Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Democracy isn't a beauty contest

There is a clear pattern emerging about what prison is being used for: confessions. Thankfully, The Atlantic monthly has picked up the story from Guardian US adding more details to the reasons Chicago police are keeping a no-lawyer "black site." It should bring to mind the Chicago police won their fight in 2013, with an unfair demand that a citizen peace group called Cure Violence file reports on their clients. They refused, and the mayor canceled the contract, favoring the police.

The police set an unfair standard. It's not bad enough we put people in jail and traumatize them, but then we have to come up with pleasant illusions about how the people exposing this crime are over-reacting.

In a democracy, the press would be critical. Yet after giving him their endorsement, today's "independent" Chicago Sun-Times is celebrating the sites as largely non-violent and effective:
The Guardian story didn’t allege that Church suffered from physical abuse at Homan Square other than his complaint that his left wrist was handcuffed to a bar behind a bench and his ankles were cuffed together.
In April 2014, Church and his two co-defendants were convicted of felony counts of possessing an incendiary device and misdemeanor mob action, but they were acquitted of more serious terrorism charges tied to the NATO summit in May 2012.
But this response itself is a calculation. The Chicago Sun Times lead editorial writer has been  Steve Huntley, who writes with his his jaw clenched in hate at people criticizing torture. His reason is it undermines his project of war.

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