As I was looking over Jeralyn’s top post on TalkLeft today, this paragraph caught my eye…

Some prisoners say they watched fellow detainees being beaten to death by guards, in overcrowded, stinking holding pens. Others said they had their fingernails ripped off, or were forced to lick filthy toilet bowls.

…and I immediately thought…

"More abuse at Guantanamo."

"Or Abu Ghraib."

"Or Bagram."

But I had overlooked the title of Jeralyn’s article, "Iran’s Abuse of Post-Election Detainees," and for the first and probably the only time in my life, I looked at a story about prison abuse with a mix of emotions which included relief.

"At least this time it wasn’t my government."

I invite anyone else to try this out as a thought experiment, and imagine that you read Jeralyn’s paragraph without knowing where it came from.

Wouldn’t you probably assume that the abusers were… us.

We Americans, who were formerly citizens of "a city upon a hill."

Jacob Freeze

Jacob Freeze

I'm a painter and photographer who supplements his meager income by hurling rotten fruit and screaming "Welcome to the Bu!" at the Humvees of hedge-fund managers and their nightmare spawn who get stuck in the ridiculously narrow drive-through at McDonald's in Malibu. They inevitably poop their pants and abandon the vehicle, which I subsequently strip and sell for parts, and that is how I can afford to live in Malibu.