Saturday, October 27, 2007

Briefly: Torture

There was a recent report from NPR's Anne Garrels, describing some 'renegade Sadr militiamen' who were tortured, and now, because of their torture, were supposedly telling truths about being trained in Iran. Garrels seemed to believe their confessions, which had been delivered under torture, and so based her report on their 'testimony'.

In the 'NPR Check' blog, Mytwords wrote to NPR, stating that Garrels' report was barbaric in its assumptions and in its acceptance of torture victims as a valid source of information.

I praised Mytwords for these statements. I suspect that if there is a mechanized response to them from NPR, then that will probably certify that they are dreadfully afraid of the questions posed. If a personalized reply happens, they will probably defend 'General' Garrels to the limit, equating her with Ed Murrow during the London blitz, or some such delusion.

As I've intimated before, I can't help but wax cynical over Garrels and her ilk, who seem to be buccaneering the war for their own kind of perverse profiteering. Sure, there will be book deals, but a film contract or a video game deal is where the big bucks lie.

No matter how much the issue of torture is decried in public, the fact is, the US has embraced such savage techniques. Their excuse: in 'asymmetrical' warfare, one must fight fire with fire. Journalists like Garrels, whose objectivity has been sacrificed for the sake of their egos, now have mutated into voyeurs to a world where torture is normal and thus, taken seriously. It is a fact that torture doesn't work. IT DOES NOT WORK. So how can it be taken seriously as a tool of warfare? If journalists lack the insight to discern this persistent truth, then they fall prey to torture's wider effects. They buy into the whole illusion: that torture can indeed work, and that it can be accepted without too much question. How can we possibly rely on them to separate realities from illusions?

There is also a blatant racial issue attached here. The US tortures predominantly non-Caucasian people, people that the US does not intrinsically care for. This is not the place to expound on this subject more, but it is a matter that is completely sidestepped within the public debate on torture.

Never has Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' (to mention only one examination of conscience) been so timely.


Hell, I think the world is now divided (to put it in Bush/neocon terms!) into those who are against torture, and those who are for torture. Many who are for it WISH it would work, so as to ease their fears, but those of us who are against it, KNOW it doesn't work, so our fears are increased.

No comments:

Post a Comment