Sunday, April 26, 2009


Because God is perfectly holy, He must punish sin-- either the sinner himself, or a substitute to bear His wrath. 
-- From The Seven C's of History, a publication ofthe Creation Museum

Above all, God loves Himself and upholds His glory, and to uphold His glory as infinitely valuable requires that punishment be executed on those who profane, or disgrace, God's glory. 
-- Random wacko on the internets

Everybody writes about this, so I'll limit myself to just a few points that I don't see others making.

The primary function of torture is to punish dissent. Nazi's, Communists, Latin American strongmen, Bush's band of bad men (and Condi)... Doesn't matter. At heart, they cannot stand the idea that someone somewhere disagrees with them and when freed from all legal restraint they ache to make the dissenters pay in the worst possible ways.

It has been noted in the big media, albeit rarely, that torture is more about extracting confessions than gaining useful information. But again, those confessions, false or otherwise, are used to justify the state theology that dissent is wrong and dangerous. And I don't doubt that there is an element of sadism at the highest levels, butI think that kind of sick pathology is more abundant among those who actually carry out the torture. Still, it's not hard to imagine sick fucks like Bush and Cheney relishing in the pain of those weak, powerless peons who disagree with them. You can't deny the element of power.

The second point that is never made is that the U.S. has been a torturing nation for a long time. We have trained and otherwise enabled torturers throughout Latin America and the rest of the third world at least since the beginnings of the cold war. A lot of that is well-documented and supports my point above. There was never any ticking time bomb. 100's of thousands of people suffered horribly and many died to placate the sick egos and insecurities of the powerful. The only difference these days is that we have cut out the middle men.

Oh, we're not Argentina, they say. We're not torturing out own citizens because of their political views. Well, not yet, but now that it's all out in public and nothing will be done to the perpetrators, it's clear we're sliding down that slope. And you must know know it will be worse the next time violent Republican know-nothings come to power. If not next time, the time after. They always believe that anyone who opposes them is unpatriotic. It's a small step from unpatriotic "threat to national security." And they'll get the confessions to prove it. By torture? What of it? These are traitors we're talking about. They deserve whatever they get. You're not one of them, are you? No? That's what they all say, eh? What about your neighbor?

But what I really don't get, and maybe you can explain this to me? is why no one brings up the question of whether it's okay for foreign governments to torture Americans. Would the Republican asshats sing the same tune if Iran wore torturing confessions out of Americans. Probably not. Someone has done some good reporting to let us know that the U.S. has a history of prosecuting foreigners, even executing them, who have tortured American prisoners. Why can't Chris Matthews or any of the other prominent asshats ask that fucking question? How hard can it be?