America's Lasting Dishonor

As early as the 17th Century Renaissance it was resolved by many European nations that the use of torture is inhumane, immoral and largely useless for purposes of proving the actual truth of events.  Over centuries medieval nations developed practices of war that avoided attacks on non-combatants.

After World War I, under the Third Geneva Convention, modern nations banned the use of torture under international law, including false drowning and many other torture methods used over the millennium.  After Germany and Japan were defeated in WWII, it was further resolved by the Fourth Geneva Convention that the indiscriminate killing of civilians even in the direct course of war is a serious crime. 

WWIIExecution There are few documented cases of torture committed by forces of the United States from the Revolutionary War through to the first Persian Gulf War.  Fighting Hitler and Toe Joe, the United States, to its great honor, did not torture prisoners to advance its war aims, even against the most dangerous and evil regimes known to human history.  Freedom easily prevailed in that life or death struggle for the world’s future without the use of torture.  Commentators from the time say that the greatest prisoner intelligence tilled during WWII came from psychological methods.  Such methods have been proven highly effective over and over again.  Experts still agree today that torture is of minimal intelligence value and always has been.

To its great dishonor, the United States recently discarded this honorable and humane tradition that helps define our nation’s greatness.  Hard to say, the United States knowingly committed torture hundreds of times when it came to George Bush’s misguided War on Terror.  The use of near drowning, freezing temperatures and enforced sleeplessness are clearly defined by the Geneva Convention as torture.  The claim the Convention did not apply to non-state actors like terrorists does nothing to dispute that it was torture that was being used by the CIA and by some military units.

Even worse, just recently, the Republicrat courts of America affirmed the legitimacy of such a crime under the United States Constitution.  In Azar v. Ashcroft the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a Canadian businessman traveling through a US airport may be detained for twelve days without access to the outside world and then forcibly sent on to Jordan and Syria for a year of torture all within the bounds of the Bill of Rights.  Never accused of a crime, Mr. Azar was thought to know a person who was thought to be a terrorist.  The court relied on the canard that one cannot presume that a special one-way ticket to Syria for questioning does not mean torture will be used by the Syrians.  It further held that the federal officials who established “extraordinary rendition” as a means to interrogate under torture were simply too important to be sued for wrongdoing.

When the federal courts sign on wholeheartedly to the continuous Warfare State the remaining bits of the American Constitution left in force today are in dire straits, too.

Beyond torture, the Obama administration is now claiming that the President may choose to assassinate any American with the misfortune to travel overseas if the President considers the citizen to be a “terrorist threat”, no charge, no trial, and no jury.  Four American citizens are presently on Obama’s official hit list. 

Just about every day, the President and his designees assassinate foreign citizens in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somali, Iraq and presumably any other country that suits their aims. Many hundreds of innocents have been murdered along the way.  The Afghan and Pakistani governments lecture the United States often on the sanctity of innocent life and the need for the rule of law.  The use of lethal drone attacks has increased fourfold in the past year. 

President Obama promises that torture will no longer be employed by the United States.  That is at least one leap backward on the road to fascism.   Yet, Obama will apparently do little to nothing to repudiate the recent use of torture. 

Obama has accelerated the eavesdropping on Americans started by Bush.  Obama wishes to extend the sadly misnamed “Patriot Act” as is, a law that generally applies across the federal The Mad Bomber

penal code.  Some things never change with the Republicrats.

As America’s empire ages it resembles more so the empires of old.  It is sad to know that even a band of incompetent criminals from the 7th Century can stampede the once proud United States into foregoing its most fundamental principles of humanity. 

America’s reputation in much of the world remains one of tyranny instead of liberty as it used to be.