Inspection- Drones v. Torture

by Ken Carman

  Really?
  How is this even considered a “rational” discussion we must have?
  SIGH.
  After the torture report was released, all this was pushed even more forward onto the national stage by Cheney’s own personal drone: his gravelly ominous baritone that goes on, and on, and on, and on… pretty much defining the term “monotone.” Once upon a more sane Cheney time some may have considered it soothing. It certainly sounded far more rational. These days sometimes I wonder if it’s all just an attempt to make the irrational sound rational to those who have poor listening skills. To sooth those who can’t comprehending the usual content that’s a mix of crazy, blood drippings, sneer and hated for anyone who dares challenge anything and everything that pours forth from his smirk laden piehole.
  Didn’t he once argue that there were so many factions in Iraq that taking it apart was irrational?
  Made sense to me then.
  Still made sense to me when he argued the other way years later.
  Makes sense to me now he helped turn Iraq into that hell hole he once predicted.
  And when it comes to torture Cheney makes even less sense. One of his quite odd talking points regarding what torture really is was an example of a man in the towers on 9/11 who was about to die as the fires raged as he spent his last moments on the phone to his family. Problem being: that is not torture. Torment? Hell, yeah. Horrible? Of course. Torture? Doesn’t even come close to fitting the current usage of torture.
  Like all the rest of his examples what he’s was mostly referring to was another horrific concept; “collateral damage:” the concept that in the pursuit of a goal there is a certain amount of acceptable, expendable, human life. A concept as old as war itself, and admittedly horrific. And, apparently when it comes to innocent dying, something else he has no problem with if it’s something he wants done.
 Challenge him and he attempts to distract by changing the subject.
 I’m sorry, Mr, Cheney, but you won’t distract me, or get to order me as to what I should be “more concerned” about. In response to your demands I raise the same finger you did so publicly to another pol when you were VP. If you insist should I “accidentally” shoot you in the face and demand you apologize to me?
 Sometimes I wonder if sadistic violence and nastiness is all this creep understands.
  But I’m sure he knows that, as bad as it is, collateral damage is not “torture.” “Torture” has a rather specific meaning.
  Bin Laden and his pilots never intended target this man he talks about specifically. They didn’t drag him up to some floor he couldn’t escape from. They didn’t give him a cell phone so he could torment his family with his final cries.
  It’s terrible: yes, but not the same concept as torture.
  Mr. Cheney is not an ignorant man.
  Dick Cheney knows this.
  As usual Dick is trying to muddy the conversation whenever it comes to personal responsibility that might apply to him, kind over like he had “better things to do” than serve during the time of Nam. Distract, distract, distract. Mr. Cheney’s concept of responsibility only applies to damn near everyone else. In other words everyone he hates. Which, once again, pretty much includes anyone who dares to disagree with his Royal Sociopathic Highness.
  But let’s get to the debate some on the right so desperately want us to have: drones v. torture, which essentially is really collateral damage via remote control vs. torture.
  Well, on the…uh, “positive” (???) side, torture doesn’t always end in death like drones so often do, though it certainly has many, many times. Though we need to be reminded that those who gleefully drool at the concept of torture when it suits them have no problem with 9/11 like actions that result in vast carnage, like Coulter saying we should bomb Syria back to the stone age, or sneer driven comment that the terrorists should have hit the New York Times instead of the towers.
  But the victim in torture has been specifically targeted, unlike with drones: even innocents.
  Someone who is tortured has been “targeted” in a very specific S&M way, especially if the torture happens after the victim gives information. They have a point to make that goes beyond any goal. The tortured is turned into an inferior, an object: less than human. He becomes like the Jews in WWII, or those murdered in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge. It’s even worse than that. The torturer becomes Mengele.
  Torture is sociopathic because torture makes he who is tortured say whatever it takes to make it stop. Even if it’s an outright lie. Torture, at best, assumes everyone is lying and must be forced to tell the truth. Even when they tell the truth. And since everyone is assumed to be lying it becomes an excuse to torture more. Torture naturally leads to more torture and worse: more horrific, methods.
  But what if it really works? Is that good enough a reason? Well, if torture really works then we should drop all this nonsense of innocent until proven guilty and use thumb screws on he who won’t admit he was speeding. A husband who won’t admit he’s cheating? Well, adultery is illegal, water-board the bastard until he admits what he did. And if he’s actually innocent just give a Cheney shrug and offer some example that distracts from what we did.
  Torture is the opposite of innocent until proven guilty. It is more a companion, a friend, of the worst, most sociopathic, forms of collateral damage. Those who support one under certain circumstances usually support the other under those same circumstances.
 Torture v. drones? It’s not even a valid question, since those who ask usually have no problem with either, even enjoy both when it suits their sadistic natures. And both create more enemies. One certainly could claim torture creates more since, if the tortured innocent lives, he will inspire more to turn against us.
 Whether they have “legal rights” doesn’t mean squat. We’re talking human rights: period. It’s, once again, a sociopath’s attempt to turn the other into an inferior, less than human, and distract from our own excesses. It’s like OJ on steroids: find any supposed loophole to excuse your methods. I’m sure Mengele would approve.
  Does society view torture as worse?
  In this country we have the death penalty. We have shot, gassed, hanged and drugged people to death. Sometimes it goes wrong and we do what we can to fix how we execute people. On our streets police sometimes shoot at fleeing suspects and innocents die, much like using drones kill innocents in a more massive way.
  When that happens then? We investigate, we change procedures and occasionally punish out police.
  But, despite there being a death penalty, we are not allowed to torture people to death. Police can shoot them, and sometimes that causes a lot of angst, as per Zimmerman, Ferguson and so many more. But police are never, ever, allowed to capture them and then torture them. While it may happen, unlike killing, it is absolutely forbidden.
  Society views it as worse than killing: even if there’s “collateral damage.”
  And it damn well should.

                                              -30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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