There is a real variety of democracy being cultivated in the world, from the democracy growing wild in Somalia to the hothouse democracy in Sweden. But the most exotic democracy is being cultivated in the United States of America, where local breeders have learned to interbreed flowers of the law with weeds of violence.
President George W Bush achieved particular success with regard to this kind of breeding when, after the events of 11 September 2001, he allowed intelligence agencies to beat the truth out of suspects with the aid of instruments used as far back as the medieval inquisitions. He did not worry about the legal aspects of such interrogation methods since, according to his fellow students, he spent more time at Yale University studying an assortment of spirits at local drinking establishments than he did studying law. Neither did he worry about the people who were actually using these methods. People began to be tortured.
A US Senate task force has spent several years working on a report on CIA torture, following an order by President Barack Obama. The order was American through and through – romantically motivated and poorly thought out. Romantic because the president called for the details of the torture programme to be made «transparent», and poorly thought out because there was a failure to comprehend the repercussions of such a report. In the end, «transparency» was not achieved. The authorities decided to publish just 500 of the report’s 6000 pages so as not to shock the American public. However, even these 500 pages have caused human rights defenders to cry out: «Gentlemen, what are you doing? What is the CIA doing with Gestapo-like torture chambers?»
At present, the most sensitive US citizens, including US television, are taking sedatives. It turns out that suspects were submerged in barrels of water, and the bones of those with shackled hands and feet fractured as a result of cramped muscles. They were beaten, frozen in cold cells, threatened with sexual violence, deprived of sleep for several days, mock executions were carried out, and much much more that is probably best not mentioned.
In addition, journalists have already ferreted out two secrets. Firstly, the list of torture techniques has not divulged everything. For example, effective interrogation methods like attaching electrodes to the genitals and immurement have been concealed. And even that is not all. Rumour has it that there are even more interesting intimidation methods that it is completely unacceptable to talk about. Secondly, the torture techniques were not an exception to the rule, but were included in a list of authorised operational methods known as «enhanced interrogation techniques». In a manner of speaking, it has shown the outcome of the fertilisation of the US Constitution with a syndrome of violence organically inherent in American society since the time of slavery in America.
There is a noticeable parallel here between Thomas Jefferson and Barack Obama. Both turned out to be romantics who did not understand the sort of people that have taken hold of America. Do not be surprised if evidence of the scalping of terrorism suspects by CIA employees is discovered one day in the classified section of the report, just as the Red Indians were scalped for refusing to undergo democratisation.
America would not be America, however, if the CIA’s masters of torture had just stupidly broken the law. It turns out that they did not break the law, since the ban on torture only covers the territory of the US. But skinning a man outside of the most democratic country in the world? Please, go ahead, there is nothing preventing it.
The CIA has specially equipped aircraft flying in neutral airspace, ships in neutral waters and secret prisons on the territory of its allies. In Poland and Lithuania, for example. There was a secret torture chamber hidden at a military airfield in Poland, and there was a similar establishment in Lithuania disguised as a riding school. Also, the prison at Guantanamo Bay, which President Obama has been unable to close, is still operating at full capacity.
In fact, the report says that 54 states were involved in the torture programme. The chances are that these democratic states borrowed America’s seedlings to cultivate democracy.
The CIA’s torture regime is not the point, of course; the point is Barack Obama’s short-sightedness in calling for such a report to be prepared. He should know that it always ends badly for romantics who have become US presidents. After all, four of them died before their time and without ceremony, and after his refusal to recognise Israel’s right to statehood, Franklin D Roosevelt had to be buried in a closed coffin. Romanticism is all very well, but there is no need for stupidity.
Times are changing, however. Last spring, CIA employees hacked into the computers of overly curious senators, and they were already getting ready to censor the report at their own discretion, but didn’t get the chance. The tradition of Anglo-Saxon loyalty within a narrow circle of friends is crumbling; there were scoundrels who would not allow the report to be edited, and a huge scandal has broken out.
Real Americans, however, understand that the traditions of the Western conquerors are the nation’s gold reserves, and there is no need to be ashamed of them. George W Bush, for example, gave a speech that salved the wounds of the master executioners, the fruits of whose labour has gone unappreciated in their homeland: «We’re fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf. These are patriots. And whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contribution to our country it is way off base. We’re lucky as a nation to have them.»
It is easy for the former president to say so, of course; in his position, he is not being threatened with Guantanamo, and nobody is going to hold him under water, not to mention the electrodes. There are other Americans, however, who are not so well protected. On the eve of the report’s publication, therefore, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel alerted all US Army Commanders around the world, afraid that attacks would be carried out on US embassies and US military units abroad.
When the world saw the 500 pages of the Senate’s report, of course, nobody was surprised. Much of it was already known. Much worse are those pages that the senators themselves admit are «frightful», pages that cannot be shown to the public. After all, these pages came into being when Edward Snowden and Julian Assange were already carrying out their black deed, and they may well have accessed the materials on which the report was based.
And if this information should appear in addition to the published part of the document, then it would not be superfluous for the US Armed Forces to be put on full combat readiness. Why, such information could reveal the CIA’s plans to kidnap prominent politicians in foreign countries, use psychotropic substances against foreign public figures, and prepare military coups with the subsequent removal of heads of state. And when this occurs, a powerful wave of indignation at the flowers of American diplomacy will be unavoidable, and the already low demand for this rotten product will dry up completely.