Monday, September 18, 2006

Gimmie More Torture!

Gimmie More!

Naked men with black bags over their heads
strapped to cell walls, bed posts, piles
of naked bodies butts out, cameras clicking,
human beings smeared with excrement,
dogs snarling, rapes, water boarding —

Gimmie more!
More of this stuff
because we need to run our programs
reasons the President –
of what country?

Our country? The United States?
A president of the United States is
asking Congress to grant him the right
to torture prisoners?
Wants Congress to legislate
authorization to torture
in violation of the Geneva Conventions?
You’ve got to be kidding.

Isn’t this the President who didn’t
know about Abu Ghraib until
someone told him it was in the papers.
Isn't this the President who said
Abu Ghraib was the work of a few bad apples,
and a woman commander.
The orders didn’t come from his

Now he says the Geneva Conventions
are unclear.

He says he doesn’t understand
what the words
Outrages against personal dignity

We noticed this when he was Governor
of Texas —

when he presided over so many executions
we called him Governor Death, more executions
than any governor in history, more prison outrages,
prisoners attacked with cattle prods, gang rapes.

It's like his mother would say —
These people are mostly underprivileged
so anyplace they get three culturally
sensitive meals a day is a good deal for them.

This was the Governor who famously quipped,
Texas didn’t sign the Geneva Conventions.

Now he want’s more torture —
says GOP leaders opposing him are
putting our Nation at risk.

He’s been a bit testy even.

Why not?
Torture is good for America.

Gimmie more! he tells us,
more torture, right now, or I’ll
shut down the programs
that keep us safe.

©Susan Bright, 2006

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

* photo by Kyle

And here are some bumper stickers
we've seen in Austin, send in by Wolf Dilworth.

The Emperor has no clue

Call the village, I found their idiot

Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

Don't punish Palestine for engaging in democracy

Your Silence will not protect you

Be Nice to America OR we'll bring democracy to your country!

Terrorists Make Bombs.
Bush Makes Terrorists

Bush is Listening. Use BIG Words

The Religious Right is NEITHER

Why do we kill people
who kill people to show
that killing people is wrong?

Don't believe anything until
it has been officially denied

Dissent is the highest form
of patriotism (Thomas Jefferson)

No one died when Clinton Lied

How many Iraqi children did we kill today?

Support our troops: BRING THEM HOME ALIVE

After we rebuild Iraq, can we rebuild America?

THINK! Before it becomes illegal.

Regime change starts at home

God please save me from your followers

God is too big to fit into one Religion

Smile! Your government is watching you!


The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans

The TEN Commandments are NOT Multiple Choice


What it is About

Earthfamily Principles

Earthfamilyalpha Content II

Earthfamilyalpha Content




Blogger SB said...

One of our contributing artists, Laurie Wajima, tragically died on Saturday. You can see her work in several recent posts:

Inside the Train
Forever August

The comments signed LWW are hers.

We have posted the obit on the sites above. You can click on the last listed post to get to the first of these, do it again and you'll see the second two.

We will miss her.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant, Susan. and o so sadly true.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

September 18, 2006

Dear Congressman Lamar Smith,

Thank you for your recent legislative update and request for comment.

In a criminal pornography case the jury may be called upon to view the filth that is the basis of the trial. Jurors often complain they feel violated by the experience. Filth is filth and leaves it mark no matter what. Torture is a thousand times worse and its practice is the ultimate measure of degradation in the human species. It is inexcusable that the public is having this vile issue thrust upon them.

The president of my country is asking my representative to vote for the use of torture to make prisoners talk. That is beyond incredible. Anyone who is thinking about defending the indefensible is compounding the felony if they attempt to do so with word meaning manipulation regarding what constitutes torture. It is not necessary to inquire into the particular grotesque method being employed, it is enough to know that the horror inflicted on the prisoner is sufficient to break him or her to the point where they will tell anything. Anything, whether it is true or not, whether it will result in more torture, their death or the torture and death of their children, their mother, their father, their aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters or not. This is the program's measure of success when making someone talk, the victim cannot be allow to hold back anything, they must be forced to stand or hang from the ceiling or endure the unendurable in some other form, until their will is completely crushed and the prisoner will do anything, anything. That is torture no matter what it is called. The world adopted The Geneva Convention to stop captors from doing things to prisoners to make them talk. That principle cannot be circumvented by substituting another word for torture.

My country plays by the rules. We beat the Nazis, and the Japanese war machine, and survived the cold war without becoming the filth we were fighting against.

Don't vote for this torture bill. Don't even let the world see my country considering this thing.

Dan Crow

5:19 PM  
Blogger SB said...


Thank you for posting this letter. Amy Goodman on The War and Peace Report tonight interviewed Daniel Ratner, Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. His point, harrowing indeed, is that what Bush has done is suspend the most fundamental of rights guaranteed by law -- dating back to the Magna Carta (1215) -- the right of a human being put into prison to be charged with some violaion of the law. Without this Bush can nab anyone, anywhere in the world, throw them in jail, torture them, kill them, lock them up forever, throw away the keyl. This is what happened to the people in Gitmo.

This fundamental right to be charged with a crime is essential to our ability to live as civilized human beings.

You are right, Americans must put a stop to these abuses of presidential power.

thanks again for your powerful letter --

5:41 PM  

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