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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Torture and Terror(ism)

For some time I've been wanting to write a few words on the subject of torture.

I am apalled when I listen to callers on C-Span, NPR or what have you, or worse to talking heads and pundits justify torture (Krauthammer I'm talking to you!) in the following terms: if you knew someone had information on a terrorist attack that would kills thousands don't you think it would be justified to utilize torture to find out this information in order to save thousands?

First of all, often times the CIA or whatever government agency is participating may kidnap someone and torture them THINKING they are someone they are not! Since the person who is kidnapped has no legal recourse heck can't even contact his family there is simply no way for the person to defend himself from the charge that he is a terrorist.... this sets up a situation where a person can be kidnapped, denied all civil rights, be tortured even if the person is innocent! isn't this precisely what terrorists did on september 11: attack innocent people? state terrorism is still 100% terrorism!

Americans appear to believe torturing other Americans is a good idea.. how would these same Americans who call in to C-Span feel if they were kidnapped, stripped, drugged and tortured with no legal recourse?

In the mid 1970s the Argentine state apparatus decided to wage a "dirty war" against what it determined where terrorists trying to undermine the state... it kidnapped and tortured and killed thousands in the name of winning this dirty war.. often times people simply dissapeared and no one ever hear of them again.. i am reminded of a story my Uncle Mario told me once about how someone in his chess club had suddenly stopped coming..simply dissapeared....the argentine government utilized state terror against suspected terrorists or in some cases people not even suspected who may have for example been in the phone book some revolutionary carried with them.... In the early 1980s it emerged that over 10,000 people had been killed by the government: organized State terrorism (torture) it was argued was necessary to combat terrorists....

Now fast forward to the current US and we see largely the same thing.. sure the magnitude may be different but isn't the fundamental principle being violated the same? cases are emerging of people who were 100% innocent and where kidnapped and tortured.... this is an outrage and i am bitterly dissapointed in the American people who seem to be swallowing lock stock and key the fallacious argument that 1) the government knows who the terrorists are and 2) torture is helping save thousands of lives....not to mention the idea that 10 lives are worth more than 1.. this is inadmissible in ethics.. each life is precious.. precious is precious.... killing one person to save 1 is unacceptable as is killing 1 person to save 500 as is killing 1 person to save new york city... 1 life is 100% precious.. this is a basic principle of ethics that goes back thousands of years.... the same applies to torture..

Shame on the US government for this practice of torture- which of course Bush denies all the while we have conclusive proof it is happening!- and shame on us for buying the tall tales the government feeds us.

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