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November 7, 2007, Volume 15 Nr. 4, Issue 235

Mukasey, Buchanan, Feinstein, and Schumer. 
 Waterboarding And The Passion Of Christ.

Pat Buchanan, the Right's raucous political commentator has been all over the media in regards to George Bush's choosing Michael Mukasey for being the next United States Attorney General.  Mukasey testified before a Senate Committee that he does not know whether the well-known interrogation procedure called waterboarding is torture.  Touted as an "expert" political analyst by the similarly minded neo-fascist ideologues who hire him, Buchanan has been offering neo-con news junkies and unaware working folk his take on waterboarding.  Buchanan, of course, defends Mukasey.  Waterboarding, however, is not as Buchanan suggests: simulated drowning.  It IS drowning!  Ever eager to "enlighten" his audience with his self-righteous re-education, Buchanan reveals how conflicted he really is.  On Monday, November 5, 2007, on MSNBC, following Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" show, pitchman Pat stated with dismissive jocularity that waterboarding wasn't torture since the person undergoing it was being told ahead of time what was to happen, that they would not die.  Let's take a closer look at Buchanan's argument.

The purpose of waterboarding as an "interrogation procedure" is ostensibly to extract "intelligence" under a procedure that simulates drowning, i.e., dieing from fluid asphyxiation.  To Buchanan and others like him the discomfort of waterboarding is ameliorated by telling the prisoner that they will survive.  Pretty neat, isn't it Pat?  Stuffing a giant silk rag into a tied-down person's mouth and pouring water down into it.  Does that get your jollies off Pat?  Tell me, Mr. Buchanan, if it were you being waterboarded wouldn't you just about say anything to make it stop?  Wouldn't you lie as a way out of eating soaked rags, gagging and choking?  Wouldn't you piss in your pants and soil your underwear?  Don't you see that our country's use of waterboarding sets the example for the world in how our men and women, your sons and daughters, can be treated when captured?  I wonder if Pat Buchanan has any family members who risk being waterboarded?  

Pat Buchanan is a Roman Catholic.  In that religion, the Passion of Jesus Christ plays a central role in its redemption mythology.  Tens of millions of Roman Catholics, like Pat Buchanan, literally believe in the Passion of the Christ which was so pornographically presented in Mel Gibson's movie by the same name.  The movie graphically depicts the bodily assaults and pain purportedly inflicted upon Jesus Christ.  But was it torture?  Was placing the crown of thorns on Jesus' head torture?  Was lashing torture?  Were the chains?  How about carrying the heavy cross?  Like many Roman Catholic churches, the one that I attended as a young man, had the Stations of the Cross.  The BBC.CO.UK website states about the Stations: "The Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) takes the faithful on a journey through the final stages of the Passion".  The faithful stop at the fourteen stations, pray, re-visit the passion, and often "feel" the pain associated with each.  

But Jesus knew in advance what was coming.  He was informed about the impending events when he "spoke" to God in the Garden at Gethsemane.  From the song "Gethsemane (I only want to know)" in the play "Jesus Christ Superstar":

God thy will is hard
But you hold every card
I will drink your cup of poison
Nail me to your cross and break me
Bleed me, beat me

God tells Jesus not to worry, that after it's all over, after all the pain and suffering, that Jesus' existence will continue.  According to the Pat Buchanan school of waterboarding, Jesus  was not tortured.  He knew he would be resurrected.  What Catholic would believe that?  It's clear that Pat Buchanan doesn't believe what he is saying regarding Mukasey and waterboarding.  Buchanan's political ideology gets in the way of his faith.  It also gets in the way of the decency and the morality that he professes is the United States of America, his Fatherland, .  Perhaps that is the point, that Buchanan's Fatherland supersedes his Father just as it supersedes everything else, including the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Convention.  

Fatherland is what fascists turn to when they cover up their personal internal conflicts in favor of domination over everything.  To fascists, waterboarding becomes not to be torture.  The United States becomes a country that does not torture.  Extreme rendition becomes not kidnapping.  People's disappearances become not unconstitutional.   Assassination becomes not being murder.  "Preventive war" becomes not aggression.  And collateral damage is no longer contrary to "thou shall not kill".  Death becomes not being contrary to the "pursuit of life".  To hell with "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights." I ask you, Pat Buchanan, would your Jesus Christ sanction waterboarding?  Are you not like those who "tortured" Christ and then passed the buck, abrogating responsibility for it?  How do you live with yourself?  

The Roman Catholic Church used waterboarding during the Spanish Inquisition. Called the "water cure", the Crime Library, Criminal Minds and Methods website describes the water cure  thusly,

The first level of torture employed by the Spanish Inquisition was the "water cure." Water was poured into the accused's open mouth. The linen cloth was washed into the opening of the throat, preventing the accused from spitting the water back out. The overwhelming sensation of drowning forced the accused to swallow the water. The rules of torture as written by Torquemada, a man whom historians have compared to Hitler, stipulated that no more than eight liters of water could be used in a single session.

The torturer held the earthen jug in his arms, ready to follow the inquisitor's orders. The woman cried and struggled for breath, anticipating the worst.

The inquisitor stepped forward and spoke. "We shall begin."

Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer with their Senate votes in favor of attorney general nominee, Michael Mukasey, have now joined with Pat Buchanan.  Together, they have established the precedent as to how the enemies of the United States can behave when dealing with captured U.S. people.  They have officially notified our enemies that they can do as we do, not as what we say.  They can waterboard with impunity.

Shame on you Michael Mukasey.  Shame on you Pat Buchanan.  You and the acting commander-in-chief and pretend president George W. Bush, vice president Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, John Negroponte, John Ashcroft, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, the entire cabal, are all torturers and violators of the U.S.  Constitution.  As Al Alexander states in the Progressive Daily Beacon of November 7, 2007,

In voting for Mukasey's confirmation, the two Democratic Senators (have given their approval to Mister Bush's torture program. In essence Schumer and Feinstein have said that all Americans, Democrat and Republican, support the use of torture ... they've made EVERY American complicit in crimes against humanity!

John Sifton of Human Rights Watch says of waterboarding, "The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law."  

On November 5, 2006, on the MSBC program "Countdown with Kieth Olbermann", Mr. Olbermann said the following about the victim of waterboarding.

He'll tell you everything he ever fantasized doing in his most horrific of daydreams, his equivalent of the day you "flew" onto the deck of the Lincoln to explain you'd won in Iraq.

Olbermann also said of George W. Bush who approves of waterboarding:

Now if that's what this is all about, you tortured not because you're so stupid you think torture produces confession but you tortured because you're smart enough to know it produces really authentic-sounding fiction well, then, you're going to need all the lawyers you can find because that crime wouldn't just mean impeachment, would it?

That crime would mean George W. Bush is going to prison.

Our not so not elected officials have failed miserably.  It is up to the people of the United States, as it always has been, to protect and defend the Constitution.  This is beginning to happen. Listen to the loud rumblings.  It's about time.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter:  (Oath of office, U.S. Senate)

I, having been appointed a (insert rank) in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. (Military oath)

Let's do it!  Let's defend the U.S. Constitution.  Let's Impeach, try, convict, and incarcerate George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and  their entire gang of thugs. And when we are finished with them here, let's send them to The Hague for the judgment of the world.

2007 Jozef Hand-Boniakowski, PhD
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