Treason And Torture

Matt Taibbi is tired of being called a traitor for opposing torture:

There are a lot of people in this country who genuinely believe that torture opponents are “not upset” about things like 9/11 or the beheading of American hostages. The idea that “no one complains when Americans are murdered” is crazy of course we “complained,” and of course we’d all like to round up those machete-wielding monsters and shoot them into space but these people really believe this, they really believe that torture opponents are secretly unimpressed/untroubled by Islamic terrorism, at least as compared to American “enhanced interrogation.” For them to believe that, they must really believe that such people are traitors, nursing a secret agenda (an agenda perhaps unknown even to themselves, their America-hatred being ingrained so deep) against their own country. Which is really an amazing thing for large numbers of Americans to believe about another large group of Americans, when you think about it.

I don't think my own anti-Jihadist credentials are in doubt. Just browse through the archives. As a proud gay man, I'd be one of the first to have my head sliced off by these murderous medieval morons. I want every last one of them fought with every legitimate weapon we have and brought to justice.

But you know what? They haven't been brought to justice, have they?

Bin Laden remains uncaptured, his legend alive, his minions helping to destabilize Afghanistan and now Pakistan. Khaled Sheikh Mohammed has not been tried. Almost no one has. Because Bush's torture program has made it impossible to put any of them on trial, to demonstrate, as we did at Nuremberg, how callous and deluded and vile they are. Because it would reveal our own descent into barbarism and show how Cheney's version of "truth" wouldn't survive an instant of scrutiny in a real court of law.

Instead, we sold our soul, tortured them by the hundreds and thousands in the cold cell intelligence factories Cheney set up across the world - and somehow managed to make America, seven years after 9/11, the object of moral scorn around the world. The image of a man shackled by the wrists on a wall, frozen to near-death and doused with cold water for hours and sleepless hours on end has come, these last few years, to stand for something American in the global psyche. You think that has made us safer? You know how difficult that was?

And you know what other victims of torture in hellish despotisms across the world now know?

They know America does it too.

And a little hope is snuffed for a little while longer.