Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Blind justice

CIA employee Jon Kiriakou will now go to jail for spilling state secrets. NOT DONE, Jon, telling reporters the identities of the guys who torture people wearing handcuffs. We know who you are.

Sadly for the moral state of our society, we do not know the identities of the people who carried out these heinous acts because we have decided not to know. They are the faceless executioners of our collective decision to toss out human rights as a fundamental principle of our judicial and punitive actions and to return to the Star Chambers of old.

We decided that that dumping 500 years of civil protections against arbitrary state power was a minor price to pay for making sure the perpetrators of the attack on our society were caught and that future attacks were be prevented—as if there could be a guarantee of that.

The desire for revenge also played a considerable role.

To avoid prosecution for ‘espionage’, Kiriakou has now pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Espionage usually means telling secrets to a foreign power. In his case, that foreign entity was us.

Kiriakou revealed to reporters that one of his CIA colleagues was taking round-the-world tours to secret CIA dungeons where he (or she) personally oversaw and even engaged in the torture of prisoners.

Torture wasn’t actually legal at the time, but the defense of that sacred statute has been deemed unnecessary thanks to the decision by a Mr Obama not to pursue prosecutions for such illegal behavior. Wink wink.

So torturing people? Meh. But hey, telling the public this nasty little secret, not a good idea at all.

Many people have warned the nation that saying yes to torture was a dangerous, slippery slope from which there would be no easy return. We Americans largely ignored that. Like I was told by a Chilean momio (supporter of the Pinochet dictatorship) in the 1980s, If I were to see torture, I would be against it.

So that solves it! Just keep it out of our sight, but don’t worry about being punished. We’ll concentrate our fire on the guy who disturbs our sleep by telling us what is going on in our name.

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