The Arrogance of Power
by Charles Sullivan
Living in the United States is akin to
living in a land of fairly tales. It is a surreal landscape of
bizarre shapes through which one must navigate carefully. Being
American is like living in the Land of Oz. The American people
are held in such contempt by those in power and by their servants
in the corporate media that they are constantly spoon fed the
most blatant lies. Those in power not only loathe ordinary working
people, they loathe truth; and they loathe democracy. The rich
and powerful see the unworthy masses as their servants and play
things. They see them as canon fodder. Nothing could make this
truth more obvious than the spate of lies spread this week by
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in regards to torture.
Dr. Rice went before the world this week,
looked us in the eye and lied through her teeth. The skill with
which she carried out her mockery of the facts suggests considerable
practice. Delivering a lengthy diatribe on torture at Andrews
Air Force Base in Washington, DC, before departing on an extensive
European propaganda tour, Dr. Rice stated flatly, and in stark
contradiction to the facts, that the United States does not torture
people. Dr. Rice further stated that the United States does not
send detainees to foreign lands to be tortured-a process called
rendition. By failing to challenge the premise of Dr. Rice's phantasmagoric
assertions, the corporate media in effect gave them the appearance
of legitimacy. Dr. Rice said we do not torture people, the media
reported it as fact. The people do not want to believe that the
United States tortures people. Thus the lies grow to mythic proportions
and once again the people are perfectly deceived. A people fed
on manure cannot long endure.
Even as Dr. Rice was busily sowing lies
for the Bush regime's agenda of global domination, legislation
was worming its way through Congress that would exempt the CIA
from prosecution for torturing people, as well the practice of
rendition. This begs the question: If the United States does not
torture people, or send detainees to foreign countries to be tortured,
why do they need such legislation?
The corporate media allowed Dr. Rice's
preposterous lies to stand. Even worse, it reported them as truth.
The evidence that undermines Dr. Rice's lies is unassailable and
abundant; and it is readily available. Clearly, the corporate
media omitted the facts by design, delivering another smack to
the chops of an already dumbed down American public and leaving
them clamoring for more. This shameful performance reveals the
corporate media's utter contempt for the people. It reveals contempt
for truth in its worst incarnation. It illustrates the complicity
between the corporate media and those in power and the betrayal
of the American people.
According to Amnesty International, they
have tracked more than eight hundred rendition flights flown by
the CIA to secret U.S. gulags around the world. The existence
of these torture camps are well documented by many different sources,
including The Red Cross and Amnesty International. These gulags
exist in opposition to international law and the Geneva Convention.
They exist in Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Romania, Egypt, Jordan
and Siberia, and a multitude of other locations.
Additional evidence comes from those who
have survived unimaginable ordeals in these god-forsaken hell
holes and lived to tell about it. German citizen Khaled el-Masri
is a good example. Khaled el-Masri was abducted by the CIA and
transported to a CIA gulag in Afghanistan, where he was tortured
for five months in a case of mistaken identify. These are the
kind of atrocities that occur when rogue elements of the government
kidnap suspects without due process. This is state sponsored terrorism
at its worst and the United States does it better than anyone.
Conditions in these festering sewers of
depravity are worse than deplorable. They make Abu Ghraib look
like a Boy Scout camp. In these clandestine places the worst qualities
of human nature emerge and are practiced with sadistic pleasure
on human beings-many of whom are innocent. This is what makes
the seemingly sweet and innocent face of Dr. Rice and others so
dangerous. Behind the faces of Dr. Rice and her cohort in depravity,
Donald Rumsfeld, lie twisted, sadistic minds. The reality behind
their apparently normal appearance is the grotesque monstrosity
of what they do to their fellow human beings. It was this kind
of hubris and venomous hate that drove Manifest Destiny, slavery,
the Ku Klux Klan and the invasion of Iraq. The arrogance of power
is the common thread that ties these shameful events together.
All of this is common knowledge in most
countries outside of the United States. For example, Nobel Prize
winning playwright, Harold Pinter told the audience in his acceptance
speech in London on December 7, that the United States had not
only lied to justify waging war against Iraq but had also "supported
and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship"
in the last fifty years. Pinter went on to say "The crimes
of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious,
remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them.
You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical
manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force
for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful
If we are ever going to redeem ourselves
as a people and realize our full potential, we must purge the
corruption from the American political system. A good blood letting-a
revolution-is in order. In the past, during the hey day of social
unrest in America, the working class people organized themselves
into a formidable force. The social justice movement forged by
organized labor brought us the eight hour work day and the weekend.
Before then, the work day and the work week were brutally long
and harsh. From a powerful sense of outrage emerged a compelling
social justice movement. One wonders if we will ever see anything
like that again in America.
Now we have not only the common enemy
to overcome-the corruptive elements of the political process that
created Condoleezza Rice and what Mussolini called corporatism;
we have the powerful hypnotic drug of television and citizen apathy
to overcome. Do we have it in us? We must serve and protect one
another. We the people must wage war on those in power. A good
beginning would be a boycott of the corporate media.
Charles Sullivan is a furniture maker,
photographer, and free lance writer residing in the eastern panhandle
of West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
War Crimes & Criminals