WHO WOULD JESUS TORTURE?
As silly question, you may think. Sadly, not if certain reports are to be believed.
During that last few days Sean at inoodle has been sharing a story that suggests the US government has been using methods of a partcularly barbaric nature. This resolves around claims made by a former US army interrogator Specialist Tony Lagouranis who has made sensational claims regarding his role in the treatment of detainees. Inoodle sums these claims accurately (I have read the claims) as meaning that
- frustrated US soldiers torture Iraqi families in their homes with impunity.
- no matter how obvious their innocence, detainees are always treated as guilty and sent to Abu Ghraib.
- officers filed unfounded reports to bolster the claim that Fallujah dead were foreigners.
- the Fallujah corpses included numerous women an children.
- Lagouranis's abuse reports after being ignored by CID and commanders for over a year, were suddenly re-filed after he appeared on Frontline.
- Torture has produced no useful intelligence.
Now these are serious allegations. My first instinct is to be cautious about such allegations. Indeed, these are so extreme that I find them hard to believe. However,it is a measure of the level of distrust of the Bush administration that many believe these accusations to be plausible.
The level of distrust has been heightened by recent reports that the UN has refused the UN unfetteres access to detainees at Guantanemo Bay as well as accusation in today's Observer that Condoleeza Rice has responded to questions about alleged torture of suspects in secret European gaols by telling Jack Straw to 'back off.'
Like many, the buildup to the Iraq War and subsequent events have destroyed my faith in the British Government and even more the US Government. I am one of those who needs reassurance. That means real transparency in how the war on terror is being conducted. If torture is tolerated, then Bin Laden and co have won for they have caused us to give up standards of decency that can never be compromised in a society with a moral base.
The answer to my question at the top of this article was easy. Jesus would never torture or endorse torture. It is a shocking state of affairs when many of us are no longer confident that a Christian in the White House has not presided over something monstrous. It is also shocking that many of us doubt whether the Christian in No 10 will make a stand for the matter to be thoroughly and independently investigated. Our very civilisation depends on a 'no tolerance' approach to torture. Our very civilisation depends on our knowing that we are being told the truth on matters of war and peace. Otherwise all trust in government breaks down.
On September 11th 2001, I watched in horror as the Twin Towers crumbled. As well as disgust at the terrorists who committed mass murder, we felt strongly our links with America. We wanted to see Bin laden and co brought to the justice they so richly deserve, but sadly the gate seems to have been opened to the neo con agenda with all its manifold violence. In the 4 1/2 years since the outrage that brought us close to the US , that affection for the US has been stretched in a way we never could have imagined. Now, we have come to a time when we need answers. It is the time for the truth.
Finally, having seen economy with the truth on a grand scale from governments who in the case of the British Government have reached the low of using anti terror legislation against those who protest against the arms trade whilst they themsleves collude with the terror brought about by the arms trade, having seen that same legislation used against poor old Walter Wolfgang, my distrust in our leaders is running very high. I want to defend our liberties and those of others. For that reason, whilst I call on Britain to work to bring some transparency to these matters, I am also led to the conclusion that we need to support independent voices that hold our leaders to account for human rights abuses - and so I have taken the decision to rejoin Amnesty International. I advise those of you who do not wish to sleep walk into an Orwellian nightmare to do the same.