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Ray's Letter to Washington Post on Racism and Torture

By       Message Ray McGovern     Permalink
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This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Reprinted from Ray McGovern Blog

(THE LETTER DID NOT RUN, NOR IS IT EXPECTED TO RUN; Ray just tacked on a last paragraph.)

From youtube.com/watch?v=LPyTiic91B4: US Homeland of Torture and Racism
US Homeland of Torture and Racism
(Image by YouTube)
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In "Our culture of evasion," on June 22, E. J. Dionne observes, "We Americans are exceptionally good at evasion when we want to be. Our skills in this sphere are particularly impressive on the matter of race and the subject of guns."

Add torture.

Dionne brands "manipulative" the common insistence that we must "heal and mourn first" out of respect for those murdered in Charleston, before asking, "what we must do as a nation." He suggests that this "is used as an excuse to delay reflection on why this happened until the moment of urgency passes. In media culture with a short attention span, there is no surer way to contain and marginalize the hard questions."

The "hard question" in this context is racism. But racism also lies at the root of torture -- not to mention our "wars of choice" that target people of color.

Dionne asks, "Are we so demented and our senate and house members so cowardly that they cannot even pass [gun-control] laws?" Let me flip the question over and suggest it is an equally cowardly evasion for our country's leaders to pretend we need new laws against torture rather than enforce those already on the books. (200-word limit)

[[[added paragraph]]] Sadly, that pretense is widely accepted by well-meaning human rights groups, who seem oblivious to the fact that the Army Field Manual they praise so highly permits interrogation techniques widely deemed to be torture. The latest legislative "remedy" -- the McCain-Feingold amendment (which has now been approved by the Senate) -- to the National Defense Authorization Act is little more than a cheap political stunt. It is, indeed, worse than nothing, since it fosters the impression that the torture commissioned by Bush and Cheney was somehow legal until now. Feingold is a lawyer, and she doesn't know that? Et tu, Dianne?

 

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
 

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