States." Nine out of 100. Should we be proud?
> Should we cry?
> "We do not torture," said our pitifully
> inarticulate president, straining
> through emphasis and repetition to erase the
> obvious.
> A string of prisons in Eastern Europe in which
> suspects are held and
> tortured indefinitely, without trial, without
> lawyers, without the right to confront
> their accusers, without knowing the evidence or the
> charges against them, if
> any. Forever. It's "One Day in the Life of Ivan
> Denisovich." Another secret
> prison in the midst of a military camp on an island
> run by an infamous
> dictator. Prisoner without a name, cell without a
> number.
> Who are we? What have we become? The shining city
> on a hill, the beacon and
> bastion of refuge and freedom, a country born
> amidst the most magnificent
> ideals of freedom and justice, the greatest
> political heritage ever given to any
> people anywhere.
> I am baffled by these "arguments": But we're
> talking about really awful
> people, cries the harassed press secretary. People
> like X and Y and Z (after a
> time, one forgets all the names of the No. 2's
> after bin Laden we have
> captured). The SS and the Gestapo and the KVD
> weren't all that nice, either.
> Then I hear the familiar tinniness of the fake
> machismo I know so well from
> George W. Bush and all the other frat boys who never
> went to Vietnam and
> never got over the guilt.
> "Sometimes you gotta play rough," said Dick Cheney.
> No shit, Dick? Now why
> don't you tell that to John McCain?
> I have known George W. Bush since we were both in
> high school -- we have
> dozens of mutual friends. I have written two books
> about him and so have
> interviewed many dozens more who know him well in
> one way or another. Spare me the
> tough talk. He didn't play football -- he was a
> cheerleader. "He is really
> competitive," said one friend. "You wouldn't
> believe how tough he is on a tennis
> court!" Just cut the macho crap -- I don't want to
> hear it.
> If you are dead to all sense of morality (please
> let me not go off on the
> stinking sanctimony of this crowd), let us still
> reason together on the famous
> American common ground of practicality. Torture.
> Does. Not. Work.
> Torture does not work. Ask the United States
> military. Ask the Israelis.
> There seems to be some fantastic scenario floating
> around -- if Osama bin
> Laden had an atomic bomb hidden in a locker at Grand
> Central Station, and it
> was due to go off in 12 hours, and we had him in
> prison ... I seem to have
> missed some important television program on this
> theme. I am told it was
> fiction, but it must have been really scary -- it
> certainly seems to have unbalanced
> the minds of some of our fellow citizens.
> Torture does not work. It is not productive. It
> does not yield important,
> timely information. That is in the movies. This is
> reality.
> I grew up with all this pathetic Texas tough:
> Everybody here knows you can't
> make an omelet without breaking eggs; and this
> ain't beanbag; and I'll
> knock your jaw so far back, you'll scratch your
> throat with your front teeth; and
> I'm gonna cloud up and rain all over you; and I'm
> gonna open me a can of
> whup-ass ...
> And that'll show 'em, won't it? Take some miserable
> human being alone and
> helpless in a cell, completely under your control,
> and torture him. Boy, that
> is some kind of manly, ain't it?
> "The CIA is holding an unknown number of prisoners
> in secret detention
> centers abroad. In violation of the Geneva
> Conventions, it has refused to register
> those detainees with the International Red Cross or
> to allow visits by its
> inspectors. Its prisoners have 'disappeared,' like
> the victims of some
> dictatorships." -- The Washington Post.
> Why did we bother to beat the Soviet Union if we
> were just going to become
> it? Shame. Shame. Shame. Read more in the Molly
> Ivins archive.
> Molly Ivins is the former editor of the liberal
> monthly _The Texas
> Observer_ (http://www.texasobserver.org/) . She is
> the bestselling author of several
> books including _Who Let the Dogs In?_ (http:/
>
/www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400062853/commondreams-20/ref=nosim/)
>
>


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Submitted by PAAMember on November 17, 2005 - 2:00pm.

In a message dated 11/17/05 10:36:43 A.M. Central Standard Time,
writes:

>
this article is good except that it makes this
administration and bush seem
like an anomaly. we had
concentration camps in WWII, we have had
these
detention centers since before the current war, the
CIA has always
tortured. and this has nothing to do
with george w. bush except that he is
really bad at
covering it up because his administration seemed to
think
that hundreds of disappeared people from one
country would not be noticed.


and it isn't just bush and his aliies who are allowing
this or
those 91 other senators would have done
something about this.

and
what are we doing to stop it???????

yours in blood-stained
hands,
heather

Good points, Heather. You are right that the CIA has been torturing since
it was first set up as successor to the OSS after WW II, and that is just
one of its many crimes. Its primary purpose has always been to
do the dirty work covertly that the US government has been unwilling
to admit to or even talk about overtly, and maintain plausible deniability
for the president and the congress.
 
Both houses of congress have intelligence oversight committees to keep
an eye on all that but they are a farce, since the CIA doesn't tell them most of
what they do and what they do tell is labeled secret so the American public
can't be told what is going on. Of course most of the people on the
planet are aware of their nefarious work, since they have been on the
receiving end of it, but the primary purpose of the secrecy has been to keep the
American people in the dark, since they would likely object to it if they
knew.
 
An astounding assortment of dark and bloody deeds has been going on
under both parties for years, and when they are occasionally exposed and
caught so red handed that it can't be denied, our leaders are shocked! shocked!
since everyone knows we don't do that kind of thing. At least up until Bush, who
has come out of the closet and basically admitted that yes, we do, and we don't
much care what anyone thinks. Chomsky and many others have been writing about
all this for years, so the facts are available to those who are willing to read
them, but most are not.
 
As to your question of what we are doing to stop it, the answer is, not
much, because the basic problem is that it's necessary if we are to
maintain our present way of life. The best explanation of our policy is one
of my favorite quotes from the Chomsky Reader, page 318, as follows:
 
" One of the clearest accounts of strategic American planning since WW II
was by George Kennan, who was one of the most thoughtful, humane, and liberal of
the planners, and in fact was eliminated from the State Dept largely for that
reason. He was the head of the State Dept policy planning staff in the late
1940s. In the following document, PPS23, February 1948, he outlined the basic
thinking:
 
We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its
population...in this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and
resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of
relationships which will permit us to maintain this disparity...we need not
deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world
benefaction...We should cease to talk about vague and...unreal objectives such
as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The
day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.
The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. "
 
It seems clear to me that this rather shocking and cold-blooded
statement explains the thinking of our "wise men" pretty well under
both parties since WW II, despite the propaganda and fairy tales we are told and
that most believe. Maybe I'm too cynical, but in my opinion that has
always been the basic thinking of the people whose
opinions really count in our country and it has not changed. That's the
powerful force you are up against when you talk about changing the
system, and we have to decide how to deal with it.
 
Charlie