This is Part Two of A Three Part Series
I was coming out of the local Convenience Store after buying some coffee. I was with my oldest daughter, who I was driving to school after a Doctor’s appointment; when I heard a loud bang and crash. Immediately, I completely freaked out and moved my daughter and I close to the wall of the store when the crash and bang happened again. My daughter realized that it was only a garbage truck picking up the dumpsters and emptying them and loudly slamming them down on the ground after they had finished. The damage to my psyche had been done though; I was shaken and shaking violently and when we got into the car, my daughter held on to me while I tried to work through things to get back to some type of normalcy. After a few minutes, I was able to leave the parking lot, drop her off at school and get home…where I immediately popped two Xanax to completely bring myself out of whatever panic attack was still there (or waiting to be launched) now that my senses were completely heightened beyond normal.
This has been my life since September 11th, 2001. This is what happens to me when I least expect it to; why simple things that normally are a routine part of life are anything but for me. This is why I still have nightmares that I can only remember by my screams upon awakening or the way I feel out of sorts in the morning. This is why I shake for no reason, and a panic attack will strike me for no good reason (unlike what happened yesterday). This is why I am disabled; this is what it is like to have acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder My life has changed considerably since 9/11, as has most of America; and some of us are affected in different ways. Many people have been affected like myself to varying degrees; families have lost loved ones; men and women had signed up for military careers who normally wouldn’t have done so; and on the political spectrum, things have become more polarized than at any time in this nation since the Civil War.
On one side, we have the Democrats who are now the Party in Power; the left wing-ideologues who were silent for almost all of the eight years of the last Administration. A group of politicians who were complicit in torture, authorized by the sham of a legal patchwork devised by a corrupt Justice Department, by their complete and utter silence on this issue. On the other, we have a Political Party that has been beaten into submission in the Republicans, who led us astray from our core American values and principles in order to complete the Neoconservative agenda for American domination of the planet. Oversimplified? Perhaps, as there were pockets of resistance in both camps who were opposed to the Iraq War (Dennis Kusinich and Ron Paul come to mind); but for the most part, Republicans dominated and controlled the agenda while the Democrats lay on their sides and played dead. Make absolutely no mistake about this, every single person who is still in the Congress and Senate from 2001 on is complicit and guilty of war crimes…at least in my book. And yes, this includes the Speaker of the House because she KNEW and SAID NOTHING. The hell with the Security Oath, the hell with everything…when you have the Constitution on your side LEGITIMATELY you SAY something…otherwise you are as guilty as the individuals who would trash the very document which protects you from harm; as guilty as the individuals who devised the methods of enhanced interrogation; as guilty as the poor bastard who poured a gallon of water on someone’s face 163 times.
My anger crosses Party lines. Cruelty and subjugation are not the proprietary methods of one Political Party; it is rather, a Human trait that in times of desperation rears its horrible head above the maelstrom to devour any shred of justice and kindness left in those who use “Justice” as a shield. Yes, I am infuriated and disgusted at those who inhabit the august bodies called The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate who allowed this to happen ON THEIR WATCH. I am horrified that an Administration that has gone on record as “keeping the American people safe for eight years” conveniently forget that they were in power for NINE MONTHS in 2001 and that horrid terrorist attack that happened on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon HAPPENED ON THEIR WATCH. What transpired after those attacks is something never seen before in the history of this nation; not even after Pearl Harbor…
We, as a nation went mad.
We were desperate in the days following the attacks and would do anything to ensure this would never happen again. For some, this became an extended form of paranoia that continues to this very day; and for one man, Richard Bruce Cheney, has become his life. Whereas I went inward with my madness from that horrid day; then-Vice President Cheney outwardly displayed his; a madness made manifest in the way policy was set toward the arrest and treatment of individuals declared as terrorists. A madness that went so far as to manipulate the very forces of government to not only carry out a Neoconservative Agenda, but to create his own…a shadow government that existed beneath the legitimately elected one of the United States. He, along with long-time friend Donald Rumsfeld, became Puppet Masters; adept at pulling the strings of the most powerful puppet on the face of the planet. They were the brains, Bush was the instrument that carried out their bidding either knowingly or possibly even unknowingly (as I am coming to believe more with each passing day). They were the ones who engineered a war that would generate profits (purely by coincidence) for companies where both men had served as a Board Director. They were the ones who assured the American People that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction and was partially responsible for the 9/11 attacks. They were the ones who ensured that the CIA produced the “right intelligence” to back up their claims. They were the ones who had the Power and the Means to carry out an Agenda of Domination and Madness.
As the bombs were falling on Baghdad, in undisclosed locations around the world, people were being tortured…people who were providing RELIABLE information regarding terrorist cells and plans under conventional methods. They were tortured not because they weren’t producing enough information…but weren’t producing information that would back up the claims of the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense that Iraq had a connection to 9/11.
Torture is forbidden by any civilized society, let alone those nations that signed the Geneva Conventions. The method in question, water-boarding, was used as far back as the Spanish Inquisition (that bastion of righteousness itself) to obtain information. We prosecuted (successfully) our OWN soldiers in any war we were involved in who used this method on an enemy combatant to obtain information. The Vice President is going on every conceivable form of communications device known to man to get his point across that this was necessary. That it protected the American People; that it made the world safe for Democracy and Righteousness. For a guy that was always in a previously “undisclosed location” for the better part of eight years, this is something of a revelation for the television viewer. It is also a revelation for every prosecutor in the world who wishes to pursue War Crimes charges against him (and anyone else associated with the so-called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”). The remarkable thing is that he is unapologetic about it; as unrepentant as Hermann Goering was when he was caught and just until the moment of his suicide after world War Two. A bitter man, with a horrid tale of just how far Humanity will go when pushed far enough to maintain what they perceive as “right” despite their obvious insanity.
The amazing thing about Goering was that he was extolling Nazi beliefs and saying how just they were in starting and carrying out the greatest war known to Mankind. He argued with his prosecutors, displayed an arrogance that has to be seen to be believed; an all-knowing certainty that he was right, and would do the same things again if given the chance. This is why we have the Death Penalty for Crimes Against Humanity; so that monsters like Hermann Goering will not walk the Earth and have the opportunity to carry out an agenda of horror again.
This is what Richard Bruce Cheney would do again, carry out the Neoconservative Agenda and continue to subvert the Constitution and our core American Beliefs and Values. This is what people who think like he does would do again. This is why they lie in wait of another terrorist attack on our beloved country; waiting for the moment when they can say, “I told you so” amid the smoldering ruins of a city as bodies lie in waste. The sheer fact that lives would be lost would not be enough for them, they would have to ensure that their old agenda would be re-instituted and strengthened.
And we would gladly let it be so.
To be continued…
“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering