- Here's part of a plea that came from a torture victim,
a nun who was tortured in Guatemala; but her words reveal far more about
the real reasons behind why so many have chosen 'not-to-know' than many
of us ever expected that we would ever see. Here's an excerpt.
- "On November 2, 1989, I was burned with cigarettes
more than 111 times. I was raped over and over again--and this was only
- "Anyone who has been tortured remains tortured."
"Anyone who has suffered torture never again will be at ease in the
world...faith in humanity, already cracked by the first slap in the face,
then demolished by torture, is never acquired again."
- From anonymous graves, voices still cry out. From clandestine
prisons, in the midst of indescribable pain, we, my sisters and brothers,
beg you to hear. Will you listen to what we alone know of this crime against
humanity--what we know from the inside out?
- Please hear us! Torture does not end with the release
from some clandestine prison. It is not something we "get over."
Simply, "looking forward" is not an option for us. Torture is
a permanent invasion of our minds and our souls. Surviving is far worse
that the actual physical torture itself. Those wounds heal in time--but
the memories cling to us. Psychological torture is time without end. No
one fully recovers from torture. The damage can never be undone.
- And what an irony it is that today in the United States,
the tortured so often are told that what they experienced was not even
cruel and unusual, let alone torture. What an irony that those who oppose
torture, oppose the violation of U.S law by acts of non-violent civil resistance
can be sent to prison while those who ordered this brutality walk free,
receiving the de facto impunity implied in your call to "look forward"
and only forward.
- Mr. President, there is ample reason to believe that
important members of the previous administration may well have violated
the law. Is it not your responsibility and that of the Attorney General
to investigate that possibility? And if the law was violated, is it not
your responsibility to hold perpetrators accountable, no matter how exalted
their previous positions?
- We who have paid the dreadful price of torture beseech
you to determine just what happened to law and morality during the past
eight years and to make those findings public. It is only by an independent
investigation that we will learn the truth, and, if that investigation
warrants, it will be by prosecution that we may hold to account those who
violated the law and despoiled our national honor. Getting things right
in the future depends on knowing what went wrong in the past."
- What does she say about who we are and what we have become,
that reveals so much about the dark side of American life today? Just think
- Are our lives not supposed to contain real values that
supersede money or personal power, are we not obligated to not only have
empathy for other human-beings, but to act to keep others as well-off as
we ourselves would like to be:? Have we not already lost whatever it means
to be alive if we can routinely allow the torture of our fellow-beings
because we are too busy to notice those events which might call into question
the very core of our own values or lack thereof, in this fear-filled world
of nearly total corruption?
- Many have wondered why so many Americans refuse to be
awakened. This Nun casts light on that problem in a whole new way. IF we
allow ourselves to see her plight, and the plight of millions of the others
that we've been instrumental in torturing, that are everywhere around the
world, then what ultimately does this say about our lives and our non-existent
- What makes us so special that we get to determine who
lives and who dies or who is tortured and who is spared? That's basic to
all of life, and yet for the last nine years we have behaved as if we are
above the laws of nature and the universe - could it be that some of us
really think that we have become 'gods'!
- Another voice that will not be stilled: This one comes
from the mists of tortured-time, where the inhabitants of the Middle-East
have been forced to live according to the artificiality of the time-table
for the Greater State of Zionism.
- "There is no subject more restricted, nor more controlled
in the United States than a critical discussion of Israel. Balanced argument
is ignored while each word is parsed -- and condemned. It's strange that
we are free to rant and rave and point out the war crimes of our own administration
-- of all other administrations throughout the world -- but not those of
Israel. The few who dare to question the damage Israel has wrought throughout
the Middle East for decades are immediately labeled "anti-Semitic,"
and are in danger of losing their friends, jobs, their reputations and,
if they persist, their country -- for America has zero tolerance for those
who recognize Israel's brutality.
- Why is this? Are not crimes against humanity just that,
regardless of who is committing them? For example, when one-and-a-half
million human beings are imprisoned like caged animals, with no food, electricity,
medical care, clean water, and then are exterminated like so many insects
-- cut to pieces, burned to a crisp with illegal weapons banned by the
Geneva Conventions -- is that not a crime against humanity? Are the men,
women and children trapped behind the walls of Gaza with nowhere to run
-- nowhere to hide -- not human?
- Kill Them All
- If you've been listening to the Israeli leadership for
the past 60 years, the last 10 years -- the last year -- you know very
well that Palestinians are many things, but not human. In 1982, former
Likud leader and prime minister Menahim Begin said Palestinians "are
beasts walking on two legs." The next year, Chief of Staff of the
Israeli Defense Forces Raphael Eitan gloated, "When we have settled
the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around
like drugged cockroaches in a bottle." And, in 1988, Yitzhak Shamir,
a Likudnik elected Prime Minister twice, told the settlers taking over
the Palestinian land, "The Palestinians will be crushed like grasshoppers...heads
smashed against the boulders and walls."
- "Despite the layers upon layers of justification
Israel cites, there is only one reason it continues its heinous extermination
of the Palestinian people -- because it can. Because the United States
supports such atrocity. Because the United States finances, arms and equips
Israel, and -- more important -- protects it from having to account for
any of its crimes. So, who's to blame here? From whose hands does the blood
of Palestinian men, women and children run? Israel or the United States?
Who are the monsters?"
- Nor is this article one-sided by any means: It continues:
- "When I look to the Middle East and see human beings
abused, without food or adequate health care, their infrastructure destroyed,
their children slaughtered for sport, it is difficult for me to believe
such barbaric savagery is being committed, or even condoned, by Jews who
are aware of what is happening. American Jews, Jews in Israel, Jews around
the world are vigorously opposed to such treatment. Far more Jews than
non-Jews in this country speak out about Israel's relentless execution
of Palestinians. They protest, engage in "die-ins," hold 24-hour
vigils with signs heralding their dissent. They scream to heaven -- but
their voices are silenced and the media steadfastly refuses to cover their
- There was no mention in the US media of the rally in
New York City in support of Gaza on the same day as the Schumer Screamer;
no mention of IDF soldiers who refused to serve because of the violence
against innocent Palestinians; no mention of the 700 Israeli citizens arrested
in the first two weeks for protesting the assault; and no mention of a
Jan 8 meeting of prominent Canadians who spoke out against the war on Gaza.
- Toronto psychotherapist Judith Weisman, a Jew who is
a member of Independent Jewish Voices, Jews for a Just Peace, the Jewish
Women's Committee to End the Occupation of Palestine, and a founding member
of Not In Our Name, said, "Zionism is the scourge of the Jewish people.
It is Zionism that has created all of this."" (2)
- Given the hellish nature of the way we have allowed so
many to treat others on this tiny blue planet; isn't it time that we began
to look much more deeply into what and who we have become so that
real change can and will occur inside us, which is the only place where
any such change can ever really even begin to happen? This is the change
that is coming and it will be unstoppable. The "Voices That Cannot
Be Silenced" will insure that this will happen, because just as the
voices of the dead natives are coming back and bringing with them so much
of what we have forgotten that we did to them-so too must we finally recognize
and punish all those that have colluded in order to turn this world upon
its' head. Like this native Ghost-Dancer, we must begin to look around
and begin to differentiate between that which lives and that which is nothing
more than a livingdeath, that no one really wants to live? It helps
if you read the footnotes.
- 1) Nun Torture Victim informs President & Us
- 2) Fading into the Mist