|"I'll do a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."|
On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court said that former George W. Bush officials cannot be held liable for the abuse and detention of a group of Muslim, South Asian, and Arab non-citizens swept up in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Trump decided to strut the golden-hued tornado delicately configured to obscure his bald-headed hypocrisy across the world stage and make it very clear to anyone harboring any illusions of his intentions of upholding international norms that the only promise he intends to keep is the one he made to make America Grate Again, and Again and Again, as he decried North Korea's shameful treatment of an American citizen even while the SCOTUS made it clear that the same treatment, when dished out by the US, is not only perfectly acceptable, but legal.
This decision provides constitutional immunity for all of the high-level officials who were responsible for gross abuses in the aftermath of September 11. Not to a lone individual who decided it would be a good idea to travel to the most arbitrarily-ruled dictatorial regime in the world and antagonize its government by ripping a stupid poster off the wall. But a cadre of foreigners who were in the wrong place when the US decided to "Round up the usual Suspects" and, using extraordinary rendition and black sites to avoid international opprobrium and oversight, twisted and contorted US law to enable them to be brutally tortured by Mubarak's thugs and other CIA-sponsored regimes well-versed in the art of breaking humans on the rack.
And we are not talking about Abu-Graib, or the subsequent discoveries of US use of illegal interrogations, after the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. These were forays in to sovereign nations that the US decided were responsible for the atrocity committed in NYC and the nation's capital. Actions that were undertaken before any war was declared, actions against the Taliban regime that the same administration had invited into the Bush White House a mere 6 months earlier and gifted with millions and millions of US taxpayers' dollars.
The inflammatory nature of the President's intentions is encased in his rhetoric:
“There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life,” President Trump said in a statement.
He is either a child, or he is in the prime of life: he can't be both. If he is a child, it is the parents who are responsible for sending him (a child hasn't the capacity to travel on its own reconnaissance) into a country fraught with danger for anyone, but especially a US citizen.
His "fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency."
Unless, of course, per the US Supreme Court, such tragedies are perpetuated at the hands of his regime, who are free to use torture, a method of persuasion he enthusiastically endorses, telling his adoring crowds, "We have to beat the savages", as they roar their approval. He subsequently put in an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation", where, referring to a War in which thousands of America's own, as well as hundreds of thousands of others, have been maimed, killed, and tortured, as a "game", he bragged that,
"We have to play the game the way they're playing the game."
Like its Monday night football.
"I think we've become very weak and ineffective. I think that's why we're not beating ISIS. It's that mentality," he goes on to say, extending the argument that torturing people is a sign of strength, resorting to brutality isn't something one does as a last resort, but as a stated policy to prove how Strong and Effective we are.
No. Korea agrees with every word he says. So how can he intone that,
"The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime".
When what he really has said, is that we Respect it; it's the only language we understand, it shows that the No. Korean regime is Strong and Effective. The regime uses such brutality to enforce the law, lest its enemies, according to our President, "think they are a little bit on the weak side."
Throughout his campaign the POTUS bragged to cheering crowds that, should he be elected, he would broaden the laws so our armed forces could torture more frequently and more brutally, promising to enable them to do a "hell of a lot worse" than waterboarding, and that he would engage our military in "going after terrorists' families."
His State Department “strongly warns” U.S. citizens not to travel to North Korea, noting that going there puts them at risk of arrest and long-term detention in accordance with what North Korea calls “wartime law.” But they operate under Wartime Law, not by their choice, but because they were included by the Bush and Trump Administrations as sponsors of terrorism, a member of the "Axis of Evil ", despite having no affiliation with any of the other two named states of Iraq and Iran that it is supposedly composed of. And we are engaged in a never-ending, self-proclaimed Global War on Terror, against these Axis powers. One which, per the Supreme Court's decision yesterday, "frees high officials to make the decisions necessary to protect the Nation in times of great peril". So "Wartime Law" is exactly what we now and, as we know, forever into the future, is the footing WE have placed the US on, and therefore those enemies we have decided compose this Axis of Evil. A stance we ave maintained for pretty much this entire century. So we are always living in times of great peril, which conveniently frees our own government to behave in the very manner which we condemn others for acting. Apparently even others who are forced to implement Wartime Law, not because they choose to, but because we chose to include them in an Axis of Evil to which they didn't belong. How could they? No such Axis ever existed except by the whim of American policy.
We are the sole Super Power, we lead the World, we are its self-appointed Policeman. So when the world's Police State acts in an arbitrary manner, ignoring the very Rule of Law it has set itself up as the defender of, and its leader gets elected by swaggering around the nation vociferously foaming at the mouth to foment support for ever more draconian methods be added to our already aggressive policy of War on Everything All The Time, it makes it that much easier for other countries to stop laughing at us behind our back and start doing it right to our face.
Fred Warmbier denounced what he called the “pariah” regime that brutalized his son.
But as our warplanes fly over the skies of yet another sovereign nation at which we're not at war and shoot down their own aircraft and bomb its innocent civilians who did nothing to any of us, it is hard to see how his despair can be empathized with by anyone outside the soon-to-be-walled in borders of the country that is seen as a pariah state by an ever-growing list of countries, an alarming number of which are ostensibly our allies, while our president brags to the world that we intend to always put America first.
These contradictions, however, are part and parcel of the man who can claim that, "We have to rebuild our military" and then, in the very same speech, state that "The power of weaponry is the single biggest problem that we have today in the world". Which is the same thing as admitting that the US, via it's obsession with the Full Spectrum Domination it wields via the power of its weaponry, to be "the single biggest problem that we have today in the world". That would in turn make its leader, whose only foreign policy achievements thus far has been to exacerbate tensions everywhere he travels, and to use the power of weaponry to fire missiles into Syria solely to bolster his sagging approval ratings, and then instigate, as the only implementation of his promise to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, an additional $52billion to expand the infrastructure of weaponry in the US, while penning deals with Sadist Arabia for hundreds of billions in additional weaponry, to be the single biggest problem that we have today in the world.