Monday, July 18, 2011

A Long Road Home

Ever been a stranger in a strange land?
Ever long for the sights and sounds of home?
Ache to hear your own name spoken in your own language?
Ever lost, with no idea which way to turn, wondering how to backtrack to get back to where you started from?

I grew up in a mythical place called America.
The Land of the Free, they liked to call it.
And The Home of the Brave.
With liberty and justice for all.
According to the travel guide.

It wasn't a perfect place.
Far from it.
But it was, at least, possible to do right.
It was possible to see justice done.
Every once in a while, the underdog would win won, the good guys would come out on top, truth would prevail, and things would be just a little bit better because of it.
We'd take a step closer to seeing our Dream come true.

Now, I ache for home, but home is no more.
It's "homeland" now.
Another mythical place that looks a lot like Nazi Germany
In those old movies.

A wise man once told me,
"No matter how far you go in the wrong direction,
Son, turn the hell around!"

I don't know if there's a way to backtrack.
Probably not.
But if there's any chance there's a road home
No matter how long that road is
No matter how steep or narrow
We'd better take it.


Human Rights Watch, in a new report, “Getting Away With Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” declared there is “overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration.” President Barack Obama, the report went on, is obliged “to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials.”

But Obama has no intention of restoring the rule of law. He not only refuses to prosecute flagrant war crimes, but has immunized those who orchestrated, led and carried out the torture. At the same time he has dramatically increased war crimes, including drone strikes in Pakistan. He continues to preside over hundreds of the offshore penal colonies, where abuse and torture remain common. He is complicit with the killers and the torturers.

The only way the rule of law will be restored, if it is restored, is piece by piece, extradition by extradition, trial by trial. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA Director George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice and John Ashcroft will, if we return to the rule of law, face trial. The lawyers who made legal what under international and domestic law is illegal, including not only Rizzo but Alberto Gonzales, Jay Bybee, David Addington, William J. Haynes and John Yoo, will, if we are to dig our way out of this morass, be disbarred and prosecuted. Our senior military leaders, including Gen. David Petraeus, who oversaw death squads in Iraq and widespread torture in clandestine prisons, will be lined up in a courtroom, as were the generals in Argentina, and made to answer for these crimes. This is the only route back.

America's Disappeared by Chris Hedges

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