I’ll start by saying I find USAToday an example of everything bad and wrong about today’s print media. Well maybe not everything, WaPo is worse because they’re also dishonest. But USAToday is deliberately designed (and has been since it’s inception) to be the McEyewitness News of Newspapers, a pile of print for you to step in on the way out of your room at the Marriott in the morning. Reading it takes no longer than a cup of coffee and a danish.
But lots of people do because it’s free and a step up from a local ‘shopper’ newsprint magazine, so I occasionally check their opinion section to get the pulse of what’s supposed to be mainstream.
Today one of their opinions was No torture, no need to destroy videotapes. Whoever wrote this has no doubt that the tapes would make us look bad-
Had the tapes ever gotten out, they might have made the Abu Ghraib prison photos look tame. Imagine the propaganda value Osama bin Laden could reap from video of Arabs struggling in pain as Americans subjected them to waterboarding or other torture. The fact that the prisoner might have been a murderous thug would be lost in the revulsion and condemnation of the United States for barbarism.
Then again the prisoner might not have been a murderous thug, just a low level wacko, but I digress.
Like all things USAToday it’s a very quick read and I encourage you to do so. The author mostly gets it right. “The original sin was the torture itself, not the tapes or their destruction. Spy agencies don’t get to write their own laws.”
What I think the author misses though is how much seeing these tapes would inflame not only Arabs, but Americans.
Who among us, a society that buys its meat shrink wrapped in plastic at best, in microwavable breaded nuggets more often, really wants to see sausage made?
I’ll tell you who. The 30%. Dogfighting, executions, we’re Romans and we deserve the best circuses to display the power and wealth of our empire!
It puts me in mind of later empires too, where dictators and their sycophants giggle and eat popcorn while flickering images of state traitors dance at the end of piano wire nooses like obscene puppets.
Do you suppose
W watched these tapes? How many times? Special bonus question- how many times for Saddam’s execution?