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May 19, 2009

Understanding Torture

By Rafe Pilgrim

It appears that a considerable segment of the American electorate is quite readily agreeable with shushing up American torture.


Apparently, according to a recent item by John Dean, a decent chap, the problem that Obama has with exposing and dealing with torture, is that it would trouble the folks who employed it or tolerated the practice under their watch.
And then there's the proposition that we should "look forward," and not backwards (at variance with the advice of scholars that we should learn from the past) and certainly not sideways (suspicious, don't you know, perhaps even paranoid, and you really need to seek help!)
Dayem!  Why didn't we think of all that! 
Goodness, we at least could have followed the examples of our prudent congressfolk and of the silent church.  And one should certainly be more considerate of those who advise that expressing outrage is just not nice.  And hey, how about some patriotism!  America:  Love it or Leave It!
But I must admit, having served nine years in the Air Force, there were times when I was tempted to support shushing America's critics, but such persuasion has now fully faded in recollection of the images of Eichmann, Heydrich and Himler, and the justice we demanded at Nuremberg.
I have for the past eight or so years been desperately seeking integrity and courage among our chosen leaders, and more pronounced expression of intelligence and decency in America's electorate.  I now sadly conclude that perhaps those qualities are indeed more verdant elsewhere.

Submitters Bio:

Rafe Pilgrim, after "a life largely wasted on hard honest work," found himself a jungle of turkey oak, scrub pine and giant palmettos up a dirt road running east of Crystal River, Florida, which neither school busses nor the U.S. Postal Service dare to assay. Sharing a house of his own design with Spanky the cat, Darla a pit bull, and a foundling of mysterious breed named Alfalfa -- all collectively known as Our Gang -- he spends his time "productively: writing poetry, working for peace, and gazing at the sky."


Central High School of Philadelphia, University of Maryland, Syracuse University, University of Maine, Ursinus College, Air Force Intelligence (Washington D.C., Germany), Ford Motor Company, Philco-Ford Corporation, Eighth Day Gallery, Phi Kappa Phi, Romey Everdell Award for Journalism,(1988), Hole in one (1998), and struggling to find America ever since 2000.