"Brutalization doesn't work. We know that. Besides, you lose your soul." -- Former FBI agent who has worked on successful counter-terrorism operations
I am trying to read Jane Mayer's "Outsourcing Torture," the article in the New Yorker that I referred to a few days ago (here). It's so sickening, and shameful, that every so often I have to put it down to catch my breath and clear my eyes.
I am Jewish. I have often wondered what it would have been like had I lived in Europe in the 1930s. I think, for example, of the great film "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis". The family - prosperous, educated Italian Jews - accept one indignity after another. The special registration. The signs forbidding them to enter. All the hallmarks of second-class citizenship. But they don't, they can't possibly, add up the signs and imagine what is coming.
At the film's end, they are queuing up for trains.
We watched the movie about halfway through Bush's first term. I was deeply shaken. Not long afterwards, we started talking about leaving the country.
When I read about the United States government abducting and torturing people, behaving in these shockingly brutal and heinous ways, I can't find a substantive difference between this and the Holocaust. Fewer people, yes. Different philosophical underpinnings, of course. But the end result, on an individual basis...? People are seized, kidnapped, taken forcibly. They are told nothing, charged with nothing. They have no access whatsoever to the outside world. From there, a nightmare begins.
This is happening now.