Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Corporate Cold Shoulder

Maybe if you work for a company in corporate America, you'll understand what I'm talking about here: so often, workers will peel the skins off their backs to keep the company treadmill moving and productivity at least apparitionally positive. In return, they will be browbeaten, burdened with threats and suspicion, shafted at payday, bonus time, and the annual review, but most of all simply ignored.

If this sounds familiar to you, then you'll not be shocked to find that you are being treated exactly the same as a citizen of the United States of Corporate America. Tony Snow says that you and the remaining two-thirds of the American electorate are "out of touch" with the reality in Iraq. So it's time for a troop surge, some ten weeks after the American people had told this government, in the clearest possible terms, that they've had enough of this war and its endless escalation; and less than two weeks after our own nation's death toll had reached 3,000.

Next week will mark another milestone, the fifth anniversary of the opening of Camp Gitmo, Dick Cheney's personal torture laboratory, where all the other aberrations of justice and humanity that have marked this administration took root. The FBI has now released a horrifying report of what has gone on at Gitmo; and it resounds fairly exactly with what AI, HRW, the IRC, and other international NGOs have been telling us for years. Here's part of what our government did there, and repeated at Bagram, Abu Ghraib, and uncounted other places around the world:

Captives at Guantánamo Bay were chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor for 18 hours or more, urinating and defecating on themselves, an FBI report has revealed...Besides being shackled to the floor, detainees were subjected to extremes of temperature. One witness said he saw a barefoot detainee shaking with cold because the air conditioning had bought the temperature close to freezing.

This is what our government has been doing, even as it sent young men and women of our own to the most violent and horrible deaths and disfigurements imaginable; and as it prepares to continue to do tomorrow and next week, until we stop it. This is why I rise to disagree with all the Democrats who are saying that impeachment is the wrong direction to go. In fact, I don't see any other direction that will preserve this nation before its bespattered dignity is thoroughly corrupted and lost before the entire world.

In fact, our corporate analogy weakens only in the matter of the degree of the depravity involved. We corporate citizens have been treated worse than the lowest schlub in the company mailroom. We have been lied to, sneered at, taken for granted, economically stripped, driven, and most of all, ignored.

Will the new Congress change all that? Not unless we are all over them on it. Here are some options for making that happen:

Amnesty International's human rights pledge

Gold Star Families for Peace and the Walk for Change (today)

Code Pink's letter to Congress: Impeach Now

UFPJ's March (January 27)

If you know of anything else that's happening in your part of the world, by all means add it to the comments and I'll post it prominently here. The time to tear away the veil of corporate ignorance must be now.

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