The spectacle of an American secretary of state
being sent to Europe to reassure America's allies that the U.S. does not torture
prisoners has brought an end to America's moral grandeur. America stands revealed
before the world as just another unaccountable police state. Condi Rice's declaration
that the Bush administration is too morally pure to engage in torture was just
another transparent Bush administration deception. What is the point of Bush's
rendition policy that Rice was sent to Europe to defend if the purpose is not
torture? Why else do CIA agents kidnap foreign nationals in foreign countries
and fly them to secret prisons in other foreign countries?
The Bush administration defends its policy of "extraordinary rendition."
Everyone who has survived the policy has testified to experiencing brutal torture.
Just read the
account in the Dec. 11 Sunday Observer (UK) of the Ethiopian student
that the CIA kidnapped and tortured in Morocco.
The student, who speaks no Arabic, was brutally tortured for 18 months until
he was forced to confess to conspiring with top al-Qaeda chiefs and plotting
with Padilla. While one American hand was forcing the tortured student to incriminate
himself in the "Padilla plot," the other American hand was dropping
plot charges against Padilla! The "Padilla plot" was nothing but a
fantasy made up by American officials to justify their police-state policies.
Unlike the hapless Ethiopian student, Padilla is an American citizen. After
suffering three years of illegal detention by the Bush administration, the law
finally gave Padilla some protection, and the false charges that he intended
to set off a radioactive bomb in an American city and blow up apartment houses
were dropped. Some Americans, horrified at what the Bush administration has
done to their country, took hope in Europe's uproar over Bush's rendition/torture
policy. Alas, European governments were shedding crocodile tears for show purposes
On Dec. 11, the Telegraph (UK) reported on a European Union document
in its possession that summarizes an EU-U.S. meeting in Athens Greece on Jan.
22, 2003, in which the EU agreed to "cooperation in removals." The
that "EU officials confirmed that a full account was circulated to all
So we have the entire Western world complicit in kidnapping and torture. The
entire non-Western world surely notices the unbridgeable gap between the Bush
administration's immoral practices and Bush's moral posturing about "freedom
and democracy." The prestige of the Western world is gone forever. People
will say anything under torture, which is why the practice and the "evidence"
it provides were ruled inadmissible centuries ago. The great English jurist
William Blackstone declared that torture determined guilt by the hardness of
a man's constitution and the sensibility of his nerves. Blackstone proudly declared
that there was no place for the rack among the laws of England. Everyone knows
that confessions obtained under torture are worthless. By having them tortured,
Stalin was able to get the "heroes" of the Bolshevik Revolution to
declare that they were guilty of striving to overthrow the communist revolution!
Why then do we have the disgusting spectacle of the president and vice president
of the U.S. and their neoconservative apologists, such as Charles
Krauthammer, defending torture?
In his defense of torture as a "moral duty," Krauthammer assumes
that the person being tortured is guilty and will reveal the truth under torture.
There is no basis whatsoever for Krauthammer's assumptions. The reason that
the Bush administration and the neocons defend torture is that, having launched
an illegal invasion and created an American police state, they are desperate
for "evidence" of the terrorist threat in order to justify their illegal
and unconstitutional policies. The only way to obtain this "evidence"
is to torture people until they confess to the plots that are invented for them.
A steady stream of confessed "terrorists" serves to justify the police
state that has been created. Bush revealed the ploy when he asserted on Dec.
10 that terrorist violence will be the result if Congress does not renew the
Orwellian-named "PATRIOT Act" by Dec. 31: "In the war on terror,
we cannot afford to be without that vital law for a single moment." What
Bush declares to be a "vital law" is, in fact, the greatest assault
on civil liberties in the history of our country. Do Americans really want to
give up the civil liberties granted to them by the U.S. Constitution merely
in order that the Bush administration can lord it over the Middle East, establish
puppet governments over Muslim peoples, protect Israel from retribution for
its crimes against Palestinians, and steal oil from Arabs and Persians? If Americans
do, what remains of their virtue?