“It would be advisable to think of progress in the crudest, most basic terms: that no one should go hungry anymore, that there should be no more torture, no more Auschwitz. Only then will the idea of progress be free from lies.”
There are certain days that stand out for any observer of the human condition in the context of American culture and geopolitics. The morning of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the massacre at Wounded Knee, the arrival of the first slave ships to American shores, the moment when Agent Orange was given the green light by Monsanto and Dow Chemical executives and the day of the assassination of Dr. King, to name a few. This past week marked another watershed day for America the oh-so-beautiful, whose citizen’s consciences must bear the stain of the rivers of blood that have been spilled in their name. The release of the CIA torture report sets a new bar for the intelligence and military apparatus to limbo under. How low can we go? Apparently, ever lower as the report confirmed what many critical thinkers already knew…that, for the past decade, the U.S. has operated with impunity in torturing, assassinating and murdering foreign citizens.
― Umberto Eco
The complicity of the American Psychological Association deserves to be a part of the discourse and weighed in the balance when assigning blame for these crimes against our fellow humans. Psychologists have played a crucial role in designing and overseeing the enhanced interrogation techniques and torture regimens that detainees have been subjected to. Two doctors have been identified who helped prescribe the torture program, in 2002, when an alleged Al Qaeda lieutenant was being held at a detention center in Thailand. The Hippocratic swearing psychologists were from the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) program that trained soldiers to resist torture by exposing them to, you guessed it, torture. If this all sounds strangely familiar, then you must have been paying attention. The involvement of licensed psychologists lends an imprimatur to the horrowshow taking place in clandestine sights around the globe.
― George Orwell
Following the release of the CIA’s macabre report card, I am deeply ashamed for any contributions I have made, even unwittingly, to feeding this ravenous beast that devours anything in it’s path in the name of power, profits and princedom. Bush seamlessly blended into Obama to give us more than 13 years of nonstop war, torture, and extrajudicial killings. One can only speculate who the next killer-in-chief may be but it’s virtually assured that the policy will be to keep on shocking (and aweing) in the free world. Power that is not wielded is like the Walton family leaving a nickel of profits on the table…it ain’t going to happen. The flexing of corporate and state power has long been evident to global citizens on the wrong end of a NAFTA Article or downward facing detainees in Guantanamo. It’s the American people, themselves, who are finally waking up to the reality that the government they’ve pledged allegiance to as children is a harsh master.
Resource: Physicians for Human Rights: US Torture
Postscript: I regret that I haven’t been able to visit my fellow bloggers as much as I would like lately. Work and family have taken up my time and energies but I hope to visit soon. Peace and solidarity to all readers.