About that “torture” discussion…

I resisted an obvious — I hope it’s obvious — temptation to comment on the recent torture report, not because I wasn’t sure what to say, but because I was pretty sure what to say.

Playing into this is the bullshit that went into justifying our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. And before that, our collective self-delusions following 9/11. I wrote at tedious length about each, and to no apparent end, other than to alienate a few acquaintances. 1

Fortunately for me (now I don’t have to write it) and fortunately for you (you don’t have to read my prose), David Simon has written what I would call, in this circumstance, a perfectly balanced, calm, and rational analysis of the matter.

If you’re not familiar with Simon’s prose, and his beliefs, consider his opening line.

Here’s the sad fucking truth:

The man is a national treasure. Go read him.


  1. I can’t politely say “bad rubbish,” but “good riddance” may not be far off the mark.  ↩
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6 thoughts on “About that “torture” discussion…

  1. Hi, Phil. The report on the use of torture was disturbing for many reasons. I don’t know what the best response is to make sure it does not happen again.

    I have to think for myself that I knew torture was going on and in the name of protecting me as an American citizen. I did not know how horrifying the torture was, but does it really matter if I did not know the all the specifics? I still have known for years that my government tortured in my name. And, is the use of drones much different? I am not doing anything to stop the use of drones, either

    Maybe, that I am not doing more to stop the use of drones is as horrifying as this report.

    1. Chris — Wish I had some idea of, some suggestion for, the “best response.” None comes to mind.

      I’ve been working on an extended rumination about warfare, or the brutal things men (and it is almost exclusively men) do to each other and other people in the name of… what? National pride? Defense of Noble Principles?

      Parts of it I’ve already posted, here and there. This may be the time and the motivation for me to organize and put them out there.

  2. Thanks for the link. What never ceases to amaze me is the ability of some leaders to be appalled that we are normalizing relationships with Cuba. Human rights violations?! Where exactly is Gitmo located? Does it get any crazier than that?

    1. Shelley — A great many former (and more than a few current) members of our ruling elite continue to defend our invasion of Iraq. That probably is no crazier, but it’s at the same end of the sanity spectrum.

      “Shock and awe” managed to desensitize much of what we had taken to be a humane branch of the media. My own favorite in that category was The New Yorker, which printed a letter I intended as an anti-war piece. It got edited, and wound up just as wishy-washy as everything else at the time.

      1. Shelley — Yes, I made my point, insofar it is clear I opposed the invasion. But their edit removed the blood and body parts; what they presented was a piece of political posturing. Missing completely was everything implicit in

        troops and tanks which cross that chasm will, in the eyes of history and most of the contemporary world, be aggressors. They will be starting a war. They will be killing soldiers, of course, and they will also be killing peddlers and doctors and children, willy-nilly.

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