The claim is that America has been torturing prisoners. Specifically, using waterboarding, and, once, telling one of the brains behind the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that his children would be killed if his bunch attacked America again.
Telling someone his children will be killed: that's over the top. Waterboarding? I'm not so sure.
Back when reporters were collecting video of demonstrators waterboarding each other, I did a little checking. Waterboarding is unpleasant, obviously. I'd just as soon not experience it. But if it's torture, then the American military tortures its own troops. Waterboarding is a part of military training, to teach soldiers what to expect if they're captured - and how to deal with it.
And, I don't think that the America military tortures its own soldiers, any more than I am appalled by all the poor, uneducated minorities being drafted to fight for America's Big Oil.
On the other hand, I realize that America's government can make mistakes. Some have been whoppers.
The Ulysses S. Grant administration set the gold standard, so to speak, for corruption, I think the treaty of Versailles, written with the (I trust) well-intentioned help of President Wilson, created a mess that we're still sorting out. I can't approve of the way the American government handled citizens with Japanese ancestors during WWII, and I really don't like the way Hawaii was acquired.
Back to what's supposed to have happened in interrogations: It's quite possible that there have been abuses. If so, I'm pretty sure that they'll be identified and corrected. Maybe over-corrected. I don't think America is perfect, remember?
Still, I like it here, and don't know of a better place to live. That's an informed statement: I did some rather serious looking around, in the seventies and eighties, and didn't find a better alternative. For me, anyway.
Finally, I think it would be advisable to remember that the not-niceness of Al Qaeda, and the other outfits who want to make the world safe for their particular take on Islam, take not-niceness to great heights. Or depths.
"The hot wind swirls around the human bones and cracked skulls that litter the forsaken desert lands in Western Iraq.Related posts:
"We are standing in the middle of what was an al Qaeda execution site, just outside an intricate bunker complex that the organization used to torture and murder its victims, the bodies left to rot or be eaten by animals.
"From the back of the police truck the opening to the first bunker is barely discernible in the distance.
" 'Al Qaeda came in as a massive force' one of the officers says as we bump along the harsh terrain. 'They stole our cars, our personal cars. They kidnapped two of my brothers. They blew up the house over there.'..."
"... And al Qaeda is still able to send a message to those who dare oppose them.
The police officers show us blood stains in the desert near the bunkers and tell us how they found two beheaded bodies just a month ago. They were identified as being the brothers of two police officers from another city, Ramadi...."
- "Waterboarding, Moralizing, Politics, and Security"
(April 23, 2009)
- "Abu Ghraib: Abuse and Sexual Humiliation by American Soldiers in the News Again"
(January 25, 2009)
- "All Those 'Poor, Uneducated, Minorities Being Drafted in America!'"
(January 4, 2009)
- "WWII and Japanese Americans, the War on Terror and Muslims: Learning the Wrong Lesson"
(February 15, 2008)
- " 'America Sucks' - Binghamton, New York, Bullies, and 'Little Eichmanns' "
(April 4, 2009)
- "United States of America: 232 Years in the Freedom Business"
(July 3, 2008)
- " The Army is Unraveling' - Just Like Vietnam!"
(March 19, 2008)
- "Moral Equivalence, Prisoners, and Al Qaeda"
(July 21, 2007)
- "Prosecutor Named to Probe CIA Prisoner Abuses"
The New York Times (August 25, 2009)
- "Inside al Qaeda underground torture bunkers"
CNN (August 25, 2009)