Monday, October 31, 2005

The Two Faces of Torture in America

Nicolas Carranza is due to go before U.S. District Court today for crimes against humanity. One of these charges is for torture during the 1980's in El Salvador.

On the surface, this would seem like a just event. In a lot of ways it is. Those who commit crimes like this, as well as those who allow them should be held accountable. For America to take him to trial is two-faced.

Though, for the most part, only lower enlisted personnel were charged, America committed torture in Iraq. More than likely it was accepted policy. Whether approved by official channels or not. It happened, there's no doubt.

Members of the military are at the present time being investigated in Afghanistan for torture and desecration of remains. Several months ago a civilian bounty hunter, who claimed to be connected with the CIA, was charged with torture there as well.

The United States has made it a habit of sending people to countries that allow torture during investigations. In this way it believes that this relinquishes the government from any responsibility. It does not! When someone is snatched off the street of one country and sent to another to be tortured in your name, you are responsible.

Currently the administration is trying to convince Congress to allow torture by CIA agents. At present they are only allowed to observe, while it's committed in our name.

This is another step in the wrong direction for America. The world already screams that we are two-faced. They claim that we make rules for others, but don't follow them ourselves. This is becoming more true everyday.

The United States is opposed to our troops being tried in the World Court, for crimes they commit overseas. The excuse that is given, is that we will try them ourselves. To put it simply, we don't. Yes, we may charge a few non-coms and a reserve officer or two. We don't charge the people that are at the root of it though. The people who allow it.

In the World Court those people would be held accountable. The World Court has the authority, if we sign on to it, to go to the top. This is what really scares the current administration. It won't stop at the lower enlisted level.

Nicolas Carranza will more than likely get a fair trial in America. As fair as one can get under the circumstances. His going before the court for crimes he has committed is a just thing. For the trial to be held in the United States, once again, shows how two-faced we are as a nation.

We helped Hussein in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan when we were worried about the Russian threat. Today we call them the enemy. The enemy didn't change, we did. How far are we willing to allow ourselves to change?

If we want to be able to hold our heads high as a nation, we need to stop being two-faced about the things we do.

To try people from other countries for torture, we need to stop doing it ourselves. If we are going to charge people with killing civilians we have to stop. To keep our people out of the World Court we need to charge the persons responsible. Not just the lower ranks.

America, in theory, is a country of, for and by the people. If the country is seen as two-faced, in the eyes of the world, so are you.


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