Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The malodorous blossom of American democracy

True democracy, and American democracy are two different things. Though the explication of that notion is fodder too massive for a single blog entry.

But here are two very recently-revealed instances of a perverse breed of democratic notions.

In our zeal to protect freedom and liberty we have become plagarists of the worse kind. The New York Times reveals today that torture techniques used at Guantanamo were lifted verbatim from an article written by Alfred Biderman in 1957 explaining the techniques used by Communist Chinese interrogators to elicit false confessions from captured American airmen. Complete with charts, graphs and illustrations, this document was used as a how-to course by the military trainers at Guantanamo. That is to say, freedom-loving Americans copied the horrifying techniques of a totalitarian government to gather likely-false information from captured "terrorists." Pitiful.

Yesterday, the Times reported on just how well democracy is spreading in the "new" Iraq. It seems that the government there, particularly the military, is acting just like ours, and ignoring the needs of wounded veterans. I guess with the constant US military presence in Iraq, the examples of cruelty and malfeasance are in full view, and easily copied.

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