Monday, December 1, 2008


The Mumbai terrorists tortured their victims, especially the Israelis.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.
Yes, these animals are (were, actually) vile, nasty, bigoted, vicious war criminals. It's hard to feel bad about the response of Indian security forces:
The doctors who conducted the post mortem said ..., "Their faces were beyond recognition."

There was no way of identifying them," he said. Asked how, if this is the case, they knew the bodies were indeed those of the terrorists, he said: "The security forces that brought the bodies told us that those were the bodies of the terrorists," he said, adding there was no other way they could have identified the bodies.

An intelligence agency source added: "One of the terrorists was shot through either eye."
It's a sad and mirthless irony that the Islamist terrorists were defaced like the Buddhas at Bamiyan and many other ancient statues.

Savagery begat more savagery in Mumbai. Nor are our hands clean.

In Afghanistan, we did not pick out civilians for torture the way the Islamists in Mumbai did. What we did, however, was to outsource that to our surrogates on the ground, and they chose whoever they wanted for internment at Bagram or Guantánamo. But, other than by hopeless and indefinite confinement, we (probably) didn't torture the low value sources. We can be so proud that we picked our torture victims for cause, rather than randomly - or racistly (right, no anti-Muslim bigotry here!).

Then again, at Abu Ghraib, we tortured widely, including some who were obviously guilty of nothing more than petty crime. Including some for whom no guilt could be established to even a low standard. The Bushist myth is that this torture was not a matter of policy, but it's clear from the spread of techniques that the violated policy was the policy against photography. A few bad apples, my ass. But that's our rationalization.

Of course, at Guantánamo, Don Rumsfeld specifically approved escalating tortures to be used against individual prisoners. But at least he unleashed them narrowly.

Those who required more torture than that we outsourced again, bagging them and tagging them for rendition. We didn't know for sure what would happen to them. Of course, we're such innocents of the evil men can devise to break other men that we can't be held accountable for that. Which is why we had to render them to the torturers.

Our claims of national virtue in the Bushist age are very small and hang by very thin reeds of rationalization. In other more dangerous times, this was not always so. I'm not urging that all these acts have moral equivalence, but they're much closer to each other than I'm used to having to own up to.

Human beings are capable of savagery, not just some of us, but most, maybe all. I believe that I am, too. Deep inside there's a place of pain and fear that overrides sweet reason and sympathy and the morals we've been taught. That's why we have laws. Had.

That's why the least Obama can do is close Guantánamo.

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