Sunday, February 12, 2006

Unforgivable

Forgive me if I fail to comprehend the abject incompetence of our legal system, while for more than four years our government has been torturing and murdering people in off-shore prisons without being called to account for this illegal, immoral and completely unethical and inhumane behavior. Are they all asleep at the wheel? What does it take to get them to act in a meaningful and effective manner?

Laws are being broken, and will continue to be broken, apparently forever, on the orders of just one man? This is not the way this country is supposed to operate.

For starters, these prisoners have been detained for more than four years, without trial. But that is only for starters. No amount of trials, show or otherwise, could ever justify torture, of any sort. Torture remains illegal to this day, and constitutes a grave crime against humanity, no matter the circumstance, no matter the convoluted rationalization. Not even the deaths of those tortured (i.e., those who are murdered, slowly and painfully) can seem to rouse the justice system from its deep slumber.

Why is no one being called to account for these nightmarish violations being done in our names? Mark Kleiman of The Reality-Based Community blog makes the case most tersely:
“Torture is a power that no human being, or institution composed of human beings, can be trusted to possess. For associating my country and its flag with these atrocities, I can never forgive George W. Bush and his partners in crime. Impeach Bush? Hell, no! Ship the bastard off to the Hague and put him on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
I have to wonder why we bother with laws and governments at all if all it takes is one madman to violate the most fundamental of human rights with impunity. Why sign treaties, why write laws, why create the framework of a legal system, why bother with any of it, if persistent violations result in no action whatsoever?

Yes, Mark, you are exactly correct: Bush belongs in the dock of the Hague, and the crimes he and his cronies have committed are crimes that are unforgivable. But what does this matter if no one seems to care?

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