CommunityFDL Main Blog

Torture and the Company Which Americans Keep

A new poll finds majority of Americans — 59 percent — believe torture was justified after the 9/11 attacks.

Look around you at the company you keep. The people who support torture, six out of ten, are your neighbors, your co-workers, the people on the bus with you. If you live in Washington DC, they are your children’s friends parents, the people at Safeway, the folks you go to church with.

Now, let’s have a look at the company the United States keeps.

Tortures Human Beings

United States – YES
ISIS – YES
North Korea – YES
China – YES
Russia – YES
Nazi Germany – YES
Apartheid-Era South Africa – YES

Uses Medical Personnel to Enhance Torture

United States – YES
ISIS – NO
North Korea – Unknown
China – Unknown
Russia – YES
Nazi Germany – YES
Apartheid-Era South Africa – YES

Maintains Third Country Detention Facilities

United States – YES (including Poland)
ISIS – NO
North Korea – NO
China – NO
Russia – NO (once including Poland)
Nazi Germany – NO (once including Poland)
Apartheid-Era South Africa – NO

Kidnaps/Renders People from Other Countries to Torture

United States – YES
ISIS – YES
North Korea – YES
China – Unknown
Russia – Unknown
Nazi Germany – YES
Apartheid-Era South Africa – NO

Sends Prisoners to Other Governments for Torture

United States – YES (including Libya, Egypt and Syria)
ISIS – NO
North Korea – NO
China – NO
Russia – NO
Nazi Germany – NO
Apartheid-Era South Africa – NO

Holds Prisoners Indefinitely without Trial

United States – YES
ISIS – Sort Of
North Korea – YES
China – YES
Russia – YES
Nazi Germany – YES
Apartheid-Era South Africa – NO

Kills Prisoners Under Torture

United States – YES
ISIS – YES
North Korea – YES
China – YES
Russia – YES
Nazi Germany – YES
Apartheid-Era South Africa – YES

Holds Innocents for Torture

United States – YES
ISIS – YES
North Korea – YES
China – YES
Russia – YES
Nazi Germany – YES
Apartheid-Era South Africa – YES

Assassinates Opponents

United States – YES
ISIS – YES
North Korea – YES
China – YES
Russia – YES
Nazi Germany – YES
Apartheid-Era South Africa – YES

Had Some Sort of Reconciliation Once Torture Exposed

United States – NO
ISIS – NO
North Korea – NO
China – NO
Russia – Sort Of (Post-Stalin)
Nazi Germany (Post-War)- YES
(Post) Apartheid-Era South Africa – YES

BONUS: Has its State Department write sanctimonious yearly human rights reports about other countries: USA! USA! USA!

*Creative Commons Licensed Photo from Shrieking Tree

————————–

Peter Van Buren writes about current events at blog. His book,Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent, is available now from Amazon.

Previous post

Another Black Boy Gunned Down by Police

Next post

Cuba: Conservative v. Neo-liberal v. Progressive

Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren has served with the Foreign Service for over 23 years. He received a Meritorious Honor Award for assistance to Americans following the Hanshin earthquake in Kobe, a Superior Honor Award for helping an American rape victim in Japan, and another award for work in the tsunami relief efforts in Thailand. Previous assignments include Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the UK and Hong Kong. He volunteered for Iraq service and was assigned to ePRT duty 2009-10. His tour extended past the withdrawal of the last combat troops.

Van Buren worked extensively with the military while overseeing evacuation planning in Japan and Korea. This experience included multiple field exercises, plus civil-military work in Seoul, Tokyo, Hawaii, and Sydney with allies from the UK, Australia, and elsewhere. The Marine Corps selected Van Buren to travel to Camp Lejeune in 2006 to participate in a field exercise that included simulated Iraqi conditions. Van Buren spent a year on the Hill in the Department of State’s Congressional Liaison Office.

Van Buren speaks Japanese, Chinese Mandarin, and some Korean (the book’s all in English, don’t worry). Born in New York City, he lives in Virginia with his spouse, two daughters, and a docile Rottweiler.

Though this is his first book, Peter’s commentary has been featured on TomDispatch, Salon, Huffington Post, The Nation, American Conservative Magazine, Mother Jones, Michael Moore.com, Le Monde, Daily Kos, Middle East Online, Guernica and others.

29 Comments