What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
Anybody who believes the mainstream media and the Bush administration when they try to convince us that they don’t torture detainees needs to wake up.
The Deseret News posted an article today from Dr. Brian Moench about Alyssa Peterson, an LDS RM who worked in the “cage” for a couple days, being forced to torture detainees. The military then lied, saying that Peterson died from a “non-hostile weapons discharge”. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed more of the truth. She committed suicide (although some speculate that there’s more truth to be had in this discovery…).
The article mentions a Kayla Williams, another RM who worked in the cage, who has written a book about her experience in Iraq:
Williams was also brought into “the cage” where she saw fellow soldiers hitting a naked prisoner in the face. She said, “They stripped prisoners naked and then removed their blindfolds, so that I was the first thing they saw. And then, we were supposed to mock them and degrade their manhood.” Other soldiers later told her that the old rules no longer applied. This was a different world and a new kind of war.
Interviewed by CNN in September of 2006, Williams said, “What I saw was that individuals who were doing interrogations had slipped over a line and were really doing things that were inappropriate.” After a couple of these sessions, she told a superior she thought they were violating the Geneva Convention and would never do it again.
What happened to other prisoners was much worse. At the request of the White House, U.S. servicemen and women, contract interrogators and CIA employees have beaten, maimed, sodomized and killed prisoners held in custody by the United States. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and in secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, prisoners have been electrically shocked, water boarded, starved, beaten and frozen to death, suffocated with hoods, hung upside down until dead and had their flesh seared off with chemicals. More than 100 Afghan and Iraqi prisoners have died in this manner while in U.S. custody.
Williams went on, “It also made me think, ‘what are we as humans that we do this to each other?’ It made me question my humanity and the humanity of all Americans. It was difficult and, to this day, I can no longer think I am a really good person and will do the right thing in the right situation. I did protest but only to the person in charge, and I did not file a report up the chain of command.”
This is despicable, and I am outraged that members of our military are participating in these acts. Our military, taking an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, should not tolerate nor obey such clandestine orders from the Executive.