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March 14, 2005

The Abyss Has Looked Into Us

Body and Soul freaks out:

Body and Soul: The Beast in US: I've been very depressed about politics the past few days. My comforting illusions are shattering. Look at some of the things that have come out recently:

  1. Italian, German, and Swedish investigations into American violation of their laws when CIA agents kidnapped and detained people on their soil and deported them to countries where they faced torture.
  2. Details of prison abuse in Afghanistan that caused two deaths military officials originally attributed to 'natural causes.'... 'kicks to the groin and leg, shoving or slamming him into walls/table, forcing the detainee to maintain painful, contorted body positions during interview and forcing water into his mouth until he could not breathe.'...
  3. A formal agreement between the Army and the CIA to hide 'ghost detainees' at Abu Ghraib. The Pentagon has previously admitted that prisoners were kept off the records in Iraq, but claimed they 'slipped through the cracks.' They lied.
  4. The ACLU's latest document dump... the use of dogs to frighten child detainees, the refusal to release even obviously innocent prisoners, and a statement by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez that is shocking even after all the previous shocks. According to an unnamed soldier, he said of the prisoners, 'Why are we detaining these people, we should be killing them.'
  5. There's a great old gospel song called 'Nobody's Fault But Mine.'... One more time, Donald Rumsfeld is not asked to sing it...
  6. Evidence of prisoners as young as eleven-years-old at Abu Ghraib. Actually, this isn't news. The New York Times mentioned that eleven-year-old (as well as a 75-year-old prisoner) in an article on Abu Ghraib that preceded CBS's revelation of the photographs by more than a month...
  7. The Los Angeles Times ran an editorial about the 'barbarism' of extraordinary rendition. The Pentagon is planning Extraordinary Rendition II -- cutting the population of the Guantánamo detention facility in half by transferring hundreds of the detainees to prisons in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

I've been following these stories for a long time, probably longer than is good for me. They don't surprise me. But I've been telling myself for a long time that if these things started pouring out, day after day, people would not be able to turn their backs.... Last weekend, the excuses for torture sounded panic-stricken to me. It seemed to me that facts were becoming harder and harder to ignore, and people who needed excuses were coming up with ones so feeble even they knew it. God help us, I think those feeble excuses will do the trick...

Impeach George W. Bush. Impeach Richard Cheney. Impeach them now.

Posted by DeLong at March 14, 2005 08:16 PM