DownsizeDC.org
November 12, 2007
On Veterans' Day
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer Dispatch . . . Subject: On Veteran's Day **This is a national call to action on one the most urgent ethical and legal issues to ever face our nation. We must all spread the word and get our friends involved.** I love America. I'm guessing you do too. But for me America is not a place, a piece of land, or a pretty flag. It's not a military parade or a stirring anthem. For me, America is an idea. America is the one place where the huddled masses can come to breath free -- that is, if they're not subject to the "water cure." Orwellian euphemism reaches its zenith as the war criminals who now run our government call water-boarding an "enhanced interrogation technique." Water-boarding is said to simulate drowning. But it really simulates dying. French journalist Henri Alleg was a victim of water-boarding torture in 1957. His description . . . of it is chilling. His torturers strapped him to a plank, put a cloth over his face, and turned on a water faucet over his head. Here is what followed, in his own words . . .
"The rag was soaked rapidly. Water flowed everywhere: in my mouth, in my nose, all over my face. But for a while I could still breathe in some small gulps of air. I tried, by contracting my throat, to take in as little water as possible and to resist suffocation by keeping air in my lungs for as long as I could. But I couldn't hold on for more than a few moments. I had the impression of drowning, and a terrible agony, that of death itself, took possession of me. In spite of myself, all the muscles of my body struggled uselessly to save me from suffocation. In spite of myself, the fingers of both my hands shook uncontrollably. "That's it! He's going to talk," said a voice. "The water stopped running and they took away the rag. I was able to breathe. In the gloom, I saw the lieutenants and the captain, who, with a cigarette between his lips, was hitting my stomach with his fist to make me throw out the water I had swallowed." [Source: Wikipedia]
Side effects of this torture can include heart attack, asphyxiation, damage to the lungs, cell damage from oxygen-deprivation, and even death. Long term psychological effects can include panic attacks, depression, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. In one case a water-boarding victim panicked every time it rained. I'm told that a TV reporter was water-boarded on camera and didn't think it was that bad. But he wasn't the victim of determined interrogators who would continue the torture long past his breaking point. The reporter knew he would be okay. Those kidnapped into hostile hands do not. Judge Evan Wallach has reminded us that the United States prosecuted Japanese military and government figures for water-boarding at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. If it was torture then, it's torture now, no matter what the President wants to call it. Water-boarding is torture. Water-boarding is a crime. Our government is committing crimes. Sadly, many retired military officers say that our soldiers now faced increased risk of being tortured in the same way we are torturing others. Remember that on this Veteran's Day. The politicians in Congress continue to go along with this charade. One could hardly expect better from a bunch of sociopaths attracted to the organized crime of tax-looting, influence peddling, and domination and control. But what about the rest of us who claim to be "good people?" What does our toleration of torture, abandonment of Fourth Amendment warrant requirements, and willingness to toss aside the ancient right of habeas corpus say about our national character? Congress claims to represent us. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps criminality has become our national character. But . . . There is one bill in House, put forth by one principled man, Ron Paul of Texas, that bans torture, rehabilitates the Fourth Amendment, and restores habeas corpus. But Ron Paul has no co-sponsors for this bill. We repeat, he has NO co-sponsors. And there is no companion bill introduced in the United States Senate. This is unconscionable and reflects badly on us as a nation. Ladies and gentlemen, it's not enough to simply read this message, get angry, and walk away a forgetful hearer. You must, at a bare minimum, send a message demanding that your Congressman co-sponsor Mr. Paul's bill, "The American Freedom Agenda Act" (HR 3835). But even that's not enough. When you log-in to send your message, the phone numbers of your Representative and Senators are there. Please call them and tell them how passionately you care about this bill. But even that's not enough. More people need to join you and me, and the rest of the DC Downsizers. We must avalanche Congress until we get more co-sponsors. So pass this message on to others and then . . . Join us by making a monthly pledge of financial support so that we can reach more people and build a larger and larger army dedicated to doing the right thing. It's a good way to celebrate Veteran's Day. Do enough. Our generation is responsible to fix this mess before it gets worse. The time to fix it is now. Your message, phone call, referrals, and donation are ALL necessary, right now. Jim Babka President DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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