Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reflections: Hoodat Gonna Bust My Prez?

One does not need to read many more pages into Chapter 7 of The Dark Side to come to the sad realization of how impossible it would be to discuss what our government is doing in its execution of the “War on Terror” without breaking Godwin's Law. First, we are told (p.166) that the systematic torture protocols have been approved directly from the Oval Office:

Accurately or not, Bush Administration officials later described the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as the unauthorized actions of a few ill-trained personnel. By contrast, CIA officials have never denied that the treatment of the high-value detainees was expressly approved by President Bush.

We can’t even lay all the blame at the feet of Dick Cheney. But it is the unavoidable use of words like “mechanized” and “automated” and “systematic” (p.167) which inevitably invite analogies to the techniques employed by Nazi Germany:

The system, which grew to include many more than the top fourteen most prized prisoners, was remarkable for its mechanistic aura. “It’s one of the most sophisticated, refined programs of torture ever,” said an outside expert familiar with the protocol. “At every stage, there was a rigid attention to detail. Procedure was adhered to almost to the letter. There was top-down quality control and such a set routine, you get to the point where you know what each detainee is going to say because you’ve heard it all before. It was almost automated. People were utterly dehumanized. People fell apart. It was the intentional and systematic infliction of great pain, masquerading as a legal process. It was just chilling.”

These are war crimes. The United States has prosecuted and punished responsible authorities of defeated governments for precisely the same kind of torture and inhuman abuse now being perpetrated by Americans “Inside the Black Sites”.

Who will hold the President responsible for his crimes?

And who will see the less obvious, but slowly emerging, analogies between the crimes being committed against detainees in the War on Terror and the economic crimes being committed by the same ruling elite against American working people in the top-down Class War? The mechanism is to inflict pain until resistence is broken. Stay tuned.