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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Disturbing Truth: Our Government is Protecting Us from Nothing


Dig that crazy redaction! It's like the FOIA request from the ACLU that got this doc released got us
a whole lot of nothing--of course, despite appearances, it gave us enough rope to hang the Bushies
with... if only the Obamites will bother...

After reading today's column from Andrew Sullivan at TheAtlantic.com, I have had my fears reinforced and have come to feel that the United States Government has been and continues to be a sociopathic entity. Sullivan's column is called "The American Way Of Torture" and includes select quotes from the Office of the Inspector General's report on how the CIA systemically tortured terror suspects during the Bush years. There are some disturbing truths that Sullivan's piece forces us to consider:


1) this new OIG report pretty much damns the Bush Administration by proving they not only endorsed torture, but did so in writing.


2) this was definitely torture--what else do you call it when detainees are left in their own excrement?


3) Sullivan makes the point best:

In the past, the US was known for being a country whose soldiers would never mistreat prisoners; now, the US wants the world to know that US custody is something to be dreaded.


This is the same technique used by Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars movie--his exact line was "Fear will keep the systems in line..."


So yes, all those Daily Show jokes about Cheney were accurate: the United States was run by an evil, cartoonish bad guy.


Now this next part popped into my head thanks to Democracy Now, quoting one leader who spoke about Afghanistan:

The insurgency in Afghanistan didn’t just happen overnight, and we won’t defeat it overnight. This will not be quick nor easy. But we must never forget, this is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven, from which al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting; this is fundamental to the defense of our people.


That's not an old quote from Bush--that's Obama speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Phoenix, Arizona, last week.


So, here comes Obama, explaining that we have no choice but to be in Afghanistan, mimicking the same rhetoric that came from the Bush 43 Admin for so many years. We did it because the Taliban were harboring Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. My question is, how big a threat is Al Qaeda to America? OK, fine, Obama, they're plotting
against us--but how many of us can they really kill?


In 2008 34,017 Americans were killed in car accidents according to the DOT.


In 2005 (the most recent year numbers are available) 159,217 Americans died of lung cancer alone according to the CDC.


In 2007 around 2 million people worldwide were killed by AIDS according to Avert.org.


In 2007 terrorism caused 22,685 deaths worldwide according to the US National Counter Terrorism Center. The number of American civilian deaths by terrorism is almost non-existent since Americans have to leave the country to be killed by a terrorist.


What this all means is that terrorism is a tiny, tiny, tiny threat to the American way of life. Yet, the Bush administration and now the Obama administration thinks it's worth ignoring our morals and our principles to stop the killing of less than 23,000 Earthlings while seven times that number die of lung cancer in America, alone. 53,005 died of colorectal cancer, 27,259 American women died of gynecological cancers, 41,116 American women died of breast cancer--and I could go on.


So, in the end, our government is "protecting" us from nothing. We're spending over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan to stop this threat which does not even really exist. My only conclusion is that our government actually enjoys being horrible to people--it's literally sociopathic. Either that, or our government is too addicted to fear, or rock-stupid, to check and compare the statistics, which took me about 30 minutes to do.


With all these people dying of Cancer in the US right now, wouldn't it be nice to have a War on Cancer, instead of a War on Terror?

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