I am not a United States Senator today. I am not a candidate for President. Today, on the 6th anniversary of the first incarcerations at Guantanamo, I am a man who has been tortured.
There are two key types of people in the world, and I am both of them. I have been tortured, and I have tortured. I have suffered man's inhumanity to man, and I have turned on my fellow human beings. I am a victim and a criminal. I am a victim who has turned against the victims. I have done the worst possible thing in the world to my brothers and sisters. I am the modern incarnation of the curse of Cain, tailored to the needs of the television networks, presented like a Mcjob, a McSenator, a McHero. I am nothing of the sort.
You imagine I opposed the legalization and the normalization of torture by the United States. For show I did so, yes. I helped to pass a bill banning torture. But why in the world would I do such a thing? Torture has long been banned by our Constitution, our law, and international covenants. The current president and vice president tortured in knowing violation of the law, an act that merits immediate impeachment, removal, and prosecution. But have you heard me speak up for justice?
Then we came back and legalized torture with new legislation. And did you see me filibuster? Did I speak out? Did I launch a hunger strike? Sure, that would have been extreme, but in Guantanamo it is commonplace. So are suicide attempts. When three prisoners committed suicide together in Guantanamo, do you know what the commander of our prison camp did? He announced that these men's suicides constituted an unfair act of war against the United States.
I came as close as one can come to suicide in Vietnam, and it never once occurred to me that my death would hurt the monsters who were putting me through an existence worse than death. I considered suicide out of the most desperate horror, out of a terror to believe that life could be what I was experiencing it to be, and out of deep doubt that my life would ever change into something else.
I've seen people simulate waterboarding on the sidewalk in Washington to make a point, and then I've watched TV pundits comment that it didn't look so bad. How could it? The victim knew he would live. A victim of real torture believes the torture may end in murder.
And a victim of real torture will say anything. Just from the stress of television interviews, I'll make up the wildest stories, such as that I've never brought home any pork from Washington. Under torture I said anything that I thought would make the torturers happy. I'm no hero. Neither perhaps are any of the other chumps running for president. My recommendation to you is to limit the penetration into your house of election lunacy, and instead focus on forcing the current government to end torture, something that can be done only with impeachment.
If we will torture, there is nothing we won't do. We'll even prolong bloody wars for political points.
I hereby remove myself from the presidential election.