Genus Americanus

Monday, December 12, 2005

Torture and the eternal benefit of the doubt

Perhaps not unique to Genus Americanus, but quite striking nonetheless is the ability of the creature to always give the government the benefit of the doubt.
While everyone agrees to the facts: There is a worldwide network of secret and not secret prisons where unspeakable things have been happening to people. The Red Cross has been denied access to prisoners and it is known that there are secret prisoners not on the books. The executive has been working on legal justifications for "harsher treatment" and would like a CIA exemption from torture laws or it will veto the bill. The government does send people to places that are known to practice torture. The government will not join an international criminal court unless Americans are exempt from prosecution. The Iraqi government that was created and still living under US protection has been found practicing torture. There are public pictures showing these disgusting things and further secret ones that are too disgusting to release.

The government position is that it doesn't support torture in any way and anything that has happened is a couple of bad apples. The media dutifully debates this bad apples theory (although never directly against the idea that the government supports it all and knows all about it)

As preposterous and paper thin as these excuses might be to the outsider, Genus Americanus emotionally is unable to come to the obvious conclusions because it would require a revalution of their place in the world as not uniquely sainted.

This unwillingness to see the truth can also be seen in the idea that is popular here that a local politician's brother disenfranchised a group of his opponent's supporters completely by accident. This same local politician then led a group of oil executives funded by oil money and invaded an oil rich country for reasons that turned out to be completely false, but Genus Americanus believes it to be an honest mistake.

Suggesting to the subjects that perhaps the government is not as incompetent and unaware as it claims to be is met with great agitation and scorn, and the subject becomes quite hostile. Researchers beware.

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