Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What America Has Become

Under the Bush Administration, torture has become an acceptable means of doing business. This saddens me beyond words. Not only has this nation lost its way, ceasing to be a nation that can inspire as it did the young people at Tiananmen in 1989, but it leaves me to wonder how quickly we will be able to restore our collective soul. How long will it take to put the toothpaste back in the tube on this one? We will likely pay a price- for a long time- for the immorality of this Administration.

Two articles relevant to this issue today. They answer the key questions: Did it happen? Did the US government sanction it? Both questions answered in the affirmative. A devastating day- with more to come as the Bush Administration prepares to leave office (as more revelations will inevitably leak out) and we reach the "End of an Error."

Report: Exams prove torture in Iraq, Gitmo

Medical examinations of former terrorism suspects held by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group.

One Iraqi prisoner, identified only as Yasser, reported being subjected to electric shocks three times and being sodomized with a stick. His thumbs bore round scars consistent with shocking, according to the report obtained by The Associated Press.

[D]octors and mental health professionals stated they could link the prisoners' claims of abuse while in U.S. detention to injuries documented by X-rays, medical exams and psychological tests.

"The level of the time, thoroughness and rigor of the exams left me personally without question about the credibility of the individuals," said Dr. Allen Keller, one of the doctors who conducted the exams, in an interview with the AP. "The findings on the physical and psychological exams were consistent with what they reported."

CIA defended waterboarding, harsh techniques

Torture 'is basically subject to perception,' CIA lawyer advised Pentagon

Torture "is basically subject to perception," CIA counterterrorism lawyer Jonathan Fredman told a group of military and intelligence officials gathered at the U.S.-run detention camp in Cuba on Oct. 2, 2002, according to minutes of the meeting. "If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong."

[I]n the summer of 2002, Pentagon officials compiled lists of aggressive techniques, soliciting opinions from the CIA and others, and ultimately implementing the practices over opposition from military lawyers who argued that the proposed tactics were probably illegal and could harm U.S. troops.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

- Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking