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Would we really need debate on the torture question if we discussed the numerous acts of sodomy instead of the nuances of waterboarding?
"Yasser tearfully described that when he reached the top of the steps 'the party began. … They started to put the [muzzle] of the rifle [and] the wood from the broom into [my anus]. They entered my privates from behind.' ... Yasser estimated that he was penetrated five or six times during this initial sodomy incident and saw blood 'all over my feet' through a small hole in the hood covering his eyes." – by Physicians for Human Rights' "
"These brainstorming meetings at Guantanamo produced animated discussion. 'Who has the glassy eyes?' [Guantanamo Judge Advocate Diane] Beaver asked herself as she surveyed the men around the room, 30 or more of them. She was invariably the only woman in the room, keeping control of the boys. The younger men would get excited, agitated, even: 'You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas.' "
-- Phillipe Sands, Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values
There are known photos -- you can see them at Salon.com -- of a female prisoner being raped, and a male. Not to mention the kinky, naked slave-stacking and forced masturbation -- and the prisoner with a banana up his ass.
The inevitable dunderhead response, "they beheaded our people," is a sickness unto itself. From Abu Ghraib to Gitmo, we've suffered countless such humiliating comparisons, judging ourselves by the lowest standards current events can offer.
Sorry, but it is not enough to say we aren't as bad as Saddam Hussein or the scumbags that killed Daniel Pearl. The very idea that we should measure our own conduct by theirs is a total failure of self-respect. Only the worst kind of scumbag can excuse himself by saying, "I'm incrementally better than the Taliban."