Pat Buchanan and others on the political right are suggesting that the Crotch Bomber should be denied pain medication to extract information from him. Bush-era Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge is suggesting that holding him in prison and trying him in federal courts – as the Bush administration did with the like-minded Shoe Bomber – is a travesty, apparently believing he should be somewhere else where we can use (sic) “more effective means” of extracting information from him.
That’s not the American Way, guys, recent evidence to the contrary. It’s the Way of other folks – the ones we traditionally fight against.
I can’t bring myself to state strongly enough how wrong this is. As an itinerant ex-pat who is furiously patriotic to this country, the whole idea that the United States of America should do things like withhold pain medication from prisoners with burns to their testicles makes me batshit crazy with anger.
One of my failings is an addiction to Dale Brown novels. They are at best poorly-written and at worst purely playing to prurient fantasies of Righteous Testosterone-induce Justice. But they’re full of damn cool weapons systems and really evil bad-guys that you just can’t help wanting to see killed in spectacular ways. A more gung-ho munitions-packed gratuitously-violent paean to the virtues of American Moral Exceptionalism and the Clear Justification for Killing Its Enemies is very hard to find.
One of the mechanisms Mr. Brown uses time and again to setup the odds-against rescue of captured American Warriors is to make it overwhelming clear that if we don’t go in there with rockets blazing and Get Our Man Out those evil fuckers will torture him to death! The miserable cronies of the narcissistic Dictator will break his limbs and mind while denying him pain medication until the brave lad is a gibbering wreck.
This is why America holds the higher ground over al Qaeda, the Waffen SS, Somali warlords and all the rest of the real and fictional embodiments of the Evil that Lurks in the Hearts of Men. Because we not only don’t do these things but that the mere suggestion that someone would is enough to make us risk everything to stop it.
At what point the moral and ethical people among the political Right (we all know they exist) stand up and call bullshit on the line of ill-reasoning that stands the foundation of American ethics on its head is something we all are waiting to learn. When does the Newspeak of “torture is freedom” break free from the bonds of political expediency and shatter the glass walls of personal gain?
When will a Senator Joseph Paine break and speak the truth, that there is something special worth protecting about America, whatever the cost?