The Good Germans Among Us
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: November 11th, 2007
Bush lies doesnt cut it anymore. Its time to confront the darker reality that we are lying to ourselves. By any legal standards except those rubber-stamped by Alberto Gonzales, we are practicing torture, and we have known we are doing so ever since photographic proof emerged from Abu Ghraib more than three years ago. As Andrew Sullivan, once a Bush cheerleader, observed last weekend in The Sunday Times of London, Americas enhanced interrogation techniques have a grotesque provenance: Verschrfte Vernehmung, enhanced or intensified interrogation, was the exact term innovated by the Gestapo to describe what became known as the third degree. It left no marks. It included hypothermia, stress positions and long-time sleep deprivation. We must ... examine our own responsibility for the hideous acts committed in our name in a war where we have now fought longer than we did in the one that put Verschrfte Vernehmung on the map. The war was sold by a ... fear-fueled White House propaganda campaign designed to stampede a nation still shellshocked by 9/11. Both Congress and the press the powerful institutions that should have provided the checks, balances and due diligence of the administrations case failed to do their job. Had they done so, more Americans might have raised more objections. This perfect storm of democratic failure began at the top. [But] as the war has dragged on, it is hard to give Americans en masse a pass. We are too slow to notice, let alone protest, the calamities that have followed the original sin. Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those good Germans who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo.