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The guilty among us

Jose Padilla kept in sensory deprivation
Continuous sensory deprivation has rendered Jose Padilla effectively useless to his own defense lawyers.

A sense of optimism before the 2004 elections had me anticipating a reckoning for the perpetrators of the Iraq war. Not just the Neocon architects, but everyone who had supported their murderous, larcenous enterprise. Not just the Bush cronies in the media or think-tanks or GOP hierarchy. I fantasized that every American even smiling in pictures beside the president or a cohort would be held to account. I imagined leveling a war reparations tax on all Republicans, a stupidity tax so to speak. Make those who supported the war pay for it.

With no sea change yet in sight, I’ve lowered by sights. Save the flag waivers for later, let’s address the other foot soldiers, the foot soldiers. Our troops in Iraq are the war’s hands-on perpetrators, each and every one should be held to account. There might be no justice we can enforce as yet, but let the soldiers know it will come. It won’t be a hard case to prove. Kill indiscriminately? Violate humanitarian law? Too thick to understand right from wrong? Sorry Charley.

Support the troops. Give them a good swift reprimand.

Military prison guards at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo,may have been trained to behave terribly, maybe their orders explicitly state to do terrible things, maybe they some bring stateside experience from regular US prison practice. It’s no excuse. Being ignorant of the law, being dumb at crew-cutted doorknobs, does not excuse anyone from responsibility. They are all part of the reign of terror and they will burn with it as soon as justice is given a match.

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