Friday, June 16, 2006

What lies within the realm

As it should, Guantanamo Bay has been garnering a great deal of attention during this month of the Torture Awareness Campaign. Many countries have now denounced the detention center and have called for its closing. The political pressure is becoming simply too great for the Bush administration to resist it much longer. At least, one might think that was the case, but it always hard to tell whether that band has much of an ear for political pressure, excepting when it directly threatens their own grasp on the White House door handles here in the US.

elendil has been encountering some criticism as regards the blogroll, some of it claiming that the focus is all on torture conducted by the American regime and is discounting torture as it may be found elsewhere. I would tend to agree that that is likely the case. Deep Blade has a strong post on this topic and offers some good reasons why Americans should be the ones criticising what is rightly viewed as the abhorrent policies of their own government. In fact, I would argue that it is plainly obvious why this should be so: Americans must be responsible for the actions of their own government and when they disagree with those actions and the policies that give rise to them, this must be made known. It is no more complicated than that. It is not the case that anyone on the blogroll opposing torture only opposes it when conducted by the United States. But, for Americans on that roll, that should and must be the focus.

But there is at least another reason to stand in opposition to US policies of indefinite detention and prisoner abuse. While other regimes may be known torturers -- ones the CIA has routinely used in the extraordinary rendition program, Uzbekistan, for example -- such countries refrain from blundering about the globe claiming they're spreading freedom and democracy while trumpeting the value of the "rule of law." Admonishing rude parts of the world for human rights abuses while conducting programs of abuse themselves, the Bush administration not only displays contempt for their own rhetoric but is often in violation of the rule of law they so brazenly call on others to embrace. This is far more than a mere embarrassment to Americans. The abrogation of law and the Constitution so haughtily embraced by this White House and its contempt for any notion of congressional oversight is a threat to the structure of this country's government. The Bush administration has turned us onto to very black path and it is the duty of Americans to turn us back away from the corporatized police state that the Bush regime has begun to construct. That is why opposing torture conducted by this American government is vital to this opposition. Torture is not only the most obvious illegal policy, it also the most destructive one. Because once a society convinces itself that it can torture people to get what it wants, the rest is all down hill.


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