Now Is The Time to Tell of a Friendship Ended
We are giving on the job training for the torturers in our future. Since most of those who support a certain political agenda are consistently willing to turn a blind eye to this fact, I can perfectly well guess which side of the interrogation table in the closely barred room I will be on, if it comes to that.
That said, it is now time to put on record that I have cut people dead who have befriended me because they justified the torturers of Abu Ghraib. That line of continued dialog I will not cross.
They were decent enough people otherwise, solid churchgoing folks, who think well of themselves for being so (as churchgoing folks usually do, for all the talk about the sinfulness of mankind) and were generous enough to me to warrant my gratitude. I hold them in my mind with all the compassion I can muster for every sentient being, and, when I am able to in the future, because of genuine insight, I will do everything I can to truly help them.
But such compassion makes no demands on my private social intercourse in this life, and I will not endure it with them. Justification of torture is the limit.
I speak of this now because the most likely avenue for bringing the Administration members who have condoned torture to book is the newly filed lawsuit by the ACLU against Donald Rumsfeld, and others in the military chain of command.
I urge everyone who feels as I do to read the PDF timeline of the facts about Rumsfeld's involvement with the approval of torture. I also urge everyone to support the ACLU effort to pressure the Administration to appoint an independent counsel to investigate torture and release all documents pertinent to its stand on torture.
The seriousness of this effort can be measured by the following description of the former military and government officials who have joined the team of the plaintiffs in this suit:
The groups are joined as co-counsel in the lawsuit by Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN), former Judge Advocate General of the Navy; Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA), former Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals; and Bill Lann Lee, Chair of the Human Rights Practice Group at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. Admiral Hutson and General Cullen are "of counsel" to Human Rights First.
No one can say whether this suit will be successful, but, if it is relentlessly pursued by all of us who regard torture as an abomination and an indellible stain on this country's good name, it will at least make it abundantly clear who, in the future, we will have to cut dead.