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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Politics: Torturing Your Children

This is what making war does to us, people. This is what it's done historically, except we just can't seem to learn, can we?

What's "this," you ask? Yeah, I know, nobody wants to click a link anymore because you just don't know what kind of malware or spam or really depressing shite is on the other end.

See, what we have here, in today's story of the military and war and chickens coming home to roost is, we have a 27-year-old soldier admitting to the cops that he pushed his four-fucking-year-old daughter's face into a kitchen sink filled with hot water and held her under because "she could not recite her alphabet," and didn't know her colours and numbers.
The child had "severe bruising on her entire back," "scratch marks on her back made in a downward motion" and "bruising on both of her arms, her legs and her buttocks," the police report said.
Jesus fucking J.H. Christ. A fucking four-year-old. Oh, and, he
allegedly told police he'd chosen a water-based technique because his daughter was terrified of water.
I wonder why. He did it three or four times. He has sole custody of his daughter.

Now, why would a man do this to his own kid? I don't know. Lots of parents abuse their kids, and the things they do to them are often so horrible as to make you wish for the immediate destruction of the entire human race because, by god, what the fuck happens to a kid who has to live through something like that, can they ever trust in the goodness of any human being again? Do they all turn into malevolent little psychopaths themselves, lighting their little classmates on fire, or raping men or women at random or breeding their own little next generation of victims?

It is enough to choke a person with the bitter taste of despair.

But why I bring this story to your attention, dear ones, is: what he did to his kid, rather than why. Which is, something very close to waterboarding.

Technically, there are a few differences. The kid was not tied to a flat surface, did not have fabric covering mouth and nose, did not have water poured on those until it experienced a simulated drowning. I'm not sure, though, that it's a hella improvement. I am pretty sure that poor child really would not care to dispute the finer points of the difference.

This is why we, as a nation, should eschew torture: because we risk finding it used against ourselves, not just by "bad guys in black hats." Not just by terrorists. Not just by those who capture our troops on the battlefield, and, having heard of our despicable actions in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, want vengeance for our rape and sodomizing and beating and blinding of their brothers and sisters, whether biological or religious or cultural.

But because, worse yet, when we stand up and say that what we are doing is not wrong, we are giving permission to all those people that we train in these methods, or who hear about or read about these things, to practice them on us. On the civilians to whose supportive embrace they return after getting their heads well and truly fucked up out there, wherever they've been simulating drowning anybody they identify as "bad guys," regardless of whether those are defenseless women like Aafia Siddiqui or teenage boys. Or their own four-year-old daughters.

Who knows why this little girl is in her father's sole custody? I see many people blaming the mother, speculating about how much "worse" she might be than the father. We don't know. The mother might be terminally ill. Or mentally unstable. She might be a drug addict. She might have lost her job, or her home, or have no source of income. She might be so afraid of the child's father that she did not contest custody.

He was, after all, arrested for threatening to break his neighbours' windows with his Kevlar helmet.

Maybe he's psychotic. Maybe that resulted from his deployment. Maybe PTSD has finally broken him and made it impossible for him to distinguish anymore between the four-year-old child of his own body and the last guy he waterboarded.

According to his estranged wife, the guy has "anger management issues." Yeah, I'll just fucking bet he does. His current girlfriend agrees. When the police showed up at his home at 2 am, they had to coax the little girl out of the bathroom, where she had locked herself for fear of her father.

The child is now in the custody of her maternal grandparents, and has said she never wants to leave. Her mother flew in from Kansas to get the child, but the maternal grandmother apparently filed to assert custody. The father is out on bail, but restricted to base (Fort Lewis).

Somebody please get the father some help now. And the mother, too, if she needs it.

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