Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

No Greater Shame

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
NanceGreggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:21 PM
Original message
No Greater Shame
An Open Letter to My Fellow Citizens:

Regardless of whatever political differences may exist between us, now is the time for all good Americans to stand up and say that torture is not now, never has been, and never will be acceptable.

We have survived the loss of our fellow Americans in the Civil War and two World Wars, in Viet Nam and other conflicts, and continue to do so in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We have survived the turbulence of the civil rights movement and desegregation, the insanity of McCarthy and the HUAC hearings, the constant threat of nuclear holocaust being unleashed by other nations or even our own.

And yet we emerged on the other side of it all, wounded but intact, stronger as a result of lessons learned, bound together by a sense of purpose and an ideology that decreed, simply yet emphatically, that we were above certain behavior; conduct that separated us from those less enlightened, those less intelligent, those less civilized.

Never before have we, as a people, faced such a true crisis of faith as we do now. Because through every struggle, every disagreement, every conflict of opinion as to who we are, and what we stand for as a country, torture was something we collectively refused to sanction as part of our conduct.

Torture; the very word is repugnant to true patriots, no less the actions associated with its use. And yet here we are, hearing our elected representatives discussing it, promoting it, embracing it, thereby discounting the value of every life ever lost in the cause of democracy, of freedom, of being a nation that holds itself out as representing something far above such barbarism.

We have heard torture being intellectualized, as though it were some theoretical discussion that does not involve pain deliberately inflicted on a fellow human being a dispassionate view the Nazis perfected as they tortured concentration camp inmates without regard to human suffering.

We have heard torture being touted as necessary to protect our country from those who would do it harm. And yet no one supportive of this claim has any explanation as to how the torture of a Guantanamo Bay detainee, who has had no contact with the outside world for years, can provide any useful information that would lead to uncovering any current plot against us. No one has yet to show the proof of torture having resulted in anything of value, nor have its proponents deigned to discuss the very real fact that information obtained through torture is often fabricated to ensure release from the pain, and is therefore so misleading as to draw attention and action away from actual threats that may exist.

We have heard the sorriest of excuses ever uttered by anyone who has ever lived on the face of the earth: But they do it, so why shouldnt we? We know that refusing to torture may not save one of our own from such treatment if captured by an enemy. But we also know that our use of torture does nothing to discourage that practice by the enemy and, in fact, we know that it undoubtedly encourages it.

We have heard torture dismissed as being equivalent to a fraternity hazing, something to be laughed about after-the-fact over cocktails at alumni get-togethers as though bloodied, broken, mutilated bodies are simply representative of those who didnt make the cut, who couldnt take a joke.

And there is one more thing that those who would lead us down this path will never speak about, and that is the innocent. You wont hear a word about those who have been tortured being totally innocent of any wrongdoing; nor will you hear the undeniable fact that torture, especially of the innocent, breeds hatred against those who engage in its practice, hatred that not only creates but emboldens enemies who would strike at us to avenge the spilling of innocent blood.

I want you, my fellow citizens, to close your eyes and imagine your son, your daughter, your parent, your grandparent, your spouse, your best friend suffering unbelievable pain, crying out for a moments respite, begging for mercy and finding none. Now I want you to recognize the fact that every person who is being tortured as we speak is someones child, someones loved one.

There are only two sides to this issue, and they are not Republican/Democratic, liberal/conservative, right/left; there is simply the right side and the wrong side.

And the time has come for each of us to decide which side we are on, and act accordingly.

I urge each of my fellow citizens to contact their representatives and tell them, without equivocation, that our nation does not stand for torture, and remind them that your future votes, political support, and campaign contributions will be reflective of that position.

We have already, as a nation, ventured far beyond that line that should not be crossed; too many have skipped merrily along that inviting garden path of better-safe-than-sorry-what-ifs a road littered with doubts and fear-induced recriminations that can never truly be undone, forgotten, nor repented for.

But it is not too late to step back from the edge of the abyss, and refuse to be led like sheep by those who are of lesser morals than We The People.

We know in our hearts that what is wrong, what is immoral, what is unjust, what is despicable cannot be allowed even the slightest chink through which to insinuate itself into our conduct, no less be given fertile ground in which to take hold and prosper.

In spite of all of the vitriol that may exist between us as citizens of differing political beliefs, if we cannot stand together on this issue as citizens, our nation is truly lost.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well done Nancy....These are War Crimes...and must be
prosecuted as such! The media has played a huge role in defining what is serious torture and parsing the action of torture....they should also be held responsible for the state that our nation is in.

Bravo Nance...Bravo..
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. The OP misrepresents this post, suggesting in her signature field that
the above-referenced text is a "rant" when in fact it is nothing of the sort and is instead some of the most heart-felt and clear-headed prose anyone can read on the damn web.

Recommended.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. Well, yeah, but she does some kick ass rants too
She has fire but she also holds a great deal of pain around what is happening. Or maybe I'm projecting. I know my pain around this is almost debilitating.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. You're right, there's no conundrum here
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 10:28 PM by JeffR
There are merely two choices, and you've spelled out precisely what they are.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. Real Americans agree BUT
what I want to know is how can we do anything. We call and we write and we are ignored. We have got to find a way..how how can we do it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NanceGreggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. If you see ANY elected representative ...
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 10:43 PM by NanceGreggs
... regardless of political party, wearing a flag pin in his/her lapel while sanctioning the use of torture, send them a letter, fax, email or phone message telling them that they DO NOT represent American values, and to remove such symbols from their clothing forthwith.

If you see ANY elected representative sporting a crucifix or a Star of David, or hear them speaking of their 'religious beliefs' while promoting the cause of torture, send them a letter, fax, email or phone message telling them that they are a disgrace to their religion, and those who truly believe in its tenets.

If you hear ANY elected representative discussing torture in terms of being acceptable, or even a 'necessary evil', send them a letter, fax, email or telephone message explaining that you will NEVER support them, will NEVER vote for their re-election, and will contribute to whoever runs against them.

SOME politicians listen to reason and the opinions of their constituents - but ALL politicians listen to the sound of their OWN precious careers being undone.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AZgirl7 Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Nance, the sad thing is....
Not only do we have to make sure each Republican has a Dem running against them, so do we have to find good Americans to run against the Democrats. SAD. Save for a very few, I feel like it's our entire government is against US and all that America WAS.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. Another recommend.
Excellent (as usual).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JohnnyLib2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
6. Powerful. I'm reminded of the writings of some of the "founding
fathers." Now, if we had Barbara Jordan to give this speech......
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. TORTURE = TRUE ROT nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AZgirl7 Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
9. I got a 2 second taste of waterboarding.
When the dentist has your mouth full of equipment, you have to breathe through your nose, right? well my dentist laid a simple kleenex over my nose and eyes to keep the spraying water off me. When the kleenex got soaked, I breathed in and it completely blocked the air from going into my nose. INSTANT PANIC! In that moment I KNEW what it must feel like to have waterboarding done to you. And that was NOTHING since I was able to take it off right away. YEP, everyone who condones this should have to go through the real thing themselves, just like cops who are being trained with Tasers must know what it feels like to be tasered!!!!!!!!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Basileus Basileon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. While not meaning to upset you, that isn't what waterboarding does, really.
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 11:44 PM by Basileus Basileon
I mean, it sort of does, as it involves water and a cloth, but rather than simply blocking off the nasal passages as with you, real waterboarding activates the gag reflex and gives the illusion of water entering the lungs.

Also, I believe that in many jurisdictions, cops are tasered as part of their training.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madamesilverspurs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
13. Such bitter irony!
"We have heard torture being touted as necessary to protect our country from those who would do it harm." And all the while the greatest harm ever done to our country has been committed by those who have ordered torture in our name, abetted by those in authority who look the other way and remain silent. God help us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 05:14 AM
Response to Original message
14. You Truly Speak for Us All, Nance
And you ought to get paid for it, and/or more widely distributed. Can you send this one to BushFlash.com or OpEd.Com? Or Huffington Post, or Daily Kos, or some wider world?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
15. Torture....
Never, ever acceptable. Period.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Perry Logan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
16. Bill Clinton signed "The Torture Victims Relief Act" in 1998.
What a difference a stolen election makes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Yet the same Bill Clinton began the CIA rendition program in 1993
and he did keep open the torture and assassination school at Fort Benning.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
17. In the space of 6 years
we have become an international pariah because our official policies have been transformed into something immoral. And all we had to do was sit back and let it happen. What people thought couldn't happen here, did happen. The United States of America has been reduced to everything we fought against in WW II and the Cold War. We have a totalitarian illiterate usurper ruling our government and looting our money and morals.
If the next President doesn't have this criminal cartel taken into custody for war crimes, the rest of the civilized world will punish us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Dec 11th 2017, 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC