Its both disturbing and disgusting to hear the Bush apologists rationalize the torture of any or all prisoners taken in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is on their part the assumption that if these people were taken into custody, they must be terrorists, thus any and all treatment is justified. Many if not most of the prisoners taken in so far are either innocent of any wrong doing or simply soldiers fighting like in any war. In war both sides try and kill each other, by definition thats what war is and the Geneva Convention certainly applies.
Being the good guys is hard. Sometimes it means not giving in to your basest instincts. Yes, some of those rounded up have probably engaged in the worse kind of depraved behavior, but they still deserve due process. Torture is a demon, that let out of hell engulfs everything. By allowing it, the moral stench will stick to the U.S. the same way it sticks to every country that has ever preformed or condoned it.
I’m a Torture Survivor in a Country Where Torturers Are Still Free
No one can really understand what being tortured means until that fateful moment when you find yourself naked, blindfolded and tied up at the mercy of your captors. Your entire life is confined to that fragile moment when darkness becomes your enemy, yet at the same time, is your only ally, a refuge from madness. There is neither past nor future, only the present of screams, fury and impotence when you find yourself defenceless at the mercy of the torturer’s rage and coldness. You never know when he is going to hit, shout, kick, hang, electrocute or kill you. You wait in darkness, disoriented, trying to guess where the next blow will come from, your heart escaping through your dry mouth hoping that your bones will resist the incessant pounding. You just try to stay alive, breathe madly after every electric shock, because you scream so much and so loudly that you feel that even the earth’s entire air supply will not be enough for you. But you keep on screaming amidst an explosion of a thousand colours that burn your flesh and shake you body. You can’t control electricity, you can’t tame electricity, but amidst the bewildering storm of sparks and death rattles you can dream of green unicorns and the first time you made love right by the sea. Then it becomes somewhat easier to dream of the day when no human being would ever torture another human being just because he thinks differently.
Unfortunately today, 30 years later, I’m not sure this will never happen again in my homeland. Because, although for the first time in three decades it has been officially recognized that thousands of Chileans were tortured by the military dictatorship, not a word has been said about bringing those torturers to justice. So, what will prevent them from doing it again?