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You are here Editorials Reggie's Commentary Kafka for Dummies: the Absurd Debate over Torture!

Kafka for Dummies: the Absurd Debate over Torture!

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Here we go again.  After eight horrific years of lies and deceit and war and death, the American public once again has fallen into the abyss of self delusion.  Tragically, just as we near the brink of reversal, we are about to abdicate any claim whatsoever to respect or honor anywhere.  

America consistently proclaims itself a nation of laws where justice is blind to privilege or class. And yet, as the world watches in disbelief, this country has become inextricably mired in non-stop debates that defy reason.  It is absolutely insane to discuss the possibility that a crime has some Machiavellian validity simply because it ‘works.’ And it is equally incredulous to engage in discussions about the propriety of prosecuting those who have openly admitted their heinous actions.

Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

Here the facts.  Check them out.  They’re clear; they’re relatively simple to follow. Do the math.

Fact #1 - Torture is a crime under US Domestic, US Military, and International Law.

Fact # 2 – Photographs, video tapes and first hand testimony attesting to the use of torture have been documented

Fact # 3 – George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and the judge in charge of the military commission process at Gitmo all have admitted their roles in authorizing the use of torture.

Fact #4 - We have a crime, we have the evidence, and we have the confessions.  

What the hell is left to debate?

Of course, the usual suspects across the complicit corporate media now echo the same dumb and distracting questions over and over, hoping they eventually will divert attention from the crimes themselves.

They ask: what is torture?  We know.
They ask: Is water boarding torture?  We know.
They ask: Who really is responsible for the torture, ?  We know.
The ask: Should the photos be released?  They’re already out there.
They ask: Does torture work?  Irrelevant, it’s illegal.
The ask: Did some members of Congress know about the torture? Again, it’s irrelevant.  Those who authorized the use of torture committed the crimes in question.

And finally, they put the most amazing question of all before the nation:

Should we prosecute those we know to be responsible for torture?  Are they serious?  Are they really serious? Should we, the nation of laws, actually prosecute criminals for breaking laws that define us as a nation?

Understand that the legal precedent for prosecuting war crimes has been set for decades.  
Do the research, -just Google a few of these events in recent history for their importance and their outcomes:.

1.    In 1945, the war crimes trials of leading German officials opened before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.

2.    1946, Japanese war criminals were tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo.

3.    In 2001, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević was arrested by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a UN committee for war crimes and tried in the Hague.

4.    In 2004 – fourteen years after giving up the presidency – Augosto Pinochet was arrested by the Chilean government and charged with crimes against humanity, tax evasion and embezzlement.

5.    In 2004, Saddam Hussein, former leader of Iraq, was brought to trial and ultimately hanged in his country for the killing of 148 people in a Shiite town

6.    In 2009, Kaing Guek Eav, was charged n the Cambodian courts with crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions during the 1970’s,

7.    In 2009, Congolese militia leader, Thomas Lubanga, became the first person to go on trial at the International Criminal Court, the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal.

For heaven’s sake, go read the Magna Carta.  No one is above the law.

Well, that’s not really true, - some people are; just ask George W. Bush.  Way back in 2002, in a brilliant move to immunize his administration from international prosecution for war crimes, he withdrew the US from the International Criminal Court. Bush, Jr. knew, long before the invasion of Iraq, that war crimes were in the making, and he did this to cover his ass as best he could.  

The good news is that Bush and his cronies are not immune from investigation and prosecutions elsewhere.

At this moment, a judge in Spain is considering opening a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials for violating international law by devising a legal framework to allow torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.  

And most important, the Bush cartel is not protected from investigation and prosecution within the United States.  Dammit, we have the crime, we have the evidence, and we have the confessions.  What we don’t have is the backbone.

In 2008, Vincent Bugliosi, the famed prosecutor of Charles Manson, clearly outlined the legal case against George Bush in his book, the Prosecution of George W. Bush, for Murder.  Copies of the book were sent to every member of Congress, but the evidence compiled in this excellent indictment remains largely ignored by our elected ‘leaders’ as well as every one of the pretend news networks that refused Bugliosi on-air exposure..  

And yet, there is hope, because the torture issue is so public, so undeniable, and so prosecutable, that justice in America may finally prevail.

Consider that Al Capone was as clever criminal as anyone in the Bush administration.  He ruled the Chicago underworld for years, breaking every conceivable criminal law with impunity.  But he was undone in the end by his own arrogance and carelessness – and was convicted of the only crime for which he left a paper trail – tax evasion.   So let it be with George Bush, Dick Cheney, and all the other architects of torture.  

I repeat: we have the crime, we have the evidence and we have the confessions.  For our own sake, we must work together to grow the backbone.

For if we do not, we will remain the farce we became during the Bush years, and we will deserve whatever retribution and revenge is perpetrated against us - as it will.  This is truly a defining moment for the people of the United States.  Kafka would have loved it.  He really would.

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