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03/06/2003 Archived Entry: "Americans using torture?"

On the Political Front:

Tom Tomorrow pretty much nailed the reaction of invertebrate Democrats in this prophetic 2002 cartoon strip. Where were their voices when Congress was handing Bush a de facto blank check for war? Oh yes...they were cheering, on their feet applauding, voting "Let's Roll!"

The whole world seems to be waiting for a war that is inevitable -- news reports say the preparatory bombing (as opposed to the regular bombing) will begin on March 13th...land invasion on the 17th. But the inevitability doesn't make anti-war activism any less important because the voices of sanity and compassion can have a tremendous impact on how the war and the peace are waged. We must persistently, consistently raise the questions that war hawks and "get 'terrorists' at any cost" pundits don't want to answer. One small example of such questions...The N.Y. Post reports, "the CIA has had the 7- and 9-year- old sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in custody since September, and plans to use them as leverage to get the No. 3 man in al Qaeda to disclose Osama bin Laden's whereabouts and details of future terror operations." In other words, two young children who have done no harm and are accused of no crime have been kidnapped by the CIA and are being used in a campaign of (at minimum) psychological torture against their father. Where are all the children's rights advocates? We are told that the benevolent, child-loving US government would never hold a gun to the head of one of the young sons or torture them in front of their father -- after all, this is the sort of barbarism for which the world justly despises Saddam. However the same major media broadcasts that advance this disclaimer also include serious discussion of whether the US justice system should include torture as a means of eliciting information from those suspected of terrorism. Of course, in the current situations, the US uses the technicality that the torture and child-kidnapping occur on foreign soil albeit under supervision.

The US Naval Base in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, is another human-rights loophole. There the United States is holding more than 600 prisoners from 40 nations, captured during the Afghan war, who have not been declared prisoners of war nor charged with any crime. Recently, when two Afghan prisoners were killed while in US custody, the military coroner concluded that "blunt force trauma" had contributed to the deaths. Human rights groups as well as major media (Washington Post) have made torture accusations. What has become of the United States?

On the Personal/Movement Front:

My good friend Joseph Stromberg recently spoke at the Mises Institute on "The UN Charter and International Law." This is a wonderful speech, which you can hear at this link.

Today, Brad and I will be purchasing the solar power unit I described in an earlier blog and (I hope!) picking up the unit. We won't be able to install it until Spring -- which I estimate will be in about 6 weeks, tho' technically it arrives on the 21st -- but the equipment will never be cheaper and may be in short supply soon. I continue to look forward to Spring when the "war blues" will be banished by gluts of gardening and sunlight and home repair.

Best to all,

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