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To Leave This Judgment to History…

March 9, 2010

A Salon piece by Mark Benjamin quotes the following from a 2003 CIA Office of Medical Services document:

“In our limited experience, extensive sustained use of the waterboard can introduce new risks. Most seriously, for reasons of physical fatigue or psychological resignation, the subject may simply give up, allowing excessive filling of the airways and loss of consciousness.”

The U.S. government waterboarded detainees to the point that the detainees tried to let themselves drown. This is torture. This is reprehensible. It is beyond unfortunate – exceedingly shameful – that the Obama Administration has failed in its legal and moral duty to bring those who perpetrated these heinous acts and crimes against humanity to justice. If we leave this judgment to history, as the Administration (especially Rahm Emmanuel though not as much Eric Holder) apparently hope to do, and thereby tacitly approve of what certain American governmental actors have done, we will all be implicated in their crimes. I hope that the courage can be found to confront these crimes today, as history won’t, and shouldn’t, be kind.

I’ve meant for some time to write on torture and the various issues related to as it is something about which I’m intensely passionate. However, their moral weight keeps me from posting anything that isn’t fully elaborated and documented, a task for which I’ve yet to find the time, energy or concentration. Eventually, I hope to put something together that touches on the torture regime, Guantanamo, my possible future professor John Yoo and the failure of American values in the wake of 9/11.

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