Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Tree Of Bad Apples

President Obama has tasted of the tree?

The very wish to do good efficiently can lead one to do evil. Our President yesterday trivialized the torture of thousands by echoing the words that it had been the work of a few bad apples and they have already been punished.

There was a whole tree of bad apples, Mr. President. Some of those apples are still on the tree.

There was a consulting firm, Mitchell Jessen Associates, that sold the CIA on the idea that torture worked. These guys had a contract manager in the CIA who approved their paychecks. He reported to higher-ups. Do they still have contracts? With who and why?

There was a general, Geoffrey Miller, who took the Guantanamo methods to Abu Ghraib. Says his Wikipedia article,
"Specifically, Miller suggested that prison guards be used to "soften up" prisoners for interrogations."
But as our prisoners discovered that they could survive the soft, then ever-harder regimes of stress and torture, their will was strengthened and preserved. When treated well, they talked. When tortured, they were too busy praying to give the interrogator much attention.

To whom did Geoffrey Miller report? Whose bright idea was it that breaking laws gives an advantage?

There were consultants who did the actual interrogations. There were doctors in attendance. There were deaths when they lost a patient due to torture. To whom did they report?

Now, here in America there is a President, finally elected by the people, who promised to stop secret surveillance. Who promised to end military commission trials. Who promised to close Guantanamo. Who promised that the poor will see justice.

You can bully the truth, Mr. President. But not the people. We have girdled the apple tree with Wikipedia. We Skype worldwide for free. We know that you know that you did not speak the truth yesterday. We know that you know that there are more than a few bad apples. The world knows that you know. Bullying the truth only makes you a liar.

Speak truth, Mr. President. Shake the tree.

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