“President Donald Trump declared Wednesday he believes torture works as his administration readied a sweeping review of how America conducts the war on terror.” ABC News, 1.25.17
Murder is the unalterable ending act, the destruction in another human being of the same eternity you feel inside yourself every waking minute. Torture stands in the shadows with murder, often its companion, blank faced or smiling or angry or banal, ‘just doing its job’.
Torture violates … everything — the skin of victims and their future, one guaranteed to be filled with nightmares and fear and pain.
Janine Di Giovanni has seen its current results in Syria. In her necessary book, The Morning They Came For Us, she documents that terrible war and gathers evidence that “the Syrian Government is running a virtual archipelago of torture centers scattered around the country” (49). Black Sites. Just like the ones this President wants to bring back, the ones that were up and running under the CIA and Cheney and Rumsfeld during the Bush administration.
In one woman, Nada, she saw this: “When we first met, she cowered when I touched her hand in greeting. She seemed broken, vulnerable. She would not use the word rape. She told her story in staccato. But after a while of sitting quietly, her face changed into a myriad of emotions — sadness, pain, then the heavy flood of memory, and finally revulsion” (49).
She spoke to dozens of victims. She saw their wounds. She knows that “the lowest depth that a human being can reach is to perform or receive torture. The goal of the torturer is to inflict pain, horrific pain, and dehumanize another being. The act not only destroys both parties’ souls — the victim’s and the perpetrator’s — but also the very fabric of a society” (19).
If he succeeds, President Trump will once again call forth the little men, the resentful clerks, the third rate security guards, the ones who want just a little power, a little importance, who only want to be lords of one miserable naked life in the corner of a cell, the ones who enjoy hearing another beg.
So far Republican Senators Thune and McCain have rejected this return to barbarism. All the Democratic Senators will do so. Some of those in power remember what happened.
Darkness calls forth light.