Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Constitutional Tipping Point

"As nightfall does not come all at one, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change  in the air - however slight - lest we become unwilling victims of  the darkness." Justice William O. Douglas.

This quote struck me as being highly relevant today as the truth about the CIA's interrogation techniques of so-called "terror suspects" and the destroyed video tapes that documented this torture swirls around the news coupled together with water-boarding for all suspects.

"Despite the mystique that surrounds it, and the understandable impulse to treat it as aberrant behavior beyond politics, torture is not particularly complicated or mysterious. A tool of the crudest kind of coercion, it crops up with great predictability whenever a local despot or a foerign occupier lacks the consent needed to rule: Marcos in the Philippines; the Shah in Iran; Saddam in Iraq; the French in Algeria; the Israelis in the occupied  territories; the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtual foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system - whether political,religious, or economic - that is rejected by large numbers of people they are ruling."

Klein, Naomi,  The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Metropolitan Books, 2007, pg. 125.

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