1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.
2. a method of inflicting such pain.
3. Often, tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.
4. extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
5. a cause of severe pain or anguish.
verb (used with object), tortured, torturing.
6. to subject to torture.
7. to afflict with severe pain of body or mind:
My back is torturing me.
8. to force or extort by torture:
We'll torture the truth from his lips!
9. to twist, force, or bring into some unnatural position or form:
trees tortured by storms.
10. to distort or pervert (language, meaning, etc.).
When is enough enough? We’ve had some time to digest the so-called torture report, and I must admit that I am repelled, repulsed, and otherwise disillusioned with what these United States have become.
It’s hardly that these things were done in my name, despite being contrary to everything I believe in.
Nay, I’m reaching that point where I have become convinced that I don’t matter, and nothing that I say, do, believe in, or vote for is going to make a difference.
Oh, it’s been a while coming, as my “Bitter Backlash Blog
” can attest to. But this feels to me like the last straw.
I posted this on Thursday, but it bears repeating, as we now approach the anniversary of the massacre referenced. (December 17).
I’ve been musing that 70 years ago this week was the eve of the Battle of the Bulge. I had 2 uncles on the ground there…both now long gone.
The Nazis perpetrated something called the Malmedy Massacre during the battle. We hunted down, arrested, tried, and sentenced 43 men to death for this act.
But Dick Cheney is a free man.
But that’s not all – there’s a website I’ve been following for more than a year called ‘World War II Today’
. There are many accounts of horrible things done under one flag or another. A glimpse into a Japanese POW camp might also be revealing
...At any rate, the lieutenant colonel used the word “escape” so often that it got to the ears of the Japanese. The three Americans were taken out of the camp, and after some questioning by the Japanese, their punishment was decided upon. The Japanese first beat the three Americans about the feet and calves until they were no longer able to stand. Then they kicked the men and jumped on them with all their weight.
After an extended example of this treatment, the Japanese waited until morning and then stripped the Americans of all their clothing except their shorts. The three men were then marched out into the Cabanatuan road to a point which was in full view of the camp. Their hands were tied behind them, and they were pulled up by ropes from an overhead purchase so that they had to remain standing, but bent forward to ease the pressure on their arms.
Then began forty-eight hours of intermittent torture. Many of the prisoners went into their barracks so they would not be able to see what went on. The Japanese guards were ready with their sub-machine guns in case of any trouble. The Japanese periodically beat the men with a heavy board. Any Filipino unlucky enough to pass along the road was forced to strike the men in the face with this club. If the Japanese did not think the Filipinos put enough force into their blows, the Filipinos themselves were beaten.
The amazing thing was the ability of the three men to stay alive, if indeed they were still alive at the end of the second day of this treatment — they were battered beyond recognition, with the ear of one prisoner hanging down to his shoulder.
I think we all prayed for the men during this ordeal. I know I did. And I am sure all of us said a prayer of relief when the Japanese finally cut the men down and took them away for execution. Two of the men were shot. The third was beheaded. There had at no time been a semblance of a trial.
While the Tokyo war crimes tribunal is far less well known than the one at Nuremburg, we also executed many enemies of the United States there for their crimes against humanity.
What makes Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney different from these men? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
There has been some chatter about the possibility of a Presidential Pardon for these acts – allegedly because the crimes will never be prosecuted and the perpetrators will never be punished, and probably because we don’t have the political wherewithal to even try.
That’s unfortunate – I disagree with that entirely. I have friends that went to both Afghanistan and Iraq based on lies; men who are quite different today than when they enlisted or first went overseas.
Every elected official in this country takes an oath of office that has some variation of the words “Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America”. The report shows conclusively that during the Bush Administration, from the highest level of government on down to who knows what level, there were men willing to subvert that oath and indeed do exactly the opposite of what they swore.
President Ford pardoned Nixon for his crimes because he feared that any trial or revelations might tear the country apart. Torture is different. I say let’s have prosecution. I have such a deep, bitter, hatred for the entire Bush Regime that I would willingly sacrifice this country and pour out their blood and mine to right these wrongs.
Thomas Jefferson himself said that “A little revolution now and then is a good thing”. If torture, lies, coverup, and who knows what other heinous acts aren’t enough to spark action, then nothing else will.
The United States can no longer stand on any moral high ground as long as this is unresolved; in my opinion, we are no better than the worst of those who torture and terrorize in the name of whatever it is they believe in – for we have done exactly the same thing.