Thursday, December 18, 2008

From the top down

As if there were any doubt:
Most Americans have long known that the horrors of Abu Ghraib were not the work of a few low-ranking sociopaths. All but President Bush’s most unquestioning supporters recognized the chain of unprincipled decisions that led to the abuse, torture and death in prisons run by the American military and intelligence services.

Now, a bipartisan report by the Senate Armed Services Committee has made what amounts to a strong case for bringing criminal charges against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; his legal counsel, William J. Haynes; and potentially other top officials, including the former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff.
Yes, and what about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney?

This is not a joke. It is incredible to me, how many Americans seem unable to free themselves of knee-jerk deference to authority, sufficiently to hold the President and Vice-President accountable for war crimes. These men aren't gods. They are human beings who have knowingly committed unbelieveably evil actions, and have given orders for untold other people to commit those same evil actions.

Our country throws poor people in jail for possessing a few ounces of pot. It throws them in jail for street fighting and petty theft. The law is not an equalizing force, it is a controlling one. Its purpose is to control the underclass, while the upper class gets away with robbery on the scale of billions, murder on the scale of hundreds of thousands, and systemic torture.

We accept this state of affairs because we're trained to it. We accept the canard that 'the government is keeping us safe' because it is too terrifying to wonder what is keeping us safe from the government. Unconsciously, we believe that keeping our heads down, going along with the lies, will keep the finger of brutality pointed elsewhere.

It won't. As long as we keep silent about this, we are complicit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Testify, Pretty Lady! Smash the State! Nuremberg trials for all!