First They Came . . .
“First they came for the communists,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” First They came… – Pastor Martin Niemoller
For three and half years, Jose Padilla, an American citizen, falsely accused of having a plan for a dirty bomb, was held in isolation in a Navy brig, where he was subjected to endless interrogations until his mind rotted away. I never read one news report of a United States Senator speaking out against this treatment of a United States citizen.
I am now reading “Extreme Prejudice” by Susan Lindauer, another United States citizen who was imprisoned under the Patriot Act, then confined in a mental institution by order of then Federal Judge Michael Mukasey. Emptywheel has written about her ordeal .
I never read about any U.S. Senator ever speaking out about her treatment. I never heard her story before (sorry Marcie ) I read her own post here at My FDL
Bradley Manning remains confined and isolated, subjected wrongfully to a suicide watch which increased his isolation. Only Senator Kerry and Congressman Dennis Kucinich have shown any concern.
So now we have a news report from Rolling Stones writer Michael Hastings that the military at the direction of General William Caldwell tried to use psychological techniques, generally reserved for the enemy, on United States Senators in an effort to get more troops. Coincidentally of course and not related to that operation of course, after visiting the battlefield Senator Carl Levin came home and was one of the most vocal supporters of a doomed policy to increase troop levels. See the story here
The soldier put in charge of carrying out this illegal mission had a gut feeling it was illegal and after questioning the use of propaganda techniques on elected officials, the mission was curtailed somewhat (we think) but his career was sent careening off into nowheresville.
Is it time now? Is it time now for two or three or ten or fifty one U.S. Senators to speak about how utterly, morally debased this war on terror and endless war in Afghanistan has become? I know the dramatic increase in the immoral use of drones to kill innocent civilians hasn’t raised their ire one little iota. Nor has the disappearance of hundreds of millions of American tax dollars from the Bank of Afghanistan at a time when Americans are cold, hungry from the lack of food and dying because of the lack of medical care, seemed to have stirred their oratorical juices.
But now Senators, since you are the ones being manipulated; since you have been declared the enemy upon whom any manner of technique will be used; will you now have the courage to speak out to end this debacle? Will you now speak out against this immorality, depravity and futility that is quite literally killing some of us and endangering the rest of us before there is no one left to speak out?