Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Torture USA

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In the gulag, it doesn't matter if you broke the law. The "decider" can say you broke the law, even though he is a constitutional law teacher who knows better, knows that you are supposed to get a trial to establish whether you did, in fact, break the law.

It also doesn't matter if you actually respected the spirit of the law by revealing evidence of highly illegal acts. The revelation being technically illegal, but morally superior by several upticks to the the beatings and psychological tactics administered at  Guantánamo  -- for being a journalist with info, or for having the type of Casio watch Al-Qaeda was experimenting with as a bomb detonator.

Not for having been tried and convicted in a court of law like the Constitution guarantees.

Used to guarantee.

We already knew about this stuff, at least since the Winter Soldier hearings in 2008. Here is veteran Chris Arendt on How to Become a Concentration Camp Guard Without Really Trying.

Now Wikileaks spills lots more, and the New York Times slaps Obama's wrist for opposing release of the information. The revelations on the complicity of medical personnel are so deeply horrible they arrest my breath, and I think of the irony of it happening in Cuba with all their good doctors.

I refuse to call it Gitmo, an ugly neologism like Af-Pak that reduces words to barked out orders. The word Guantánamo is lovely and graceful and sounds Cuban, not like a gulag for torture.

I would like to offer as an apology to all those who have suffered in the US secret prisons operated around the world by the Forces of Greed this recording of the song "Guantanamera," a song my mom used to sing when I was still an innocent kid. Here it is superbly performed by Celia Cruz.

And I offer new words:

You broke my heart when you tortured
The beautiful ones, and the bad ones.
You broke my heart when the young soldiers
Had to watch all this being done.
How could our Constitution
ever stand for something like this?
If there is such a thing as a court,
I hope all you torturers stand before it.

Guantanamera...oh women of Guantánamo
And may the indigenous
grandmothers save us.

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