I Ordered the Code Red

All right, so who’s actually for torture? Not me, nuh uh, no way. However, all the shrieking over this coincidentally-timed Senate report on CIA torture tactics has me a little confused.

The shrieking has the same sound as twelve-year old boys who castrate themselves upon hearing that, yes, Mommy had sex with Daddy to bring them into being. Yes, little Jimmy, we torture. Did you really think that civilizations are brought in through the nursery room window by the stork? Or, really, that civilizations just happen? Civilizations are forged, and the edges of civilization are hot, being hammered on, and the only people who can dwell there are vile, wretched, lost souls whose job it is to encounter the barbarians.

On this side of Guantanamo is civilization, where we do not torture each other; we are justifiably upset and concerned that civil rights and law and order are coming together, lately, rather violently. On the other side of Guantanamo is barbarity, where they dwell who should be tortured. I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to justify my vile and wretched acts to myself or to anyone else.

To be sure, I’m not upset to learn that we torture, especially when we consider, with some historical sensitivities, what is being reported as perpetrated by the CIA is a warm-up lap for those barbarians who are well-versed in torture tactics. I’m more upset that someone pulled the curtain back. I don’t wanna see blood and gore while Bing Crosby winds me around the Christmas tree while I string it with lights which reflect in my tiny tots’ eyes.

There are vile and wretched people doing Bad Things in my behalf so that I can have Good Things. We have chambers in order to keep the one hidden from the other. Thus we participate in it, consciously or no. I’d rather not be conscious of it, but I can’t imagine, in my innermost, a way to maintain the frontier of civilization against barbarians without nastiness. So, add my shriek to the chorus of shrieks, but as for me, mine is so much kayfabe so that no one thinks that I’m actually for torture. Not me, nuh uh, no way.

3 thoughts on “I Ordered the Code Red

  1. Well this is a disappointing post.

    If we’re abandoning the moral argument that torture isn’t something we should do at all, then we still have the practical argument that it’s pointless. It accomplishes nothing. Fighting wars accomplishes stuff, but torture doesn’t. It neither wins wars nor produces useful intelligence. It’s a waste of time. And that’s the amoral truth.

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