While I have my own particular view of the way I want the world to eventually be, I understand that we are where we are and it is going to take a long time to get close to where I want. In my utopia there are no prisons. I can see the path to get to that place, but I don’t think I am 100% against prisons now. I am against the fact that a handful of people are making boatloads of money off of locking people in cages. I am against people who got caught with illegal drugs or stealing being locked away in these places. I am against the way prisons are basically neo-slavery. However, when I think of a serial killer or rapist or child molester, my thoughts start to change. I understand that the culture we have created over hundreds of years is responsible for there being a plethora of outcasts, but that does not change the fact that I feel safer when someone who has fucked dozens of children is locked up instead of living next door to me.
That said, the number of innocent people who have been locked up and tortured in secret prisons throughout the world, at the behest of the US Government is beyond comprehension. There are hundreds of people —from teenagers to senior citizens— who are hidden in the secret prisons of Yemen, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and other torturous places. Even though these people are picked up as part of the ‘war on terror’ and are accused of fighting against US and NATO forces, they are not even considered Prisoners of War, which would grant them certain rights. They are considered “enemy combatants” which, according to the good US of A, entitles them to absolutely no rights; No right to see family, no right to have a lawyer, and certainly no right which prevents them from being tortured. The vast majority of these people have never even been charged with a crime. I have read stories about Muslims who visit Pakistan or Syria for religious or family purposes and get picked up on the streets for no reason, only to spend the next decade being tortured and degraded. Often times, the police in these countries are being paid by the amount of people they turn over to the US. It doesn’t matter whether the person is guilty or not, as long as they are another fresh body to put in a cell. Consider that only a small percentage of these unfortunate people were actually fighting against US troops. Imagine that! They live in a sovereign nation; another country comes in guns blazing, so in defense the attacked peoples pick up weapons. Next thing they know, life as they know it is over. Then we have the other 90% who actually committed no crime. These are people who did not necessarily dislike the United States; they had regular jobs, families, and would have probably spent the rest of their time on earth minding their own business. Instead they spend an unimaginably horrible few years being beaten and raped by the US government. What’s going to happen to those people when and if they get out?
While this process has slowed under the current administration, it is still happening plenty more than most people think about and an infinite amount more than it should happen. There are more and more countries probing the events of the past decade. In Italy, CIA members were actually convicted of war crimes and a number of other countries are in the process of building cases. What is the great Obusha doing? Is he sticking up for human rights like our savior should do? Is he using all his resources to find out what the man before him did? Is he releasing people the Pentagon said should have been freed six years ago? Or, is he protecting the biggest war criminal in decades and continuing the torture program? You figure it out for yourselves. Even the people who are being released from US controlled prisons are being sent to other countries, so that the US has deniability.
Most people I talk to in my daily life are against torture and secret prisons. I would be willing to wager that if the people who are for these things were able to meet the people being tortured or the families of innocent people who have been enhancely interrogated to death, the majority of them would change their minds. So, why does this stuff continue to happen? Because people against war, against torture, and against modern-day slavery are in the majority, they don’t have the resources to yell as loud as the war-mongers. Peaceful revolutionaries don’t have cable networks, can’t afford billboards, and will certainly never be in too powerful a position (especially since most refuse to participate in any hierarchical structure). What is the solution? I can’t say for sure, but I do know that we need to be louder. We need to write things in places that people can see, talk to people who we wouldn’t normally talk to, write stupid blogs that 4 people per day read, and whatever else we can do to drown out the ear shattering yelp of the ruling class.
Other interesting readings (according to me)