Shame

April 27, 2011

George W. Bush, president: “We don’t torture.” (November 2005)
George Jr., nit-twit civilian: “I sanctioned torture of 9/11 mastermind.” (November 2010).

Another excerpt from the US shame files was cut open this week with the New York Times release of some WikiLeaks documents on the nefarious Guantanamo Naval Base — most likely you’ve heard or read already — and how Americans misbehaved way-badly, doing shitty things to people, which in reality and which in the end, gained nothing but the hatred and loathing of the entire freakin’ planet (not to mention a massive recruiting tool for insurgencies everywhere).

And on top of that, and as it turned out, a goodly group of these so-called inmates weren’t the bad guys: In at least 44 cases, U.S. military intelligence officials concluded that detainees had no connection to militant activity at all, a McClatchy Newspapers examination of the assessments, which cover both former and current detainees, found.

(Illustration found here).

Even as this torture, oops, I really meant “enhanced interrogation,” was going on at Gitmo, physicians on duty there, and it was there duty to call this shit out, turned a blind eye away.
From the abstract of a study conducted by the Public Library of Science (h/t antiwar.com):

The medical affidavits in each of the nine cases indicate that the specific allegations of torture and ill treatment are highly consistent with physical and psychological evidence documented in the medical records and evaluations by non-governmental medical experts.
However, the medical personnel who treated the detainees at GTMO failed to inquire and/or document causes of the physical injuries and psychological symptoms they observed.
Psychological symptoms were commonly attributed to “personality disorders” and “routine stressors of confinement.”
Temporary psychotic symptoms and hallucinations did not prompt consideration of abusive treatment. Psychological assessments conducted by non-governmental medical experts revealed diagnostic criteria for current major depression and/or PTSD in all nine cases.

And concluded:

The findings in these nine cases from GTMO indicate that medical doctors and mental health personnel assigned to the DoD neglected and/or concealed medical evidence of intentional harm.

Another take on the NYT Wikileak-Gitmo-dump comes from the searing keyboard of Chris Floyd and how torture is downplayed against the bad guys:
Money words:

Almost as sickening as the atrocities themselves, however, is the way the release has been played in the New York Times, whose coverage of the document dump will set the tone for the American media and political establishments.
The Times’ take is almost wholly devoted to showing how evil and dangerous a handful of the hundreds of Gitmo detainees were, and to justifying Barack Obama’s betrayal of his promises to close the concentration camp.
We are treated to lurid tales (many if not most of them extracted under torture, but who cares about that?) of monsters seething with irrepressible hatred of America, and so maniacally devoted to jihad that they inject themselves with libido-deadening drugs to ward off any sexual distractions from their murderous agenda.

Ugly, huh — read the whole post.

One main reason for all this horror is the institutional lie that’s become the norm, especially among the GOP, which just loves war, torture and death panels.
A great post on this shameful aspect was up yesterday at Mother Jones.
Rick Perlstein starts with the sinking of the Maine in Havana Harbor and works up to the current line of bullshit from Republican assholes:

And here, in the end, is the difference between the untruths told by William Randolph Hearst and Lyndon Baines Johnson, and the ones inundating us now: Today, it’s not just the most powerful men who can lie and get away with it.
It’s just about anyone — a congressional back-bencher, an ideology-driven hack, a guy with a video camera — who can inject deception into the news cycle and the political discourse on a grand scale.
Sure, there will always be liars in positions of influence — that’s stipulated, as the lawyers say.
And the media, God knows, have never been ideal watchdogs — the battleships that crossed the seas to avenge the sinking of the Maine attest to that.
What’s new is the way the liars and their enablers now work hand in glove.
That I call a mendocracy, and it is the regime that governs us now.

And when a US senator gets on the floor of the US Senator and lies through his asshole, and then later walks back the lie by proclaiming the statement was “not intended to be a factual statement,” and no one calls the shithead a freakin’ liar, then something’s way-wrong.

And no amount of clothing will cover the shame.

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