The Cost of War

Among the revelations in the Senate torture report are that CIA agents used “rectal feeding” and “rectal hydration” to torture and “control” Muslim detainees, and that some agents were traumatized by the experience. Here they are, the heroes of the war on terror!

14 thoughts on “The Cost of War

  1. I think it’s quite possible that the issue has been taken out of our hands.

    The general catchphrase is “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” It applies, pretty much, to every significant uprising. The French peasants, the Russian serfs, the American colonists, etc. There’s always the straw that rectally hydrates the camel’s backside. A final offense that triggers the avalanche.

    A less-heard phrase is “asymmetrical warfare.” That’s when, for instance, two gunmen take a bunch of hostages in a major city. The gunmen are probably suicides, which means all the hostages are going to die unless the police get remarkably lucky. That’s what’s going on in Sydney right now. Who knows, it happened during the morning rush hour. I wonder how uneventful the morning rush will be in London, New York, and Washington.

    Even if every one of those hostages walks out alive, the only response that will be permitted will be an increase in “security.” Shout down dissent. Question everyone’s patriotism unless they have a flagpin and a bumper sticker. Strip off your shoes before going into chocolate stores. Why do you object to having your e-mail copied into a government database, do you have something to hide? We’d better be sure and torture you until you say what we want.

    Probably the only possible way to get a dialogue would be to have war crimes trials at the Hague. And we’d have to ship an awful lot of people over there: Cheney, Rice, Bush, probably a dozen CIA high muckymucks, etc. I just don’t think we have it in us anymore to make the hard choice that fixes the problem.

      • Falco,

        A good point. I suspect the last time would have been WWII, with all the rationing and the victory gardens, or the public works programs of the Depression era.

        So let me rephrase slightly my original comment. In my recollection, it SEEMS that we used to be a little more capable of outrage. The response to the Senate’s torture report has been (to me) stunning in its minimality. A strong “meh” as we continue to flip through the channels.

        We used to, at least, make a show of being outraged. Even if nothing got done about it.

  2. I can’t help wondering, Ted, when those in the US who are opposed to these crimes are going to look the facts in the eye and realise that claiming «This is not who we are» after every new revelation isn’t going to wash. If those responsible cannot be tried in the US, they should be sent to Den Haag – or better, to a new, less plaint tribunal which, unlike the latter, does not only deal with cases vetted beforehand in Washington, and which could appropriately have its venue set to Nürnberg….

    Henri

  3. I am really amazed, disgusted and saddened – this issue is not being “jumped on” like so many other issues – especially like “white cops killing blacks”, by the general public. So many people seem to have already arrived at the conclusion that our government is corrupt and has been committing crimes like this for so long, that it is no great revelation to them. Add the general apathy of the majority of the American public with their feeling that “they can’t really DO much about it, except complain”, and what you get is what we are seeing. The issue stayed near the top of the news for the first few days, and it is already visibly losing its focus and fading… Yes – there are a lot of pundits weighing in on this, but all words and no action doesn’t get anything done. My opinion is that many of those responsible may, in time, be judged as war criminals by the rest of the world, and find themselves unable to travel to EU countries without fear of being arrested, but I don’t see anything really happening to them inside the USA. Obama certainly has to weigh the fact that if they were to be charged or otherwise be made responsible for their horrible actions, that he too could find himself in the same boat as far as his past and present actions – so much for his “let’s acknowledge the wrongnicity of our actions, but let’s put them behind us and move on without dwelling on the past” whitewashing. Without any of our government representatives or officials willing to stick their neck out and take action, this issue will simply fester for a while and sink out of sight for the average apathetic American. At this point, many people are simply overloaded by the injustice they are surrounded by that they can only tread water and try to get by. I’m sure that a lot of people are angry like me, but no one is really going to do anything except grind out grievances on the keyboard, draw cartoons and wrestle with the trolls…

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