Round up of reactions to the release of the US Torture Report.
The Rev. Margaret Watson who serves as priest on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota writes:
Some say we won’t prosecute those involved in the torture because of the politics involved. I disagree in part. That is only some of it. I say we won’t prosecute because we are in denial… in much the same way that an alcoholic or drug addict says to themselves ‘–see, yeah I used, but I’m not dependent upon (name the substance). I’ve been without it for a whole five weeks and I’m just fine.’ It is not the ability to go without a substance for a time or a while… it is the whole set of factors and patterns of behavior that lead to the self-medication and addiction that need to be addressed.
And, until we, as a Nation, deal with our addiction to violence, we won’t get off the torture train, no matter how many Senate reports are written. Our addiction to violence includes police tactics that lead to shooting deaths (as in Ferguson and all the others recently come to light), militarization of community police, our love of making war without declaring war by sending our armed forces around the globe, our insistence on the “right” to carry weapons –and, of course, the approval of “enhanced interrogation techniques” at the highest level of government.
Prosecuting and punishing those involved in the torture won’t solve the truly soul-wise problem we have. That is why I was glad to read this, a public health doctor who says that violence is truly a public health problem.
Read the rest here.
Tom Ehrich, who comments frequently on the intersection of church and national life writes:
The United States is losing its way. What else can we say when police forces routinely target people of color and are excused? When women face levels of sexual and domestic violence that should outrage normal men? When political benefits go to the highest bidder? When higher education becomes a party place selling door-opening credentials? When the best minds of a generation are creating trivial products that do nothing to improve the human condition?
The just-released report on the CIA’s use of torture is the latest example. Its harshest revelation: a decade-long campaign of lying, disinformation, accountability avoidance, and hounding truth-tellers.
A nation founded on openness, trust in the people, and values worthy of great religions saw its leaders turn to secrecy, disregard for humanity, and sordid standards worthy of history’s monsters. We have sought to be a leader of nations. Now we have nothing to say.
Read the rest on his Facebook page
Reading both of these articles, I (Ann Fontaine) conclude that we have not lost our way as a nation – we have lived into the natural consequences of building a country on genocide of native peoples and slavery. True repentance (metanoia-turning around- changing directions) seems the only option for true freedom.
Posted by Ann Fontaine