The American Secretary of State Incompetetentalleezza Rice visited new German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and was promptly pelted with questions about American unlawful "extraordinary rendition" (no denying that, please) kidnapping and rendition of prisoners believed to be terror suspects to friendly third countries where they could be tortured and abused, and most importantly, be tortured and abused beyond the reach and oversight of American law.
One such renditionee is a German national kidnapped to Afghanistan and unlawfully (he alleges) abused and tortured there... before eventually released after five months or so.
Some of the cooperating third countries are our "New Europe" allies in Eastern Europe, and some are in the Middle East, and some are, let's face it, God knows where.
Rice's response, of course, was to try to duck the questions (about ghost prisons and renditions and torture and s***) entirely; certainly, no satisfying answers were reached on the subject, and in the case of the German national (a Mr. al-Masri), Rice contradicted the German Chancellor's exclamation that the United States admitted it erred in his case, while the SecState's response was "if mistakes were made-- which they most assuredly were not-- we will take corrective measures-- if we feel like it-- which we most assuredly do not." With respect (I love that expression), the SecState doesn't necessarily want to compromise the legal position of the United States in a case just filed against it.
Still, these are rather troubling allegations. The premise of our "War on Terror TM" is that because there are "rogue states" (Afghanistan and Iraq) who do not obey international norms and harbor terrorists and cost Poppy Bush (which, btw, I'm
convinced is a reference to the flower rather than some friendly fatherly type thing) the 1992 election... they have to be stopped, even by preemptive force if necessary. So... we go on to behave as if we are a rogue state, acting ourselves as if we were international terrorists, willfully kidnapping people and moving them about the world beyond oversight for abuse and torture. (Yes, yes, I am aware that these are "mere allegations" at the moment; we'll see to what extent they are proven, though we know for sure of the "Black Ops" and ghost prisons and extraordinary renditions; we just don't know their full extent, and likely never will.)
Just all part of the pastiche of American moral authority.
You don't mean to say that you're just beginning to realize that since World War II the US has been the leading rogue terror state?!
I know, I know. It's very difficult to let yourself believe this. We all have been so thoroughly indoctrinated -- 24/7 since the day we were born. Plus, whenever the indoctrination wears thin and some truth breaks through, some one of power whispers in your ear: But it had to be done, and we did it for you, for all of you. Look at all your nice homes and schools and malls and cars and electronics and super-bleached teeth. There was no other way.
And you push it all out of your head until you find yourself in your car (17 mpg) heading to the mall to buy the new XBox and the horror hits you. Your soul was presold before you even knew you had one.
Posted by Grace Nearing at December 7, 2005 2:05 AM
TD / Seth, I'll be in NYC/NJ from Sunday afternoon to Wed am. I'm mostly free except for Tue evening. Hope to work something out.
Posted by John Emerson at December 7, 2005 5:01 PM
Grace, You assume that the ability to afford nice homes and cars, as well as health care and X-Boxes, will continue on. Can you say "Walmart Economy?" before we end up like Argentina?
Posted by Think About It at December 7, 2005 5:19 PM
Ich bin ein Argentinien!
TAB: Good point. Personally, no, I don't assume that the average American will continue to be able to afford nice homes, and cars, and health care and X-Boxes. Most can't truly afford them now, but hey, that's what credit cards are for.
Posted by Grace Nearing at December 8, 2005 7:56 PM