Is nothing sacred? Pause a moment and give that some thought… The past few days, I’ve been rocked to the core, as Senator Diane Feinstein (Democrat representing the state of California) released the report on torture from United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
This is so mixed up, my Facebook feed is unusually quiet on the topic. Wolf Blitzer, supposedly a respected CNN journalist despite his pseudo-reindeer name, asked Feinstein, “I assume you’d feel guilty if Americans are killed because of the release of the report?” (Might not be exact verbatim although I watched the interview, see this article with YouTube clip.)
What I’ve gathered from the media muddle and despicable partisan politics and people rushing to cover their @sses thus far is:
- George W. Bush was (supposedly) kept largely in the dark about what was going on.
- Dick Cheney was aware of what was going on in its entirety and approved.
- Barack Obama fought against release of the report.
- CIA Director John Brennan is defending his agency from accusations in a Senate report that it used inhumane interrogation techniques against terrorist suspect with no security benefits to the nation. (Here.)
- Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings (Here.)
Well, if my Facebook friends aren’t talking about it, the media certainly is, and you can find a plethora of articles on the Internet. I just picked a few. So we re-open the wounds of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and extraordinary rendition to secret black sites that were never fully prosecuted, never fully healed, and never fully exposed.
Reminds me of the old Dave Mason song:
There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy
There’s only you and me and we just disagree
Except there are good guys and bad guys… But who are they?
Former president George H. W. Bush described America this way (see here):
I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good. We will work hand in hand, encouraging, sometimes leading, sometimes being led, rewarding. We will work on this in the White House, in the Cabinet agencies. I will go to the people and the programs that are the brighter points of light, and I will ask every member of my government to become involved. The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.
Where are those thousand points of light now? Vulgar beheadings by fundamentalist Islamists while we strike back with unmanned drones and targeted assassinations and bombing campaigns with innocent civilians killed. Riots in our streets because police shoot down or choke-hold unarmed (young) black men — regardless of facts and circumstances on either side. Slammed for our practice of torture by the likes of Iran and China and North Korea, now that Pandora’s box has been re-opened.
Yes, the United States is still carrying out the death penalty… So who wouldn’t be confused about the good guys and the bad guys? Does the b@st@rd deserve it?
I really don’t have the answers for you, except that “rectal rehydration” and “waterboarding” are definitely torture. We can agree on that much, right? I’m ashamed those acts were perpetrated under the auspices of my country. I believe Diane Feinstein is a hero and was correct in releasing the report. If we don’t clean up our own backyard, we will never be those “thousand points of light.” And who are we to be so righteous, anyway? Did you sign up for being born in the USA or Ghana or Somalia or Denmark?
Heavy duty reading I know, and a lot to digest. Sorry for no post on healing and inspiration tonight. But on the other hand, I really wanted to talk to you about my journey to the moon and back…
Those loyal followers who’ve stuck with me in my blog and my mysteries explored, hope for healing, and sharing the journey will know that I’m transgendered, that is, transitioned from female to male. For me, it was an arduous, passionate, spiritual trajectory that landed me exactly where I wanted to be. And that’s comfortably on the male side of the female / male divide. No one who does not know my personal history would guess that I was born female. That was my trek to the moon and back. See, look…
But when I decided the course my life would take, one of the books I read was this, published in 1995:
Find it on Amazon here.
The underlying supposition is that one of the things we take for granted because we hear it from birth is the illusory gender binary of female / male. For me, I’m comfortable on the male side of the illusory divide. But I salute my brothers and sisters who are closer to middle or who are struggling to find how they fit in this crazy world.
For a better understanding of what it means to be transgendered, I invite you to watch this TEDtalk. Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled, so you’ll have to go to YouTube to see it. It’s definitely worth a look. Please give it a few minutes of your time. Pretty please, with a cherry on top?
I’m not precisely sure how being transgendered and torture are related. I think it has something to do with what’s in the heart and what we are taught, our actions and the choices we make.
Be kind, be true, be real, be love…
On this blog everything is sacred, and nothing is too sacred to talk about, especially when it is the truth. That is the healing, inspirational part I’d hoped to include.
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