"We think in generalities, we live in details"
RE: virus: Ghostwalkers
« on: 2006-03-04 07:46:23 »
[Blunderov] Brilliant political street theatre; memetic engineering of note.
This (imo) is the America that, in former times, was so respected and
admired by the rest of the world.
Get some orange overalls today.* Get your friends to don camo and subject
you to simulated waterboarding in public places. Dog-walking too could
become a far less mundane chore; owners would be free, with the consent of
their orange clad friends, to practice dog-menacing instead.
Broadening the theatre should be no problem. For instance public displays of
Abu Ghraib acrobatics could provide much diversion and instruction to
passers by of every stripe.
Or would this be illegal in the Land of the Free? I'm told that one can be
denied a seat on an aeroplane there because of a slogan on a T-shirt.
*Where does one get them anyway? I see just about every other colour on sale
but not orange. Maybe governments have bought up the whole supply in order
to make sure that only astronauts and prisoners ever wear them?
I'm serious btw, I want an orange jumpsuit. (My other fantasy is to dress up
as a priest for a day, just to see what happens. But that's for another
"GHOST WALKERS" HAUNT THE CONGRESSIONAL CONSCIENCE
Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2006-03-04 00:59. Media
On Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 11:30 am, torture survivors and members of the
faith and human rights communities silently walked the halls of Congress
wearing orange overalls and a gags reading "torture" in dark red letters.
These "ghost walkers" were delivering a message for those who cannot speak
for themselves: the US government is practicing torture in Guantanamo and
As the "Ghost Walkers" moved silently down the halls of Congress, arms
extended, mouths heavily gagged, the reactions were visible. Some looked
away, as if afraid to react. Others stared and took pictures, while still
others hung over the balconies to watch and point. An older woman stood and
watched for a full hour, smiling faintly, and thumbs up appeared here and
there. One man in a formal suit scowled and muttered "I guess this is the
freedom of speech." The "Ghost Walkers'" message was received.
Last fall, nearly one hundred detainees in Guantanamo began a long term
hunger strike. Their demands were straightforward enough. They wished to be
free of torture and cruel and degrading treatment, and they wished to have
fair hearings. These demands are obviously based on "all American"
principles, but the official response of our government has been brutal.
There have been grim reports of forced feedings, with large tubes being
roughly forced into the detainees' nasal canals, causing bleeding and
extreme pain. Shoes and blankets have been taken away. Now the remaining
strikers, near death, have been strapped into wheelchairs, force fed, and
denied toilet privileges, leaving them strapped in their own filth.
Torture has certainly been carried out in Guantanamo and abroad. The short
shackling technique reported and repudiated by the FBI was declared to
constitute torture long ago by the United Nations. Water-boarding and
horrifying dog attacks have been ordered and used. The psychological
tortures have been extreme and shocking.
The recent United Nations report denouncing torture in Guanatanamo by the
United States has been brushed off by our government as if it were nothing.
Torture, even of enemy combatants, is forbidden by our own treaties, such as
the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. Our own laws,
such as 18 USC 2340 and the federal War Crimes Act make torture a felony.
The statutory definitions would cover virtually all of the "techniques" that
have been used on the detainees. Yet nothing has been done.
We had great hopes for the new McCain legislation, but last minute
compromises and the President's reservations made prosecutions and
conviction near impossible, thus assuring that torture would in fact
continue. Meanwhile the Graham-Levin amendments stripped the courts of
jurisdiction to hear detainee complaints.
To whom then, may the detainees turn to when they suffer illegal torture? If
this is indeed a government by and for the people, then they must turn to
us, and we must join together to end this practice. As Patrick Henry himself
once said, the rack , the screw and the Star Chamber were left behind in the
"old World" for good reason, and if such barbaric practices were allowed
here, then "we are lost and undone".
We walked through the halls of Congress, silently and peacefully, in the
hope of shining a bright light on the continuing torture. This is our
responsibility, and we shouldered it gladly. When it comes to torture, we
cannot remain silent.
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