With the latest installment of torture by US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, things are moving beyond the point where you can have a sane discussion. There’s yet another report on it, this one saying that at least 98 people have been killed in US-run jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, 34 because of homicide, 8-12 tortured to death. In several cases the people doing the killing were following orders from above.
And what does the US government say? They had an ex-white house lawyer onNewsnight, saying that it’s all OK, because torturing 10 people to death out of 100,000 prisoners isn’t all that bad a percentage, really.
It turns into nastily black comedy with an NGO person explaining how hard the medical examiners are making it to investigate what’s happening – “his ribcage was found in washington DC and part of his larynx in germany”. But the time I want to give up on life is when you hear people saying, almost casually, that somebody forced a detainee to jump to his death in the Tigris.
And I don’t know how to stop this – it’s already been reduced to the point where I can’t understand how anyone can defend it. If you tell somebody “they’re torturing people to death” and they don’t care, then where’s left for you to go?
Bonus from later in the programme: a montage to show the social change of the 60s – consisting entirely of shots of short-skirted legs. Miniskirts – that’s what social revolution is all about!