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If Our Leaders Won't Stop Torture, We Will

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 If our leaders won't end the torture, my friends in Chicago will. They and others from across the nation will show through examples why America can not be a nation that tortures.

The response my friends get when they put on waterboarding demonstrations and when they put on the jumpsuits is extraordinary. It's promising and it gives me hope that people might find the courage to stand up and demand an end to the torture.

People (in this video) stop to take pictures. My hope is that they are not just tourists taking pictures of animals at the zoo. I hope they aren't just going home to say, "Honey, you wouldn't believe it! Today I saw the craziest freaks putting on the craziest show in the Metra station!"

I hope people stop and think of the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. 

I hope people wonder when the madness of torture and prisoner abuse is going to come to an end.

I hope people wish McCain would return to his anti-torture roots and that Obama would be more forceful against treating our enemies like dog sh*t.

Dog sh*t is the literal translation of "enemy combatant." "Enemy combatant" is political cover for torture, prisoner abuse, and the suspension of habeas corpus.

We get upset about cows that are abused yet haven't the decency to get upset about abused humans.

Do we have to wait for the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals to demand that we treat so-called "enemy combatants" with the same respect that we demand cows be given or are we going to stand up to this madness?

Our leaders of absolved themselves of their duty to show moral clarity on this issue. They have allowed our media news organizations to parade graphics and pundits across news shows to muddy our thinking about what torture is legal and what torture is illegal. 

A staggering 44% of Americans think torture of terrorist suspects should be allowed. This percentage grew from 36%, according to 

Who are we as a nation, as a people, if we think a suspect deserves torture? What does this mean for suspects in our own prison system?

This doesn't even poll people on what they think of the indefinite imprisonment of terror suspects or "enemy combatants" without trial. If 44% support torture, how many support no right to trial for terror suspects?

The culture that defines us is becoming more shallow each day.

Without actions like the ones my friends in Chicago have engaged in, we face the prospect of becoming a nation which forsakes humanity. 

We must confront those who claim torture to be permissible and not be afraid to engage in a meaningful agenda to remove torture as policy from our nation's domestic and foreign policy as well as the various organizations that engage in torture. 


Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)

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Good job! Don't let them turn a blind eye to t... by Ron R. on Saturday, Jun 28, 2008 at 2:05:47 AM
     After learning of the kil... by LiveFree on Saturday, Jun 28, 2008 at 1:01:13 PM
Will you pressure Obama with peaceful words to be ... by Kevin Gosztola on Saturday, Jun 28, 2008 at 2:50:39 PM
What you're saying is so important - I hope that t... by Cheryl Abraham on Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 4:41:49 PM
It's actually being passed around right now.... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 5:40:41 PM
Loved the poem. Can you post it?... by JoAnn Walker on Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 9:48:33 PM