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How About Them Names?

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CIA is an organization. KSM is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a person. An organization captured a person. That's how it becomes an OK thing. If a person captures an organization (a case when Vincent Bugliosi- VB, tried Helter- Skelter)- that would be a big spin, something really unusual. Otherwise- we are OK with the process, no biggie. Organization in Russian means "organu'. In Russia organu were always right and never had an individual name. That way an individual becomes an object of the organu's affection. The loving hand of the organu seized KSM and delivered him for processing. He confessed. End of the story. Nothing personal. Nothing humane either.

We should not try KSM in the open court because he already confessed in being a mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attack. That's what we hear in the media every day. In the book To Kill A Mockingbird a black man, Tom Robinson stays on trial for allegedly raping a white woman. A very much biased court convicts him but he remains Tom Robinson, a human being, not a TR. Those bigots, they were more human than we are now. They accepted a responsibility of their actions; they looked into the eyes of their victim. We don't. The name of the man we target is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. You can google the name and find out that Khalid is the name of the pre-islamic Arabic general Khalid-Ibn Walid who defeated Byzantines and Sassanides. Sheikh means a man of wisdom and Mohammed is the name of the Prophet. That's how his parents called him. How do you call your children? Would you prefer your child to retain his/her name under any circumstances? If we detain a human being and want to try him we should at least have a decency and courage to look him into the eyes and call him by his name. We extended that courtesy to John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed deserves that much.

Instead we put hoods over their heads and follow the cowardly path of those before us. When Klaus von Stauffenberg was dragged before the firing squad together with his lieutenant, the Nazi executioner shouted, 'Those are the people whose names I don't want to speak out!' To which Klaus replied, 'Germany will remember our names.' And indeed she did.

Names make us human. On the notorious Moscow Trials in 1936, 1937 the people wrongly accused of terrible crimes were stripped of their names. They were addressed as , 'The accused..' The prosecutor would dictate the accused Ikramov or accused Krestinsky to answer the questions and people in the country would then forget who those people were, that Ikramov's name was Akmal and Krestinsky's- Nicholai. They were not humans anymore and then Bucharin could call himself 'a fully disrobed human-looking beast' and nobody would be surprised. We are not disgusted or surprised when KSM is tortured. It is like puncturing a voodoo doll. He is not human in our eyes. We know that ALL International laws were broken when CIA 'got' him. We know that when he was tortured it was not about 9/11 and not about our security. It was pure malice. That's why we hide behind the abbreviations and turn our eyes away. We are worse than those jurors who convicted Tom Robinson.

Names are our connections to the past. John is a common name. But it comes from the Bible, from John, the Baptist. He sacrificed his life for the new religion, new morality where 'there is neither Jew nor the Hellenic,' where all were equal in the eyes of God. John Fitzgerald Kennedy- John, son of Gerald, was our President. Son of Gerald means, "son of the ruler with a spear'. Beautiful, isn't it? Those who killed him didn't care for all that. But we should. It was not JFK who was killed, it was John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the world stood still for a moment on that fateful day.

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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