From madamedefarge at Democracy Cell Project
Karen has told us many times and in many ways to speak out, to do something -- anything -- to help make visible the reality that this administration has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. It's easy to read her words and say, "Yes, she's right. I'll do something...soon..."
Guess what? Time is running out.
That's the bad news. The good news -- if there can be good news about this subject -- is that people are starting to realize that time is short and are doing something about it...people like Ray McGovern.
On March 3rd, 2006, Mr. McGovern marched into Congress with 15 others wearing Guantanamo Bay orange jumpsuits and declared:
"As a matter of conscience, I am returning the Intelligence Commendation Award medallion given me during my 27-year career in the CIA. The issue is torture, which inhabits the same category as rape and slavery -- intrinsically evil. I do not wish to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture."
Mr. McGovern is now on a nationwide campus tour sponsored by World Can't Wait speaking out and sharing his conclusions from the hearings held in October, 2005 and in January, 2006 by the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity by the Bush Administration.
When you hear this gentle man speak in his calm, soft-spoken way of the culpability of the Bush administration in these horrors of wars of aggression, torture and indefinite detention and rendition, you know you are hearing the truth. And it scares the hell out of you.
And then it makes you mad...mad as hell...again.
In addressing a crowd at our local college last night, Mr. McGovern talked about how appropriate our anger is, even though we may suffer from "Outrage Fatique." (He wondered whether the weekly outrages we seem to have are a part of Bush's plan to wear us down.) He said that Cindy Sheehan is a great model for our anger; her simple act of asking the president "For what noble cause did my son, Casey, die?" helped others channel their anger and join her side. He cited the Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas' words about "the virtue of anger" when it looks to justice and reminded us of the "unreasoned patience" that the people of Germany showed during Hitler's rise to power.
Mr. McGovern covered many aspects of events that led up to the Iraqi War and told us true, heartwrenching accounts from people who were witness to the torture at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. He listed six reasons why torture is beyond the pale, in increasing order of importance:
1. It really hurts the image of US in the world.
2. It's a recruitment tool for terrorist groups like Al Quaeda.
3. It endangers our own troops -- physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
4. It brutalizes the brutalizer.
5. It doesn't work because people will tell you anything if you torture them.
6. Torture is wrong, just as rape and slavery are wrong.
Civilized nations of the world have all agreed on this and have made laws against torture because it's wrong.
Rather than me repeating his lecture, I urge you to read more of Mr. McGovern's words at other sites such as Anti-War, Alternet, Tom Paine, and Common Dreams. Mr. McGovern has also written several books, including his latest Neo-Conned! Again: Hypocrisy, Lawlessness, and the Rape of Iraq: The Illegality and the Injustice of the Second Gulf War.
More importantly, we now must turn our anger and attention to what's happening with Iran. The increasing sounds of the war drums banging for an attack on Iran demand that we do everything we can to prevent this administration from committing more atrocious crimes. As Mr. McGovern said, "Iran is not Iraq." Iran is much more dangerous and has a larger military that can attack US troops over the border into Iraq. And the greatest danger is that it may end up in the use of nuclear weapons. Mr. McGovern speculates that the November elections and the need for Bush to be a "war president" may result in an attack on Iran as early as June.
What can we do? Mr. McGovern urged us to use imaginative ways to make people aware of what's going on, including:
- Get educated on the Iranian situation.
- Write/call your senators and demand that they sign Feingold's Censure Resolution.
- Show up in person at the offices of your Congress people while they're home on Easter break to let them know your position on Iraq and Iran.
- Write letters to the editors to any and all papers to build awareness and state your position.
- Talk with your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors to let them know what's happening and what they can do to help prevent it.
These times require us to get our bodies, our minds, and our hearts into helping stop this crisis. We must speak out for justice before it's too late.
Ray McGovern reminds us of Martin Luther King's haunting words about Vietnam, "There is such a time as too late."