Rendition, Torture and Democracy

What are the chances that Rice and the current National Security Advisor don’t know about the secret CIA flights and the torture of prisoners? Almost zero.

This makes both guilty of concealing a crime.

What are the chances that the current interim ruler of the US, George Bush does not know of such things? Slightly more, but still not much more than zero. So he is almost certainly also guilty of conspiracy to conceal a crime.

Might not those tortured have been terrorized by the event? Weren’t they in a state of terror? Under existing and/or proposed laws anyone guilty of even knowing of a terrorist act is themselves a terrorist, yes? Do we need a seventy page document from NAM to define what constitutes a terrorist act?

What about crimes against humanity? How many people must be killed before there is such an event? Or does it make a different how they are killed? Or if they are adults or children. I begin to notice now that news bulletins will often mentioned that a child was killed by a bomb. Then almost incidentally that a large number of adults were also killed. So is it more heinous–and a possible crime against humanity–to kill a child than an adult?

Is it necessary for victims to be unceremoniously dumped in a ditch after they die to have a crime against humanity? Or that they be Muslim or Christian? What about atheists and agnostics? Their death could not result in such an accusation?

Couldn’t we simplify things? Nature is basically simple. And say that terrorism and crimes against humanity are the same? That they occur when a person is murdered. Intentionally killed. Whether in war or done “privately.” To die is the ultimate catastrophe for any thinking being. And anyone who can do that has committed a crime against humanity. Against Homo sapiens and the concept of a thinking being.

And where does the aforementioned knowledge of a crime leave anyone in the Bush regime who knows of such events?

What of Bush’s use of weapons of mass destruction? Isn’t a cruise missile or a 500-2,000 lb bomb a weapon of mass destruction? Ask an Iraqi who survived one of them and/or knows people who did not. Does it really make any difference whether hundreds died from a cruise missile or from poison gas? Is the fact that you didn’t die from poison gas more excusable or acceptable? That someone who carried out an attack killing hundreds of people was or was not the subject of an assassination attempt? Or his father was the victim of such an attempt.

Is the fact that you died from an attack by the political leader of a democracy more acceptable than if you died from an attack by an acknowledged dictator? Bearing in mine that anyone who dictates and controls action under penalty of death is in fact a dictator, yes? After all, they do dictate action. What you may or may not do with your life.

WILLIAM W. MORGAN can be reached at: