“Tortured” by Privilege

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

-Martin Niemoeller

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torture_ta_060917-704648This article on RS Redstate promoting the “interrogation techniques” used by the Bush-era CIA absolutely disgusts me.

“Time for You All to Stop Thinking of Torture in the Abstract” begins by describing the “torture” that its author went though; being forced to submerge himself in water for long stretches of time, having weights pressed down on his chest, being forced to suspend himself from a metal bar… only to reveal at the end of the article that these are all things he endured as a part of swimming training rather than within some sort of prison situation (pool exercises, weight lifting, pull ups). Apparently this is supposed to justify the water-boarding and other torturous techniques used by our own government in order to collect information.

Okay, okay. I have just one question for the author of this piece of “journalism” (and others who support this line of thinking): how blinded by privilege can you be?

There is a major, major difference between rigorous training that you go through voluntarily and torture. For starters, you could WALK AWAY at any time.

I also bet you never feared for your life during these training sessions; you probably knew that if something were to happen to you during these workouts (for instance, had you passed out) someone would have rushed to call 911 and give you any necessary lifesaving treatments.

You weren’t cut off from your family, friends, and any support systems and forced, for the forseeable future, to undergo horrible tortures alone without even a chance for a fair trialor any shred of humanity; and had something truly henious been done to you, had you been abused in any way, the entire justice system would have been at our disposal to seek retributions because you had rights.

The people we tortured however? Did not have rights. Not even the ones afforded to POWs in the Geneva Convention (a document our country supposedly adheres to.)

Sure, some of the people detained in these facilities may have been awful, abhorrent killers but you know what? That doesn’t mean its okay we torture them. First of all, many of them may have been innocent; the United States doesn’t have the best track record for justice, even with our own guys. Some of them very possibly could have done nothing worse than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Regardless of innocence, comparing any kind of athletic training (which I will admit can be highly painful and rigorous) to torture only serve to make the author of this piece look like an out-of-touch jerk who cannot look beyond his own sheltered worldview to accommodate another. Torture is wrong; most civilized countries agree to this fact (Geneva convention anyone?) and the fact that George Bush’s America (his presidency and the zealous conservatives who continue on with his ideology) can’t seem to grasp this concept does not bode well for us.

The author of this article wraps things up very predictable, by using typical scare tactics to panic people into accepting torture (and yes, it is torture):

“President Obama, Senator Leahy, Speaker Pelosi and any others whom agree with your recent actions – your extreme views are endangering the safety of my family, my friends and my country.  If any one of my family or friends is harmed, because your pansy attitude towards harsh interrogation techniques, NOT TORTURE, with terrorists has prevented us from knowing about a future terrorist attack, I will hold you personally responsible for such harm.”

I don’t know what your value system is like but, as a proud American, I do not want my personal freedom to come at the price of my Country’s values. You may not care who gets hurt, so long as you are safe, but as far as this American (and many others, I’m sure)  is concerned I’d rather take the risks of living honorably than have my saftey come at the price of my values, and the pain of other human beings.

One thought on ““Tortured” by Privilege

  1. Hi, very appealing blog.

    I agree with you. Consenting is foremost. It’s interesting enough than people in the so called US democracy (also, other than neocons) don’t grasp it.

    So, the author of the article falls short and made a rationalization (but his/her sense of comfort is due to people “like us” free thinkers. These truants will demand more and more…).

    In matters of sex, we can see how important consent is. Sex can be the more pleasure experience, or the more unpleasure (so said people who experience rape).

    Those who weaken the kidnapped alleged terrorist of “their will”, rights, hopes, space, sense of security,… knew what were doing.

    Regards,
    Analyzei

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