RANGER AGAINST WAR: Fear and Loathing in America <

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fear and Loathing in America

I was recently accused by a reader of being "anti-American" and "self-loathing". Then I read about former CIA contractor David Passaro, accused of beating Iraqi prisoner Abdul Wali to death. Now that's anti-American, and that should be loathed.

After more than three years, a government contract employee working for the CIA is finally charged with beating Abdul Wali during an interrogation, inflicting injuries resulting in Wali's death two days later. Testifying in the case in which Pasarro faces up to 40 years in jail, retired Special Forces soldier Brian Halstead--in the room at the time of Pasarro's interrogation of Wali--said Pasarro was "full of rage" and "going off" after it became clear that Wali "was not going to be a font of information," reported MSNBC on August 9, 2006.

Many questions follow on this sad incident, primary in my mind: why do the underlings always take the rap for what seems endemic abuses suggesting a sanctioned playbook of potentially lethal interrogation techniques? It's easy to lop off the menial scapegoats, like Lynndie England and David Passaro, but what if they are merely indicative of a deeper and more pervasive corruption in the conduct of their respective organizations? That's like putting a Band-Aid on a cancer, and the sickness will not go away just because we have temporarily covered it up.

I'm quite sure the administration will say that Wali calculatedly died in a clever propoganda ploy to discredit our CIA, since it's a known fact that Muslims don't value life like we do. Some kind of perverse double-black psy-ops was employed here, no doubt. Wali probably used some sort of devious subterfuge to force David Passaro to mercilessly beat him. The Muslims have certainly done enough of a cultural study to know the weasel words. Probably muttered something disparaging about Yo mama, or the Red, White and Blue, or perhaps NASCAR. How can you win against such fanaticism? Of course, I mean Wali, who is among the worst of the worst, I'm sure.

I am brought to mind of the inception of these Mid-East hostilities--to our invasion of Afghanistan, and of our early capture of California native John Walker Lindh amongst the Taliban in that country. After hearing of Wali, how can anybody believe that citizen Lindh was legally questioned in a constitutional manner?

Misguided, perhaps, but at least Lindh acted according to his conscience, which is more than I can say for some of our CIA interrogators. Kneeling stress positions, waterboarding...surfin' safari, anyone?


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