Daily Archives: April 24, 2009

Torture is Torture

Dick Cheney is running off at the mouth because he’s running scared. And with good reason. The Orwellian double-speak that obfuscated the authoritarian torture state created by the Bush-Cheney administration in the aftermath of 9/11 is collapsing. Dick Cheney is facing serious jail time. He’s especially facing serious jail time if the allegation, bouncing around the Internet now, that “Global War  on Terrorism” suspects were tortured with the sole and specific intent of supporting the thesis of a link between Sadaam Hussein and Al Qaeda in the run-up to the Iraq War, proves true..

Torture is torture. Even John Boehner, that font of ignorance and obstructionism, frontman for the reactionary movement that now calls itself the Republican Party, called it so in a recent unguarded momentTorture apologists like Boehner are arguing that instead of prosecution, we should have a political debate, that this all boils down to a political disagreement. But civilized societies don’t debate the merits of torture any more than they debate the merits of genocide. There simply is no legitimate debate to be had on this issue. It is moot.

Torture is used by authoritarian and tyranical regimes solely to impose arbitrary punishment, or to elicit false confessions. Our American “enhanced interrogation techniques” were directly copied from techniques used by the Chinese and Soviet Communists, during the heart of the Cold War, and from other charming precedents like the torture of Jews and Muslims under Ferdinand and Isabel during the Spanish Inquisition. Even the Orwellian name, “enhanced interrogation techniques,” in another reactionary malapropism worthy of  the creators of political “tea-bagging,” was taken directly from the German, “Verschärfte Vernehmung,” as used specifically and most memorably by the Nazis.

The perpetrators of this crime belong in jail, and it’s supporters should be ashamed. It’s as simple as that. And the perpetrator at the head of it all, the Fuhrer, if you will, of the American torture regime, is Dick Cheney.

[As an aside, PLEASE read all of Andrew Sullivan’s brave, concerted blog reporting on torture, at his “Daily Dish” site.]