April 04, 2014

Sen. Betty Crocker — wrong on torture, wrong on American history

Dianne Feinstein, aka Sen. Betty Crocker thinks torture is an "error" to be admitted. That's why any huff she has with the CIA will eventually be solved only to help Congress and not We the People:
Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., maintained that the eventual release of the summary and findings will show “that this nation admits its errors, as painful as they may be, and seeks to learn from them.”

She called the findings shocking, adding: “The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen. This is not what Americans do.”

The report “certainly depicts the program as much, much worse than generally thought,” said Alberto Mora, a former Navy general counsel and an early critic of the Bush administration program. “Oh my gosh, it’s a devastating critique.”

The finding that 26 detainees were held without legal authorization and the confirmation that the CIA in some cases went beyond the techniques approved by the Justice Department might fuel legal challenges.
Uhh, first, as the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates would tell you, it's what white Americans did to black Americans for some 200 years, under guise of some legality, until Emancipation, then continued to do a century after that.

And, we did it to other white people elsewhere, too. Perhaps not as much as other countries, but we shot surrendered prisoners of war, in WWII, in Germany and Italy.

And, later than that, we committed a laundry list of atrocities in Vietnam.

And various things to American Indians — though, with one partial exception, the smallpoxed blankets is a myth, and the Indians, even if on the defensive, had no problems inflicting torture themselves.

And, I'm just hitting the high points of the low points.

Second, I doubt the legal challenges. Hamdam and Hamdi, the Supreme Court gave a bare nod to rights of detainees. But, I'm sure a Bush v. Gore type majority will flatly cut off any such suits against the US government or its agents.

No, not every Euro-American in US history is rotten to the core. But, American history has been about more than bad apples. It's been about bad appleseed, too.

And, until the likes of American exceptionalists, including most politicians of both major parties, admit that, we'll still be proving Santayana true, though not Marx.

We'll continue to repeat our unremembered history. Unfortunately, it will be always as tragedy in matters like this and never as farce.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/03/4037714/mcclatchy-senate-panel-finds-cia.html#storylink=cpy


Simon said...

I don't know if you ever read Lies my teacher told me by James W. Loewen but even if history text books are just national cheer books, you still have media propaganda and group think like social inclusion ethical biases.

So it's not surprising people tend to only see only wrong done by other groups and never there own.

I'm reading why are we the good guys by David Cromwell and while I've only recently taken a liking to Chomsky I just despair that it will ever be any different; certainly no different here in Australia.

BTW while the smallpox I thought I did read of diseased blankest given to Australian aboriginals but 100% sure. Do know they were given poisoned meat and water holes were poisoned that is when they weren't just being shot on sight.

Gadfly said...

I have indeed read that and other books of his. The strongest of his is "Sundown Towns," about cities that restricted blacks, or other minorities, to daylight hours only.

The one well documented smallpox event in the US of this nature was shortly after the end of the Seven Years War here in the then-colonies. Sir Jeffrey Amherst, C-in-C of British forces in the colonies, gave Indians blankets used by the infected.