20 May 2006

TORTURERS 'R' US

A Mumia column, I guess you all know about 'rendition' but Mumia writes beautifully about all the ugly things in the world. Get on the case and support his campaign for justice and copy his words to your friends.


'TORTURERS 'R' US'
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
[Col. Writ. 11/7/05]
Source: Afrikan Frontline Network, nattyreb@comcast.net
- Sunday, 27 November 2005 -

"The law hath not been dead, thought it hath slept." -- William
Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure," (Act II; Scene 2.)

There have been news reports of a number of secret US prisons in Eastern
European countries. These reports, coming as they do after reports about
torture at Guantanamo Naval Gulag, at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan,
the Diego Garcia base situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and, of
course, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, should show us that torture lies at the very
heart of the U.S.-declared 'War on Terror'.

What makes this even more remarkable is the robotic response of U.S
president George W. Bush, when asked about torture at a press conference
recently: "We do not torture."

One wonders, who is this 'we' of whom he speaks?

Certainly, that 'we' doesn't include those people in American uniforms (and
plainclothes), who beat, kicked, stripped, set dogs on, and killed people
in Abu Ghraib.

Perhaps the president refers to the "rendering" of people to other
countries, where torture is rampant, such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, or Egypt.
In these cases of rendition, the U.S. sublets torture to foreign
governments, that rush to the job to gain favor with the rulers of the U.S
Empire.

The case of Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, is illustrative.

Originally from Syria, Arar was seized and interrogated at an American
airport, and despite a promise by a Canadian consul, flown to Washington,
Portland, Rome, and finally Amman, Jordan.

There he was blindfolded and beaten, and driven across the border to Syria.
There, he was thrown into a cell that more closely resembled a 'grave'.
Arar writes:

"We went into the basement, and they opened a door, and I looked in. I
could not believe what I saw. I asked how long I would be kept in this
place. He did not answer, but put me in and closed the door. It was like a
grave. It had no light. It was three feet wide. It was six feet deep. It
was seven feet high. It had a metal door, with a small opening in the door,
which did not let in light because there was a piece of metal on the
outside for sliding things into the cell.

There was a small opening in the ceiling, about one foot by two feet with
iron bars. Over that was another ceiling, so only a little light came
through this. There were cats and rats up there, and from time to time the
cats peed through the opening into the cell. There were two blankets, two
dishes, and two bottles. One bottle was for water and the other one was for
urinating during the night. Nothing else. No light.

I spent 10 months and 10 days inside that grave." [Fr.: Rachel Meeropol,
ed., *America's Disappeared: Detainees, Secret Imprisonment, and the "War
on Terror"* (New York: Open Media/Seven Stories Press, 2005), pp. 64-65].

And now, secret prisons, used by the United States, in countries that were
part of the former Soviet Bloc, in Eastern Europe.

Yes, "We do not torture."

Those prisons don't [officially] exist.

This is a democracy....

Increasingly, American politics seems to be reading from George Orwell's
classic, *Nineteen Eighty-Four*, where it is written:

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

Orwell was a political novelist, writing about the nature of dictatorships;
of those present and those to come.

We live in no novel, however. We live in a state of madness, fueled by
fear, greed, and paranoia.

There is another pregnant quote from Orwell's *1984*, which rightly
describes the nature of US politics:

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's
mind simultaneously, and accepting both as true."

Remember: 'We do not torture. Those secret prisons don't exist. This is a
democracy.'

Don't worry; be happy.... Just keep repeating those words to yourself. Over
and over and over.

Perhaps, if you say it enough, this empire will just fade away.

Yeah.

Copyright © 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights reserved.

Mr. Jamal's new work, WE WANT FREEDOM: A Life in the Black Panther Party,
is now available from South End Press, Cambridge, MA.
(http://www.southendpress.org).

Check out Mumia's NEW book: "Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the
Spiritual Life of African and African-American People":
http://www.africanworld.com.

These are VERY SERIOUS TIMES for political activists in this country and
around the world. Get full details and keep updated by reading ACTION
ALERTS!! at http://www.mumia.org and http://www.movenet.org.

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit http://www.prisonradio.org
or http://www.fsrn.org

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

CHECK http://www.mumia.org FOR IMPORTANT ACTION ALERTS!

PLEASE CONTACT: International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ; P.O. Box
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WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN NOT REST!!

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