Mistakes were made: ‘We tortured some folks.’

We tortured some folks

Following in the footsteps of President Obama and his frank admission, ‘We tortured some folks’, several historical figures also came clean this week:

Michael Hayden, head of the NSA after 9/11: ‘We tapped some calls.’

Richard Nixon, on the Watergate scandal: ‘We bugged some bros.’

Dick Fuld, on the implosion of Lehman Brothers: ‘We lost some dough.’

Pol Pot, on his strategy to purify Kampuchea through a return to the land: ‘We worked some peeps to death.’

Reynhard Heydrich, on the subject of Kristallnacht in November 1938: ‘We smashed some windows.’

Stalin, on the subject of the forced famine of the kulaks in the 1930s: ‘We starved some dudes.’

Field Marshal Douglas Haig, on the subject of the Western Front in the First World War: ‘We dug some trenches.’



3 thoughts on “Mistakes were made: ‘We tortured some folks.’

  1. Madhu says:

    I think that after the Soviet Union fell, the American people as a whole thought, innocently enough (aren’t our greatest crimes always coming out of some sort of innocence and arrogance?), that history really HAD ended and we could enjoy victory and freedom and globalization. And peace. To be fair to us, most everyday people thought in terms of peace because of our isolated status here in the Western hemisphere. Geography matters and our geography tells us the home front is peaceful, it’s only abroad that’s dangerous. Until 9-11. So, we had no way to process it and we didn’t have leaders to help us process it because they used the national trauma for their own purposes.

    But the large national security state kept growing during the 90s and beyond, it wasn’t at peace, it didn’t take a break, it needed more places abroad to expand, it needed more projects, it needed to grow, Borg-like, and, anyway, weren’t we all just warring for humanitarian’s sake? For freedom and the good things?

    So, here we, meaning we Americans, with a President that mouths the forms of some strange ritual, because, perhaps, at this point in time, he is only form.

    Word salad. Of course the words don’t match.

    He was only a state senator before a Senator, and the Pritzkers had discovered him, and when big connected money discovers you, you become real. I am not real. I don’t know who you are, FB, so perhaps you are an everyday person too, and, thus, you are not real either.

    David Betz on another post said he’s never seen a country fall like ours before, I mean, in terms of outsider opinion of our strength or confidence or competence.

    We need a break. The US. The world needs a break from us, too. We need to pull back. This may disappoint some, that the US is not showing leadership, but we can’t right ourselves until we pull back, and is our so-called leadership really working now anyway?

    The Borg, the security state that is unmoored from the will of the people or our national interest and values, has to be stopped.

    And the only way to win with the Borg is to not become incorporated within in it. The only way to win is to not play.

    Only if we pull back and by that I mean rediscovering diplomacy, sovereignty, our place as a nation that has ties (or exists in) to atlanticism, the Pacific, the Western Hemsiphere. People around here might not like it, but I think our American elites and British elites don’t always play well together, we egg each other on and cover for each other’s worst mistakes. I am glad the British people put a brake on things recently and hope you continue to discover this independent voice. It’s not the end of something, but the beginning.

  2. Madhu says:

    Well, my habit of not proof reading really failed me in the last comment but I think the main intent is still there.

    Just say no. Yes that’s me as an American saying it, let us go, don’t keep pulling us in to your drama and we, of course, must stop from pulling you into our drama.

    The President seems to be going through the motion to me, something is not right there, it’s all come undone and his advisors are still egging him on. Presidential advisors and the post WWII American Presidency, the dangers are always there with those President-whisperers.

    ‘We tortured some folks.’ He can’t speak the truth anymore, no politician or President does, and so you end up shielding yourself from your own lies. Folks is the shield, the tic. My habit of pop psychology is wrong, I know, but the Borg scares you, you know? You have to read it from afar because too close becomes too dangerous. I don’t want to shield myself from the truth.

  3. Madhu says:

    One more, in case anyone thinks I think the lie is that America tortured.

    In our so-called Global War on Terror, our security state tortured. We committed torture. At least the folks could have been recognized as actual human beings, not some soft representation of humanity, some “folks”.

    I wish he’d ditch those advisors but he probably doesn’t trust anyone anymore. Who know’s how much of the silliness is egged on by the First Lady, too, being the child of connected local some-kind-0f-politicos in Chicago. Chicago is a political town, top to bottom, and the vast majority of people only understand patronage and view that as good governance. Really, it’s cultural, the patronage world, it’s in the water, the air, the history, all of it. And some people fall in love with the idea of being crusaders against it, even as they inadvertently contribute to the connected patronage politics.

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