Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The road to hell: General Formica's version

We all know that the road to hell is gradual. A little bit here, a little bit there. In time the unthinkable becomes commonplace, even acceptable. When that happens, you have arrived. General Formica has arrived.
Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: Impeach George W. Bush. Impeach Him Now

[The New York Times wrote ...]
.... General Formica found that in the third case at a Special Operations outpost, near Tikrit, in April and May 2004, three detainees were held in cells 4 feet high, 4 feet long and 20 inches wide, except to use the bathroom, to be washed or to be interrogated. He concluded that two days in such confinement "would be reasonable; five to seven days would not." Two of the detainees were held for seven days; one for two days, General Formica concluded.
[Spencer Ackerman responds:]

... Here are two such questions you can puzzle over from your home or office. Take all the shelving out of a typical filing cabinet. (My own office cabinet happens to be slightly smaller than the cell described here.) Now lock yourself in it for two days. You may notice you can neither stand up straight nor lie down, and crouching gets really uncomfortable extremely fast. Remember that as an Iraqi detainee, the Geneva Conventions apply to you. Now ask yourself: Why would Formica consider such treatment "reasonable" for two days? And if someone put an American soldier in such conditions for two days--or authorized doing so--what should happen to that person?
This is what's known as torture. If anyone doubts that, I urge them to try the filing cabinet experiment. I particularly urge Ann Coulter to try the filing cabinet.

General Formica feels that two days of this would be quite reasonable. General Formica has finished his journey. America is well down the same road.

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