DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO
GOOD TOUCH...BAD TOUCH Everyone has heard a story about someone's perverted uncle that molested them and said something to the effect of, "It'll be out little secret". U.S. detainees (both foreign and domestic) are now experiencing this for themselves at the perverse hand of Uncle Sam. Like every other act of indiscretion, Uncle Sam wants this to be America's little secret. Sorry Sam, the secret is out. Although the United States government claims to be against torture, what they really mean is that they are against torture that they do not agree with. In a report filed by Amnesty International on Wednesday, for the United Nations' Committee against torture they alleged torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba (despite U.S. denials). The report also alleged abuses against the U.S. domestic law enforcement system that included use of excessive force by police and degrading conditions of isolation for inmates in high security prisons. The 47 page report filed by Amnesty International was quoted as saying, "Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees held in U.S. custody". Uncle Sam of course is trying to shift the blame to someone else, trying to blame the alleged torture on "aberrant soldiers and lack of oversight." These soldiers are trained by the U.S. military! What did they think would happen when they took young kids, gave them guns, brainwashed them into thinking that Arabs were the enemy, and then put them in charge of prisons full of Arab prisoners? We might as well have told them that for every prisoner that they torture that they get another $1,000 dollars towards the college education they are over there trying to earn (not all of our mommies and daddies can buy our way into Yale). And who's to blame for the lack of oversight? Hmm let's think, who's in Commander in Chief of the military? Dubya and his goons anyone? If you looked up "lack of oversight" in the dictionary you'd find a big picture of Bush and his cabinet. "The U.S. government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture, it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish," said Amnesty International USA Senior Deputy Director-General Curt Goering. Doesn't sound like a lack of oversight to me. It sounds like a very deliberate plan by our government to achieve their goals by any means necessary. In a memorandum from the U.S. Attorney General's in December of 2004, torture was reserved for "extreme" acts of cruelty. Is this really compatible with the global convention barring all forms of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment? In its own submission to the council, the U.S. government took the stance that we were justified in holding thousands of foreign terrorism suspects in detention centers abroad (including Guantanamo Bay in Cuba) on the grounds that it was fighting a war that was still not over. Is this the "War on Terror"? The war on terror will never be over. Because the other side of the coin is, that the U.S. are the real terrorists. The people we claim are evil claim the same thing about us. So who are the real terrorists? People who live in White House's shouldn't throw stones. Having George Bush in power feels like torture to most of the world. I know it tortures me. The facts are clear. Dubya (a guy who used to think that using a little cocaine gave him a full serving of vegetables) now thinks that god (aka jesus) wants him to do everything he is doing and consequently, feels justified in his mind for every action he takes. The rest of the World sees it just a little bit differently. If Dubya wants to fight his christian holy war and torture people domestically and abroad he should take his family's millions and millions of dollars, organize his christian soldiers, and do it on his own. It's time he stopped carrying out these acts of terrorism with tax-payers money and besmirching the name of the United States and its citizens. As it stands now in this country (if things don't change), divided we stand, but united we will fall. HMMM, I PROBABLY COULD HAVE WORDED THAT BETTER Most people have a part of their brain that pre-approves statements before they are passed on to the mouth to be shared with others. Most of the time my brain functions that way. I'd like to share with you a few of the times it did not. One day, while enjoying a lunch at Friendly's (a restaurant that specializes in ice cream but also has quite a large food menu as well) with my friend Dan, we decided to kill a little more time (and the next class at school) by ordering sundaes after lunch. I happen to love Friendly's mocha-chip ice cream so I got that with some chocolate sauce, marshmallow, whipped cream, and jimmies (sprinkles to the layperson). Dan ordered a big gooey sundae with numerous toppings. One of them was a walnut topping in a syrup sauce. It is often referred to (in the ice cream world) as wet nuts. I'd never tried this topping before so when the sundaes arrived at our table, I took my spoon, reached across the table, and tried to take a few off of his sundae. He quickly used his spoon to block my attempt. We went back and forth like this for a few moments. Friendly's was packed that afternoon. Every table was filled. The place was very noisy with the buzz of conversation so when I decided to raise my voice at Dan, I didn't think anyone would hear it. Not thinking about what I was yelling anyway, I turned to attempt another pass at his sundae. Thwarted again by his spoon I became mad, "I just want to taste your nuts!" I hollered. By some wonderfully bad act of luck, at that exact moment, everyone else in the restaurant all went silent at once. My words echoed through out the entire place. Everyone turned and looked. As it turns out Dan finally let me taste his wet nuts. I had paid the price, he had gotten a taste of my shame. Another day, while playing a round of Par 3 chip-and-putt golf, Dan and I got into an argument over the number of strokes I had taken on the previous hole. I was sure I had shot a four, Dan claimed I had a five. We began to bicker. "Four!" "No, Five!" "It was Four!" "It was Five!" I knew I had gotten a four but Dan was the one with the score card and wouldn't change it. As we walked across the crowded golf course to the next tee, my words got the better of me again. "I just want-a stroke off," I yelled at him. I wish I could tell you I only yelled it once, but the truth is, by the time I looked up and saw everyone at the next tee laughing at me (there were a lot of people on the course and a back-up at each tee), I had uttered these words several times. By the time I realized what I was saying, it was too late. Dan finally gave me a four, and everyone else gave me the "thanks for sharing your urge to masturbate" stare (and a good chuckle) every time we got to one of the remaining tees. BREAKING NEWS The link to Spoon, Full of Truth: Reviews is now located below the subscribe button on the left hand side of the screen (under the archives). The first reviews will be posted late this week or early next week so stay tuned! Also look for the return of The List this Friday as a whole new group of people and their annoying actions come under fire. Please don't hesitate to use the comment feature to make remarks about any posts (whether you like or dislike them). If you'd like to write a guest column for the Spoon, please contact me at email@example.com and become the envy of all of your friends.