Thursday, February 07, 2008

I Guess We Did Torture

Just post WWII:

Sergeant Masatoshi Sawamura was convicted and sentenced to 30 years hard labor for, among other things, "forcing PW to stand at attention for a long period of time, sometimes in cold weather without sufficient clothing and on one occasion, in the nude; throwing a bucket of ice cold water over PW in cold weather;water treatment which entailed forcing water down PWs throat and nostrils using among others a hose, tubes; picking up and throwing PW to the ground; banging head against a wall; raising and lowering a sword on a PWs neck in an effort to make him give information."

Reuters reports that George II instructed Michael Hayden to testify to Congress regarding waterboarding, and he did:

Hayden's admission, the first time a U.S. official publicly disclosed the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them, drew calls for a criminal investigation. Critics worldwide condemn waterboarding as torture, but the Bush administration has refused to define it as such.
Numbered among the critics worldwide would evidently be the US Military Commission that tried and convicted and sentenced Sgt. Sawamura among others. Neither George W Bush nor the USA was around when the Spanish Inquisition practiced waterboarding, but you might note that one of the all purpose terms for inhuman cruelty and torture is "The Inquisition."

Now somehow you're to be reassured by the statement that we haven't done so for five years, which somehow minimizes the fact. But before you get too comfortable BushCo mouthpiece Tony Fratto noted,

"It is dependent on the circumstances."
I'll just bet that makes you feel better. When Michael Mukasey had to testify before Congress,

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, opened Wednesday's hearing by saying, "This administration has so twisted America's role, law and values that our own State Department, our military officers and, apparently, America's top law enforcement officer, are now instructed by the White House not to say that waterboarding is torture and illegal."

"Never mind that waterboarding has been recognized as torture for the last 500 years," Leahy said. "Never mind that President Teddy Roosevelt properly prosecuted Americans soldiers for this more than 100 years ago."
The question that has to occur to you is just exactly how it is that law suddenly became conditional? If you follow the reasoning of BushCo, there are things that are torture only if it is convenient for them to be torture. If it becomes in "circumstances" convenient to torture then it is not torture. I'm pretty sure Sgt Sawamura had found circumstances that made it convenient to engage in behavior that the US (in a more honorable time) found worthy of 30 years hard labor. George II might find that kind of labor a bit less fun than clearing ranch brush for photographers.

Sometimes it almost seems as though history has a sense of humor. A naval aviator shot down by fellow soldiers of Sgt Sawamura becomes President, has a kid who hides out in Texas during a war as an aviator and then becomes the President who engages in the same behavior Sgt Sawamura did. Ah, it must warm a father's heart with pride...


The Dick just got done calling it a tougher program for tougher customers, so those tough US soldiers who wouldn't cooperate with the Japanese deserved it? Seems we were bombing the snot out of Tokyo and killing a bunch of soldiers on islands across the Pacific...what an asshole.


KISS said...

You like history? Try George H's Daddy and Harriman laundering money for Hitler during the 2nd world war. You might have to dig but it is all there. Bush's have a history that make horse thieves look like saints.

Zak J. said...

Well, now that the truth is undeniable I guess the impeachment hearings will begin any day now.

Yeah. Right. I wonder what excuse Congress will come up with this time for ignoring their duty to uphold the 8th amendment:

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

It gets more absurd every day.