I'm very sad this morning. There is something very wrong with my country. Evil is deeply ensconced here. It is terrifying because it's evil disguised as "good," or "necessary," or "proper" by those running the show.
Although I was a bit too young to participate in WWII, the war was ever present. I remember food rationing and gasoline rationing, air raid sirens, and blackouts. I remember newsreels showing indescribable horrors on the various war fronts. I remember "Rosie the Riveter," and "Lend-Lease," and Pearl Harbor.
Back then, however, I was proud of my country. We were engaged in a fight for the right, in what was, at least in part, a moral exercise to excise the unspeakable and despicable terrors unleashed by the satanic Nazis, the godless Japanese, and the unconscionable Italians.
In later years, I became intrigued with all the events and ramifications of the Second World War. I read extensively about the events that triggered the war, the people involved, and the battles which destroyed cities and countries. The Holocaust and Nagasaki and Hiroshima were etched into my brain.
Germany and the Nazis became a special area of interest and as an historian I immersed myself in books and movies about Hitler and his rise to power and the Nazi machine which turned against its own people, especially the Jews, and how the Nazis used torture routinely to gain information or simply punish. How could this happen in a so-called "Christian" country? Then I learned maybe it happened because it was a "Christian" country. Hitler, a Roman Catholic, used Martin Luther's book, "Against the Jews" as a blueprint for Jewish genocide!
I remember how horrified I was. Torture, I believed and still do, is truly evil, of the devil, and in no way justifiable. The end can never, ever justify the means when it comes to torture. While I knew there were isolated instances when American troops in both the European and Pacific theaters were involved in torture, those instances were, I believed, an aberration, not policy.
In recent years, however, it seems torture was policy! We've known for some time that some of our country's leadership - the war criminal triad pictured above - our military and our spy machine, the CIA, has engaged in torture either just for the hell of it or under the pretense of obtaining information. We've also known for some time that torture does not work, that claims made by then Vice President Cheney that information derived from torture was vital and useful in the defeat of our enemies was a crock.
My first disappointment with President Obama was his decision not to charge the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld gang with war crimes. The evidence was overwhelming. This triad of war criminals did not even bother denying their affinity for and and their use of torture!
Now, the so-called "torture report" has been released. It verifies and confirms that the United States of America, the home of the brave and land of the free, engaged in multiple instances of torture as a matter of course, a matter of policy, over the past 14 years.
Mr. Obama has made a public statement that this is a terrible thing, the is "not who we are."
Unfortunately, Mr. Obama is wrong. The evidence shows clearly this IS who we are. And it breaks my heart. FAUX News, the propaganda wing of the neocons and the whole of the Republican Party, Dick Cheney and officials of the CIA are not hanging their heads in shame begging to be forgiven for their dastardly deeds.
It's just the reverse. They have gathered as a huge choir to tout the wonders and worthiness of torture. Their voices ring across the land that torture is good and useful and it's not un-American but part of who we are!
Cheney lies as a matter of course; we've come to expect that. He has a black heart and no moral compass whatsoever. So when he defends the use of torture during the Bush regime, it's no surprise.
But it's still stomach-turning. His words drench us like the flow from a broken sewer as he continues to lie over and over again. Torture, in no instance, provided us with information that was useful in the defeat of our enemies.
Others follow his lead, including persons in and out of Congress.
And the CIA's leadership, bastards out-of-control and filled with bile, stroll out from the dark corners where they dwell, briefcases in hand, to defend the practice and their right to torture those they deem unsavory and a threat to the U.S. or themselves.
It's hard to believe. This is my country? This is the United States? This is the land that I love?
Please tell me it's not so. Please tell me it's all a bad dream!