Saturday, October 9, 2010

"After We Pulled His Fingernails Out, He Told Us the Truth"

So there is a new "terror alert" being sounded by the US government. Apparently, there is a plot being uncovered that involves Al-Queda terrorists performing "Mumbai-type" attacks on people in public places in Europe with the intent to kill. The new alerts have some people shrugging and foreign ministers acknowledging that although terror is always a concern, there "is no concrete evidence" that the plot actually exists. Taken as a whole, what we have is a Pakistani terror suspect captured in Germany in August and now his "testimony" indicates that there may be terror plot brewing.
The level at which this is farce, and farce of an incredibly sinister nature, makes my blood run cold. Clearly we have a suspect captured and detained, shipped to Bagram in Afghanistan, and after a few weeks of routine torture, low and behold there is a massive attack being planned by militants against Europe. Of course, it has already been established that information gained by torture techniques is largely unreliable. That is, when you are physically, mentally,  and/or psychologically abusing an individual with the purpose of extracting information, that person is likely to say whatever it is he or she thinks you want to hear so that you stop torturing them. The terrifying aspect of this is that the media worldwide has trumpeted the fear tactic right in line with the most startling tyrannical efficiency, making certain that "Al-Queda", "terror", "Muslim", and "Bin Laden" are regularly re-introduced into the collective minds of the people. That such a tactic works and that it should be used even as innocent people are being blown to bits by unmanned US drones in Pakistan, shot in cold blood by secret CIA death squads in Afghanistan, and getting rounded up in detention camps for their own protection in these nations and Iraq, goes far in illuminating one as to the moral integrity of his society, and that of Western culture as a whole.
I want to be sure that when we muse in polite discussion about the "intentions of the Founding Fathers" or the facts as to whether or not we are a "Christian nation", or banter about the pros and cons of the relevance of the Constitution in modern politics, that we have an idea of who is running the table and who's needs are being addressed. So when the issue is one of the Bill of Rights, for instance, and we evince concern that these rights are not being properly upheld in today's USA, we do so under the shadow of specific truths, truths that are so dark and so convicting that such talk is rendered completely irrelevant.
Yes, the Constitution is irrelevant. Congress is irrelevant. Our "way of life"--which amounts to a volunteering of ones time and intellect in exchange for compensation, of which amount determines whether or not you are of any value the further one advances up the political/social ladder of REAL decision-making.
Of course, you know that, right?
You don't count. You pretend that you do by having discussions about how rotten the government is, how politics sucks, how corporations run everything, and you feel kind of good getting it all off of your chest. And that IS good. It is about all you can do--aside from the irregular day-trip to some rally somewhere. But in the back of your head you have a very understanding of how the "system" works. Everybody knows that the people in power can do whatever the hell they want and there isn't much to stop them.
I can accept this. You can, too. It is power after all, and everyone knows you can't fight city hall, anyway. And that's fine. So taxes have to get paid, people have to pay their share, etc. Obviously we can't function as a country if nobody pays any taxes. What weighs on all of this has nothing to do with the fact that politicians are corrupt, that laws are unfair, or that the wealthy get away with murder. Every society on the planet can complain about these things. What sinks ones heart, or mine at least, is the level to which the people in power will stoop in order to deliberately confuse, deceive, and manipulate the people. It is the torture, the unmanned drones, the absolute horror of what our country does, and is allowed to do, not only to people, but to the planet. The savagery, the tyrannical pronouncements, the absolute disregard for any kind of justice or dignity, or any respect for human life. And this is put right in our faces. It isn't like in the 1980's in Central America where you had to really dig for it. They are absolutely shameless now. Even an animal will try to bury it's excrement, but the USA wears it like a badge.
And so when folks of good intent start to ask whether the Founding Fathers intended this or that, I get pretty ticked off. The Founding Fathers? A couple of dozen middle-aged aristocrats in tights scribbling out theories two hundred years ago--forming a workable government for thirteen colonies on the edge of an unknown continent? Okay, they did all right. But what the hell does it matter today whether they "intended" for the second amendment to allow for broad ownership of firearms? Who cares whether not they "intended" for the principle of the unitary executive to reach such heights of power? These are the problems of today, not the eighteenth century. And as far as the vaunted "values" of these guys, they bear some review: white, male, slave-owning, wealthy, chauvinist, and Dualist by the majority, many with a rather surprising opinion of the rank-and-file citizenry they were supposedly crafting this government for. Sure, they were bright, they were articulate. But they were POLITICIANS for crying out loud. They understood power as much as anybody did, and to think they didn't know how to best exploit and manipulate the document they had just fashioned is be completely naive about human nature.
They were just as much a pack of thieves and liars as any other politicians before or since, and they should be regarded that way.

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