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Dictatorship and Torture Are American Values

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American Valuesby Jacob G. Hornberger

Count on U.S. officials, from Obama on down, along with their conservative supporters, to bring some hilarity into the events occurring in Egypt. Don’t you just love watching them on television providing their advice and counsel to the Egyptian people on how to achieve democracy and offering their guidance for the future?

“This is Earth calling the U.S. government. Come in, U.S. government.”

Hey, dudes, have you so quickly forgotten the role that the U.S. government has played in the tyrannical regime that the Egyptian people have risked to lives to resist? It was you people and your predecessors who propped up the dictatorship against which the Egyptian people finally revolted. It was you people who have been paying the salaries of the dictator himself and his team of oppressors and torturers for 30 years. It was the U.S. government that was purchasing the tear gas canisters and bullets. It was you people who were providing the instruments of torture that the Mubarak regime used against the people. It was you who were funding the dictator’s secret police. It was you who were training and arming his military. It was you who were partnering with his torture team to torture people on behalf of your own torture team, the CIA, so that U.S. officials could deceitfully say to the American people, “We are an exceptional government because we don’t torture.”

It is the U.S. government, whose officials are now offering their democracy-guidance services to the Egyptian people, who is co-responsible for the oppression and the tyranny under which the Egyptian people have been suffering for the last 30 years. It is you — the U.S. government, including the Congress, the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA — who are the enabler, the partner, the co-oppressor, the co-tyrant.

You knew what the Egyptian tyrants were doing to their own people. You watched them. You assisted them. You supported them. You gave them, year after year, the billions of dollars in U.S.-taxpayer money that paid for it all.

And what was your rationale? “Our interests.” According to you, all that torture, oppression, brutality, and tyranny, while no doubt “regrettable,” was necessary to protect “our interests.”

Don’t forget that your mindset was no different when your brutal sanctions contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children for more 10 years. As your ambassador to the United Nations put it, the deaths of all those innocent children were “worth it.” After all, “our interests” were at stakes!

And now, you have the gall to offer your democracy-spreading guidance and advice to the victims of the oppression, torture, brutality, and terror that you supported and enabled for 30 years. Have you no shame at all, especially given the fact that you are simultaneously lamenting and grieving over the loss of a “good friend,” one who was willing to torture anyone on your behalf whenever he was asked, and, even better, deny that he was doing it? You’re right: It’s not easy to find a good friend like that. No wonder you’re so sad about his loss of power.

One question, President Obama: If victims of Mubarak’s U.S.-supported oppression and tyranny retaliate with a terrorist attack against the United States for the U.S. government’s having knowingly participated in the oppression and tyranny in Egypt, will you respond in the same way that President Bush responded after the 9/11 attacks, with the assertion, “The terrorists just hate us for our values”?

If so, you will be speaking the truth because thanks to the U.S. government, dictatorship and torture are American values.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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