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Is The USA Turning More Primitive Than Rome?

by Patrice Ayme Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 05:32:28 AM EST

The propaganda to legalize torture in the USA keeps on rolling. The famous New York Times editorialist and multiple Pulitzer prize winner Friedman came up with his own celebration of the American way, now to involve torturing whoever the leaders decide to torture.  


THE USA: MORE PRIMITIVE THAN ROME?

JUSTIFYING TORTURE WITH SHORT TERM CONVENIENCE: AMERICA TODAY.

Thomas Friedman expressed the following opinion in the New York Times: "Though the president's decision to expose but not prosecute those responsible for torture is surely unsatisfying, it is the best solution for right now."

Friedman uses his bully pulpit at the NYT to have millions of American exposed to his apology of torture. Friedman recognizes that: "After all, we're not just talking about "enhanced interrogations." Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, has testified to Congress that more than 100 detainees died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, with up to 27 of those declared homicides by the military. They were allegedly kicked to death, shot, suffocated or drowned. Look, our people killed detainees, and only a handful of those deaths have resulted in any punishment of U.S. officials."

Overseas, as foreign TVs and journalist go and interview survivors, the extent of the torture machine of the USA is revealed to a much greater extent. Overseas judicial findings have revealed many lethal outcomes, or broken spines, that have not been mentioned in the USA.

It is curious that in a country where the judiciary is supposedly independent of the executive, an individual, an employee of the state, Obama, can decide that other employees of the state should not be prosecuted for crimes they committed.

Obama's compromise on torture, as it is, creates a legal precedent. The precedent is that torturers do not get prosecuted, and that the highest officers of the state have a right to order torture.

Hence, as it is, not only is the USA not a state of law, and the first state, in centuries, to officially condone torture, but apparently it is a monarchy, the power of one, Obama (mono-archy = one-power). Obama decides when the law applies, or when it does not. Today to them, tomorrow, to you. Why not? The principle of the State of Law is that the law applies to all equally. Once Obama breaks it by interfering with the judicial process, it's forever gone. The USA would not be a State of Law, but a rogue state.

Maybe Obama is a saint, and Bush is above the law. But what of Obama's successor? What if he is super-Bush? What if the war is with Mexico, not Afghanistan? What if there is nuclear war with Pakistan? Which citizens of the USA will the USA apply torture to? Should not the USA torture more Europeans? After all the Europeans are well known to have an anti-American streak, as Obama reminded us recently. should not torture apply to anti-Americans?

Last but not least: as the CIA trained bin Laden and its associates, during the Soviet phase of the Afghan war, it taught them to attack soft targets to be more effective. The CIA taught bin Laden and his associates, the future Al qaeda, to hurt civilians in particular by bombing little defended government buildings such as schools. Thus the CIA, to some extent, taught Al Qaeda the most extreme abuse and torture. Now it is elegantly turning around to justify its official usage by itself, around the world (this is the argument Friedman makes in his essay: Al Qaeda is bad, so we have to be worse; he conveniently forhet to mention who created Al Qaeda, body and soul: the CIA and the Pakistani ISI, itself a CIA creature, now with a mind of its own, like Al Qaeda).

One can wonder if there is not an overall plan here to go back to a terrible past. After all, it used to work well. The city of Boston used to pay for Indian scalps. And look what happened; now most of temperate North America belongs to the church going, more or less white man.

Before, the CIA was doing the torturing and murderous plotting underground. Now the USA is asked to officiaslly condone it. So the power of one, Obama, rises to the occasion, and takes a pledge to not bother torturers, in the name of convenience.

After WWII, the CIA used extremely notorious sadistic mass murderers such as SS-Hauptsturmführer  Barbie to set up a self financing drug system in South America (an early model of Iran Contra). A (perhaps unexpected) consequence has been that the USA developped a drug problem.

Reintroducing torture as an accepted part of civilization would bring us earlier than the establishment of the Roman republic. It was unlawful to torture free citizens in Rome.

Patrice Ayme  
http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

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The clarity of the content here is no doubt betrayed by the brevity of the form. One wonders what kind of a essay-length work you might make of it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 07:54:03 AM EST
I am writing a longer, more complex version for my patriceayme.wordpress.com site

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 09:57:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
changed the game somewhat. A 3-judge panel, including the Chief Judge of that court, published their decision that 'state secrets' cannot be invoked to prevent trial.

They also wrote that, although a document or a program can be sequestered, that the court makes the decision - not the administration. In other words judges have to be able to read the document or understand the program in order to confirm the necessity of secrecy.

It doesn't rule against torture per se, but it prevents the use of 'state secrets' doctrine to prevent an attempt at redress. It'll be interesting to see whether their ruling is appealed by the current administration.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 02:54:36 PM EST
Didn't federal courts use to rule in the opposite sense when Bush was preznit?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 03:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course. Isn't that what they're supposed to do?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 04:23:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Bushites ran their ploys through the D.C. Court of Appeals for favorable calls. Mukasey sat on the bench of a District Court (just under the Circuit C of A), and he was a reliable 'decider' - e.g., Jose Padilla.

In this latest round, the attorneys were smart enough to play the same game, but at the opposite judicial pole - a District Court under the 9th C.C. of Appeals. In fact the District Court played Bush-ball, but the 9th came through, as they often do.

Unrelated factoid about the 9th - the next task there is to remove Bybee (Bush appointee and former 'legal' apparatchik) from that bench. The CA state Democratic Party passed a resolution last weekend to go after him. He may be the kind of weakling to cave. Personally, I'd rather see him removed, disbarred, and prosecuted, but I guess that I'll have to wait for your compatriot to fulfill the last part.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 06:13:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the information. I did not know, I was travelling. Indeed it changes everything if judges exhibits guts and brains...
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 09:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Torture is pure "hard power." And as we all know, hard power is the only thing that matters...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 30th, 2009 at 10:04:41 AM EST
My point, developped on my future patriceayme.wordpress.com essay (an extension)is that:

Advanced Ethics is the hardest power. Always has been. That's why states weakening in brains lose empire and prefer torture.
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 10:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When was the United States even Rome's equal?

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Thu Apr 30th, 2009 at 10:11:47 AM EST
True never was, relatively speaking...

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 10:18:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is curious that in a country where the judiciary is supposedly independent of the executive, an individual, an employee of the state, Obama, can decide that other employees of the state should not be prosecuted for crimes they committed. Democracy never can exist in pure way.

kishi from
tattoos design

by kishi on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 08:17:12 AM EST


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