Tuesday, February 01, 2005

"The Inquisition Strikes Back"

How is it that we woke up one morning and discovered that we are a country that tortures its prisoners? How is it that the use of torture is even considered debatable? We have descended into barbarism.

I want to call your attention to an article on Alternet entitled, "The Inquisition Strikes Back" by Jules Siegel. Here are some excerpts:

It's hard to say which is more disgusting, the descriptions of the torture or the bone-chilling analyses of how the president of the United States gave himself the powers of an absolute military dictator. Under Military Order No. 1, which the president issued without congressional authority on November 13, 2001, George W. Bush has ordered people captured or detained from all over the world, flown to Guantánamo and tortured in a lawless zone where, the White House asserts, prisoners have no rights of any kind at all and can be kept forever at his pleasure. Despite the at-best marginal intervention of the American courts so far, there is no civilian judicial review, no due process of any kind.

While any military force will routinely violate the civil rights of anyone who gets in its way, Ratner's descriptions of how victims wound up in Guantánamo reveal wanton cruelty and callousness that will nauseate any sane human being.

Siegel discusses the book, Guantánamo: What the World Should Know (Chelsea Green) – by Michael Ratner and Ellen Ray.

Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, is co-counsel in Rasul v. Bush, the historic case of Guantánamo detainees now before the U.S. Supreme Court. His interviewer, Ellen Ray, is President of the Institute for Media Analysis, and a widely published author and editor on U.S. intelligence and international politics.

The tortures are being done in our name - in the name of all of us. Know this. Don't tune it out. Bring to your awareness what Americans are doing and let it enter the deepest part of your consciousness. Then don't close your heart down. At least go to the place of compassion within and have a deep wish to take the suffering off of those being tortured and off of the torturers themselves for their suffering is also great. (Think of how contaminated their inner lives must be.) Then be willing to take action. Speak out. Join Amnesty International. Write your senators and congress people. Torture is wrong. No exceptions. This is a profoundly moral issue. It's horribly, devastatingly, unspeakably wrong.

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