20 January 2010


When I first heard evidence that the US had tortured people at Abu Ghraib, I was mortified. When it became evident that it was policy from the top down, I was beyond livid.

There's long been some evidence that a few people were tortured to death and then the deaths were covered-up as suicides. Fortunately, steam is picking up in calling for an official investigation.

I find it hard to even write about this. The idea that the US tortured people, and even tortured some to death, and that no one was ever held accountable for it (outside of a few very low-ranking people at Abu Ghraib) has always twisted in my gut. In the words of the song above, we became the thing we hate. A country that tortures and lets the torturers get away with it.

We have official statements that have eliminated the practice, but there has not been any investigations or criminal proceedings since to prosecute those who put it into place. I'm against the "heads must roll" attitude in general, especially when its a general failure. But legalizing and implementing brutality and barbarism can only flow from actual decisions to break the law. It's not enough in this case to say "mistakes were made"--who made them?

It's the only way to stop being the thing we hate.

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