Tortured with the FULL KNOWLEDGE of the Party.

These are the words of David Hicks who heckled our national law maker Geo Brandis, who has full rights to be a bigot, or just a limited human being, at a human rights event. Remember Brandis called PM John Howard a little rodent when they were in power, alongside Bush & Powell and the waterboarding CIA post Sept 11.

I spent several hours watching the twin towers collapse on the night of Sept 11. Awful as the event was, I want a US conservative to admit frankly that what followed in Gitmo etc was simply revenge for being so spectacularly humiliated. I love my US textile friends, enlightened, so-called “bleeding heart” yanks are as wonderful as any humans on this planet. But I also love the sad & tired South American who said recently that all her fellow countrymen illegally employed in LA are there because official US policy has destroyed the economies of most South American countries.

As it did of the regimes in both Iraq & Libya, replacing progressive leftist leaders, who both had fixed education n health in their countries, with psychopaths, Sadam Hussein & the Lawrence of Arabia bloke in his Tripoli palace.

So I watched some slimy sleazy evil on TV tonight: a lawyer spokesman for the CIA; he left a slime trail on my screen, I kid you not. Firstly, he said that the Bush Powell etc regime did not know about waterboarding & the other fun games. Minutes later, when the legal rep for the US Navy was interviewed, he categorically insisted that he had watched Bush Powell et al being fully informed.

We have watched the Jason Bourne movies; without the sinister, spooky music, the whole show would be reduced to sadist psychopaths getting their jollies. However, it’s for the national good, & we take it seriously. The CIA lawyer typified the worst, sleaziest aspect of the legal profession; get away with what you can, do it under a smear of righteous legal jargon. After all, most pollies are lawyers in their previous incarnation; in Australia, we’ve passed several laws strengthening the powers of our secret services; we will never have the spectacle of ASIO being publicly stripped & degraded, the way they have done in Washington.

Well may David Hicks declare that he was tortured for five n a half years. The other detainee of the time Egyptian Australian Mamdour Habib, who was detained in Cairo, & waterboarded in a room with an Australian consular official present, will never have his moment of truth. The current clown imitating an Australian Prime Minister recently said his gov were cutting back services that overseas embassies would provide for citizens. I got into trouble in Holland in 1979 & approached the Australian Embassy in the Hague; I never got past a conversation over the intercom system. I’m sure Habib has since wished that the Oz gov has cut back embassy services when he was in Cairo.

Contrasting with the sleazy CIA lawyer was the legal rep for the US Navy. He made a surprising disclosure: that the Aussie Navy was so disgusted by the behaviour of the US Secret Services that they refused to engage in exercises with their US counterparts. The ABC TV presenter, who had already written a book in this area, then told her audience that the Aussie PM of the time, John Howard, today denied that this naval boycott had taken place. But the presenter would undertake further enquiries. I want to know if Mr Howard was wearing his signature track suit.

It’s interesting today that the news had an item of international importance and another of local matters. Back in the 1970’s the slogan on the streets was “the personal is political”. Both items act as counterpoints, each giving the other relevance & scale. The Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse is continuing its hearings. The homophobic Baptist pastor in Tempe Arizona is not really worth correcting, since he is an equal opportunity pastor, he has insulted many groups equally. Fancy declaring that Barack Obama is not black because he is half black. We in Australia don’t quite have such a thorough influence from the miscegenation laws; perhaps we are simply not so loudly ignorant. But from his pulpit the homophobe loudly proclaimed that all homos are pedophiles. What the current aussie royal commission may conclude has already been researched among pedophile priests in the Chicago area. These young, virile priests were all heterosexual; since the church had denied any expression of their sexual energies they had decided that altar boys were their rightful substitute. I can only imagine with a compliant, obedient, inarticulate group, disproportionately weaker, many of the altar boys were probably flung over a school desk and violently sodomised. These kids would have grown up to develop a heroin habit or committed suicide. If there is anything about pedophilia that one can count one’s blessings, for me it is that the pedophile priest who abused me did not have a taste for violent anal probing.

Tonight’s report from the royal commish hearings was about a yoga ashram. What struck me about the yoga leader was that he knew he had a willingly captive audience. He had an endless supply of young victims, and even groomed a young woman whom he had previously abused to in turn abuse a young boy. He managed to cultivate a sophistication of intimidation & abuse; threatening his victims with a gun he kept in his room. For my  personal experience, the interesting extrapolation was the change of identity that the ashram underwent, clearly an attempt to avoid compensating previous victims. Also, the spiritual method of yoga generally, its power breeds a type of lack of concern, allowing teachers to indulge in abusive behaviour towards the group’s students. What is also amusing is how incapable such individuals are of extrapolating the most basic ethical principles to govern their behaviour; how that resembles other religious groups in our society, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And the lawyers enforce suitable legal conditions of compliance & avoidance.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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