Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Our tax dollars at work

Tony Long:
The next time you watch a war movie where a monocle-wearing Nazi says "Ve haff vays of making you talk," realize that his tactics are now endorsed by the U.S. government, which is in court defending the use of evidence gained by torture. Although statements obtained by torture have been inadmissible in American courts for 70 years, the government and the military are arguing that information obtained from foreign enemy combatants subjected to the so-called third degree should be allowed. Military panels reviewing the detention of 550 prisoners at Guantanamo, Cuba, have been accepting evidence gotten by torture to justify holding the men without due process.
Via Kevin Drum:
According to FBI officials, the Bush order approved interrogation tactics that include "sleep deprivation and stress positions," as well as "loud music, interrogators yelling at subjects and prisoners with hoods on their heads."

What's that, you say? This doesn't sound all that horrible? Keep reading:

In a June "Urgent Report" to the FBI director from the Sacramento field office, for example, a supervising special agent described abuses such as "strangulation, beatings, placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees' ear openings and unauthorized interrogations."

Timothy Burke:
What does one do when one becomes aware that a significant plurality of one's fellow citizens seems to believe that it's right to torture people and pursue an exterminationist or brutalist strategy of conquest?
I emerged from 9/11 with a renewed faith and pride in American society, with a sense of my belonging to America and treasuring its achievements and possibilities. I still believe in America, love America, but I increasingly wonder if I am believing in a once and future thing, that in the kingdom of the present, the America I love is lost.

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