America Does Not Torture

Tony Lagouranis, an interrogation specialist for the Army in Iraq, earned his discharge in 2005 and came home. Then the anxiety began. Struggling with the memory of what he did, Lagouranis eventually wrote a book.

In Mosul, he took detainees outside the prison gate to a metal shipping container they called “the disco,” with blaring music and lights. Before and after questioning, military police officers stripped them and checked for injuries, noting cuts and bumps “like a car inspection at a parking garage.” Once a week, an Iraqi councilman and an American colonel visited. “We had to hide the tortured guys,” Lagouranis said.

Then a soldier’s aunt sent over several copies of Viktor E. Frankel’s Holocaust memoir, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Lagouranis found himself trying to pick up tips from the Nazis. He realized he had gone too far.

The roots of principled, humane behavior run deep in America. But given a certain kind leadership and a convenient national emergency they can be torn out.

***Update***

In a second article the New York Times does a disturbingly good job explaining how the Soviet Union’s preferred torture policies became our torture policy. Read the article and then these two posts by Andrew Sullivan. It has become practically impossible to prpoerly my contempt for those who continue to defend this behavior as fine and normal for a country of America’s stature.

That hardly means that I want to suppress the torture-craving audience members who hooted and cheered when Rudy Giuliani endorsed any abuse “that his interrogators could think of.” Just the reverse, for far too long people with this sick mentality have passed themselves off as normal Americans. This fully explains how an utterly amoral, narcissistic son of privilege president and the pathological cases who permeate his administration credibly ran for office. The more people like this hold up their hands and voluntarily identify themselves the easier we can exclude them from polite society. Frankly, I want a party that explicitly supports torture of American detainees, and endorses endless military adventurism as a foreign policy. Throw in the Dobsonsonite christianists and you have a convenient catchbasin for the 26% nutters who wreck the country when they win elections under the guise of reasonableness.

In oher words, I want the modern GOP to stay just like it is.






26 replies
  1. 1
    Rome Again says:

    The roots of principled, humane behavior run deep in America. But given a certain kind leadership and a convenient national emergency they can be torn out.

    Gee, where is Darrell lately? I really want to get his take on this.

  2. 2

    I find it fitting that our nation has lost its perceived moral high ground at the exact same time it lost its military and economic might. We’re fucked in so many ways by this Administration, I think it might take 15 years for the depth of it to really sink in.

    Still, at least Bush doesn’t wind surf or preside at gay marriages, and those were the most pressing issues facing our nation in 2004. Just like 2000 was all about the blowjobs.

  3. 3
    Rome Again says:

    Still, at least Bush doesn’t wind surf or preside at gay marriages, and those were the most pressing issues facing our nation in 2004. Just like 2000 was all about the blowjobs.

    Heaven forbid the American public becomes influenced by a president who falls into sexual promiscuity, So long as that never happens, we’re going to be alright, I’m so sure of it.

    ::looks for an exit sign::

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    Hey, lookie here! This guy has been in Gitmo for FIVE years, and in just minutes, all charges dropped. Yeah, I bet HE won’t want some sort of revenge…

    And here’s the line that I just don’t understand:

    The dismissal of the charges does not mean he will be freed from Guantanamo.

    WTF? “We’ve found you innocent (technicality or otherwise), but we’re not releasing you”??? Lawyers, anyone? Pooh?

  5. 5

    Heaven forbid the American public becomes influenced by a president who falls into sexual promiscuity, So long as that never happens, we’re going to be alright, I’m so sure of it.

    I’m voting for the candidate least likely to cheat on his wife. That’d be Kucinich. (Well, technically, Hillary too; but her husband would be First Man then, and that title sounds kind of lame. Since my vote relies on knee-jerk generalities and trivial caprices, I’m a Kucinich man!)

  6. 6

    WTF? “We’ve found you innocent (technicality or otherwise), but we’re not releasing you”??? Lawyers, anyone? Pooh?

    I’m sure there’s a precedent for this kind of thing. Dred Scott, maybe, or maybe something in Korematsu or Quirin.

    Ho ho ho, bitches!

  7. 7

    That hardly means that I want to suppress the torture-craving audience members who hooted and cheered when Rudy Giuliani endorsed any abuse “that his interrogators could think of.” Just the reverse, for far too long people with this sick mentality have passed themselves off as normal Americans. This fully explains how an utterly amoral, narcissistic son of privilege president and the pathological cases who permeate his administration managed to sell themselves as upstanding citizens well enough to credibly run for office. The more people like this hold up their hands and voluntarily identify themselves the easier we can exclude them from polite society. Frankly, I want a party that explicitly supports torture of American detainees, and endorses endless military adventurism as a foreign policy. Throw in the Dobsonsonite christianists and you have a convenient catchbasin for the 26% nutters who wreck the country when they win elections under the disguise of reasonableness.

    In oher words, I want the modern GOP to stay just like it is.

    You must love those Brownbackers, then.

  8. 8
    norbizness says:

    Punchy: I think it has something to do with the home countries not wanting them, probably because they’ve been radicalized even if they weren’t any sort of terrorist to begin with.

    They call it Catch-23, and it’s the worst that is.

  9. 9
    Jake says:

    I understand the full statement is: America does not torture Americans in America.
    Anyone who says otherwise needs to watch their step.

    Of course, if pressed for a response the White House will point to this article and hint that Lagouranis seems a bit “confused,” or maybe they’ll just come out and say he’s crazy.

    The origins of his “confusion” won’t be addressed.

  10. 10
    Rome Again says:

    Punchy: I think it has something to do with the home countries not wanting them, probably because they’ve been radicalized even if they weren’t any sort of terrorist to begin with.

    They call it Catch-23, and it’s the worst that is.

    My right-winger brother always did like to use the term “man without a country”. I think he secretly fantasized of seeing loads of non-conservatives end up totally disenfranchised from their national identity.

  11. 11

    Of course, if pressed for a response the White House will point to this article and hint that Lagouranis seems a bit “confused,” or maybe they’ll just come out and say he’s crazy.

    He’s a disgruntled former government employee who has a book coming out. Pay him no mind, folks. Pay him no mind.

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    I understand the full statement is: Aside from Jose Padilla, America does not torture Americans in America.

    fixed.

  13. 13
    Wilfred says:

    Frankly, I want a party that explicitly supports torture of American detainees, and endorses endless military adventurism as a foreign policy.

    The more the sadistic militarists expose themselves the better off we all are. Decency starts with the company you keep. I’ll bet there still are sufficient numbers of people who recoil automatically from the war pigs crowd. Great post.

  14. 14

    My right-winger brother always did like to use the term “man without a country”. I think he secretly fantasized of seeing loads of non-conservatives end up totally disenfranchised from their national identity.

    Leaving aside Godwin’s Law for a minute, there’s a lot of historical precedent for this sort of thing.

  15. 15
    Jake says:

    Punchy:

    He dismissed the charges, but left open the possibility that charges could be re-filed if Khadr went back before a review board and was formally classified as an “unlawful enemy combatant.”

    There you go. They just have to stick the proper label on this guy.

    Slightly less snarky: The RB will get a second chance to prove he’s an UEC. (Is there any such thing as a LAWFUL enemy combatant?) I assume if that fails he’d be released.

  16. 16
    Andrew says:

    I understand the full statement is: Aside from Jose Padilla, America does not torture Americans in America.

    fixed.

    Brown people don’t count, duh.

  17. 17
    Rome Again says:

    Leaving aside Godwin’s Law for a minute, there’s a lot of historical precedent for this sort of thing.

    Yeah, thanks for that – you’re a real peach!

    Should I start reading conspiracy sites that list the old military bases being turned into concentration camps?

  18. 18
    Rome Again says:

    In oher words, I want the modern GOP to stay just like it is.

    Somehow I think John disagrees with you on that one. I think he would rather have a sane version of his party back. What says John?

  19. 19
    Tax Analyst says:

    Rome Again Says:

    Punchy: I think it has something to do with the home countries not wanting them, probably because they’ve been radicalized even if they weren’t any sort of terrorist to begin with.

    They call it Catch-23, and it’s the worst that is.

    My right-winger brother always did like to use the term “man without a country”. I think he secretly fantasized of seeing loads of non-conservatives end up totally disenfranchised from their national identity.

    Hey! That sounds EXACTLY like MY Right-Wing brother. You aren’t, by any chance, me…are you?

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    He dismissed the charges, but left open the possibility that charges could be re-filed if Khadr went back before a review board and was formally classified as an “unlawful enemy combatant.”

    Holy fucking shit. They get a do-over simply by re-inventing his status. Defense lawyers everywhere must by just staring at their TeeVee and computer screens, dumbfounded.

    Ya know, if this were in a movie, I’d turn it off, disgusted at how unrealistic and phony its premise was. Yet…Just wow.

  21. 21
    Punchy says:

    Ha ha!! Wanna bet this’ll suddenly exists 71 hours from now?

    Under the new war-crimes trial system, the prosecution has 72 hours to appeal, but the court designated to hear the appeal — known as the court of military commissions review — doesn’t even exist, Sullivan noted

  22. 22
    Rome Again says:

    Hey! That sounds EXACTLY like MY Right-Wing brother. You aren’t, by any chance, me…are you?

    Well, no, I’m not a tax analyst, but, my mother did produce at least one child out of wedlock, perhaps we’re related and just don’t know it. ;)

    [Yeah, I fully admit she did that, it’s okay, my therapeutic plan involves keeping family skeletons OUT of the closet! I deal much better with it out in the open, although my siblings don’t. Too bad, they’re not here and if they were, I’d merely flip em the bird and move on anyway. No skin off my back, hehe].

  23. 23

    Should I start reading conspiracy sites that list the old military bases being turned into concentration camps?

    ???

  24. 24
    Rome Again says:

    ???

    It was a joke oh supernaturally gifted one, but, if you care to use zombie Google, you’ll find material there that will curl your disgustingly putrid and disintegrating toes.

    ;)

  25. 25
    BIRDZILLA says:

    What about the torture of american POWs by the vietcong will the liberals ever aknowlage that and when BILL CLINTON paid a visit to the commies after leaving office and how many POWs were tortured becase they would,nt join with HANOI JANE to denounce the USA SCREWBALL LIBERALS

  26. 26
    John Rohan says:

    The US does NOT torture.

    I am a former US Army interrogator and two tour Iraq war veteran. What Tony Lagouranis did was NOT legal and NOT US policy. Both he and his immediate supervisor (which by his description was his interrogation team chief) should be prosecuted and jailed. Instead, the liberal media is making this criminal rich by publicizing his book.

    And if you think Andrew Sullivan is a qualified authority here, you might want to look at this.

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