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Saturday, July 12, 2008

What the hell are we thinkin?

Ya know, most of the time, when I'm drunk, I spout off on something that strikes me as vitally important. Then I wake up the next morning, and think, "OMG, what the hell did I say this time?"

But this morning -- well, yesterday morning -- I woke up, jumped on the internet, read what I'd posted, and didn't disagree with a damn bit of it.

I've followed a discussion on a newsgroup about the importance of the Heller decision. The Supremes decided we American citizens actually have Constitutional permission to own handguns. Everybody was arguing back and forth about how important it was that the Supreme Court finally said what the Bill of Rights has said for a century or two now. If this was a Right, and apparently it was, we didn't need the Supremes to give us permission to exercise that right. But now the Powers That Be are arguing what to do next.

And the only thing that came to mind, night before last, was, "Who the hell cares?"

Who the hell cares what the Supremes say? Who the hell cares what the Bill of Rights says? The Bill of Rights runs through this whole littany of "Congress shall make no law" about this, that, or the other.

But not so long ago, Congress made a law saying the US Gummint can go anywhere at any time, snatch anyone they please, for any reason or no reason, haul them off and put them in a prison camp in a military base in a foreign country, based only on accusations, no proof, and keep them there indefinitely, with no recourse and no real court to which they can appeal. They don't have to prove to anyone they have the right to do that. And THEY CAN TORTURE THEM TILL THEY CONFESS TO WHATEVER THEY'RE ACCUSED OF.

Whoa. We're the US. We're the Good Guys. The Bad Guys kidnap and hold in camps in the middle of Communist dictatorships and torture till they confess. We're the Good Guys. We don't do that.

But we do.

Congress says so. Congress passed a law saying it's required. And every year since then, Congress has made a law funding more of the same. The President signed it, too. Sure, the President's a moron. But he's the President. And he signed it, so it's a law now.

But "Congress shall make no law..."


Now we have torturers on our payroll.

I remember back in the '70s, watching the documentaries how those pathetic Third World countries perpetrated attrocities, grabbing folks without trial, "dissapearing" them, Night and Fog and whatnot. And how evil that was, remember? And remember how we felt our US Government oughta Do Something? That was simply intolerable, and no right-thinking American could tolerate such injustice.

Well, they Did Something. They declared us all to be folks who put people in prison camps and torture them till they confess. You could look it up. And I, here's the truly sucky part, I, as a loyal American Citizen, as someone who voted for them to run stuff, gave them permission to say that. So now, I am a citizen of a country that kidnaps folks, imprisons them without trial, and tortures them till they confess.

And it was apparently all my idea.

Yours, too. Congratulations. Welcome to the Party of the People.

We're all torturers, now. We're part of the big conspiracy to imprison, and torture, and occasionally kill.

And what's our National excuse? "But the other guys are worse. Besides, they started it!"

And you want more joy in your life? Marines are torturers, now. Probably mostly.

Ever read any Fantasy fiction? Know what the Truly, Profoundly Evil Guy does when he takes over the Good Country? He corrupts the most incorruptible agency in that country, and makes them evil. That's how he wins.

And our President, representing us, on our behalf, at our orders, and according to our desires, ordered the US Marines, the most noble, honorable and loyal among us, our Best and Brightest, to capture, torture, and eventually kill these folks.

We have taken the absolute best among us, and turned them into torturers.

Your tax money, and my tax money, pays for full-time professional torturers.

Didn't we used to be the good guys?

A few months ago, the Canadian government published a training pamphlet for their diplomats, to inform them of the horrendous evils being perpetrated by other countries. And we, you and I, and our country and our government, were declared to be a Torture Threat.

The Canadian Foreign Minister came out later to apologize. I'm still trying to figure out, what he apologized for. Because we are a torture threat, and we are apparently damned proud of it.

What the hell were we thinkin'? Because we were apparently thinking. Congress deliberated and voted and here we are. Supporting torture. Being torturers.

I think this is shameful and embarassing. We've taken our most honorable folk, and made torture part of their day-to-day work. And it's our day-to-day work, too. Every day, we work, we make money, we pay taxes. And apparently we're fine with the use of our taxes to imprison people and torture them and often kill them.

What the hell were we thinkin'??

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