Torture: No Pardons, No Excuses for the Real Terrorists

It appears that now, after a surfeit of hedging and waffling, that elements of the Obama administration are planning to gear up some action on allegations that various Bush-era CIA officials engaged in torture and interrogation tactics with post 9/11 terror suspects that violated federal government policy. Note I said elements of the administration. Obama has chosen to distance himself and the White House from pursuing such investigations, preferring to leave all such decisions and efforts to Attorney General Eric Holder. Among the allegations are that CIA personnel threatened to kill the family of one “detainee,” while a separate such prisoner was told by CIA that he would be forced to watch his own mother be sexually assaulted.

Numerous enough are the tales that have now emerged from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the lurid images from Abu Ghraib in Iraq that the possibility of similar but more secretive abuses stemming from high-level interrogation of suspected terrorists is anything but far-fetched. What a so-called Justice Department investigation will or won’t reveal remains, at this point, very much unclear.

There are several points, however, that are far from obscurant, as much as the mainstream press remains oblivious to them. One is that whether or not these latest charges against members of the CIA are true does not render untrue the fact that American military force, since 2001, has been responsible for the deaths and horrifying injuries of millions of Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, and others caught in the crossfire of the U.S. government’s thirst for both oil and blood. We already know that the Bush-ordered 2003 invasion of Iraq – sold on the basis of finding and dismantling WMDs – was a horribly tragic farce that has cost untold numbers of lives and American tax dollars. Afghanistan, however? Isn’t it justifiable to continue prosecuting that war in retribution for 9/11, and never mind that it’s rapidly becoming an unwinnable Vietnam-style quagmire?

Whether you’re a 9/11 “truther,” or you choose to believe the government’s version of what happened that day and the events leading up to it, the foundational conclusion is the same: None of it would’ve happened had it not been for the U.S. government. Even if Uncle Sam were 100% conspiratorially behind bringing down the Twin Towers, Building 7, all four commercial aircraft, and punching a hole through the Pentagon, then the phony given reason by the government for what happened would only be plausible because of over a century of aggressive, interventionist American foreign policy. So, of course, if you’re a non-“truther,” that is in fact the only explanation for what happened. After all, if Osama bin Laden and Friends planned and pulled off such an attack because “they hate our freedoms” (those we can still claim to possess, that is), why was it the U.S. government that seemed so rabidly poised to divest us all of even more of them in the immediate wake of 9/11?

Look, it’s all well and fine, given the inherent nature of government, to cherry-pick big time and slap the wrists of a few sadistic individuals who work for one of the American government’s numerous spy agencies because a few select people were treated badly by them. It’s another, in the stark light of reality, to excuse the mass atrocities of the middle-eastern wars and those who authorized them; the vicious foreign policy stances that enabled them; and the money taken from Americans by the IRS and other taxing agents at gunpoint which pays for them.

In short, no one should be making excuses for what government is and what it does – the evidence itself puts paid to that. Nor should anyone be formulating lame excuses in order to keep the institution of government in operation. Government uses violence in order to steal so that it can then finance mass murder around the world in order to keep us “safe.” Then a 9/11 happens, and government only escalates the cycle of theft and death. It’s time to stop the excuses and the pardons people keep doling out for the real terrorists; the real thieves and murderers – politicians and government bureaucrats. It’s time to put them out of business forever.

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