Get Real: It’s Torture, It Works, That’s Why We’re Doing It


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Could be that her parents are being tortured by her very removal from them, as a warning to others who might follow. Get it?  Credit to https://www.yahoo.com/news/homeland-security-secretary-gets-shredded-141218572.html

The entire discussion of why our government is separating children from the adults (almost exclusively relatives) accompanying them stinks of failure to recognize a central fact of why we are doing this:

It’s a medium-low grade form of torture.

We as a society like using torture, so long as it doesn’t seem too much like torture (say, by leaving a mark.)  In our county, we denied the riverbed homeless access portable toilets in order to make life uncomfortable enough for them that they would go away.  This isn’t like an “electric cables to the genitals”-level of torture, but it still fits the definition of causing pain or discomfort to impel a desired behavior.  (Yes, so does spanking — but we now severely limit how much spanking can be imposed on children and who can do it, right?)

Torture can be a way to induce behavior — classically, to obtain information from a prisoner — or to punish someone for engaging in behaviors that we don’t like, which sometimes can be as minimal as being somewhere that our society (through its law-enforcement arms) doesn’t want us to be.  What distinguishes most torture from other forms of official punishment is — anyone want to guess? — that it’s cheap!  Violence is cheap.  The more civilized a form of punishment is — the less it looks like torture, is another way to put it — the more expensive it tends to be.

Separating a child from a parent — incredibly cheap!  We’re not talking about putting a child in prison, giving it to a childless couple, anything like that.

We’re talking about the simple act of telling a parent “you are staying here and your child is coming with us.”  That’s enough to drive a parent into a frenzy.

You don’t know what will be done to your child once it’s gone.  You don’t know if you will ever see your child again.  You don’t even know what was done to your child if and when the government agents give him or her back to you.

Those moments of separation against your will : those may be the worst moments of your life.

This, again, can be solely psychological torture.  That is better in some respects — but it is worse in others.  A father whose daughter was taken away from himself at the border just hanged himself in jail.  Official government law enforcement agents don’t get to do that to him!  We have rules!  But you take away a father’s daughter, and they just might do it to themselves.  No due process required!  CHEAP!

Regardless, as a method of torture, what the U.S. is doing right now  is devilishly efficient, and effective.  I would seriously have to think twice, if I were considering entering the United State illegally, about whether I would want to be accompanied by my child!

It’s almost brilliant in its simplicity and effectiveness!  (That, by the way, is what is most similar to comparisons to the Nazis; they were really good at these sorts of things.  “Do what we want or we’ll kill the person next to you.”  Simple!  Effective!  (Though, of course, you go to hell afterwards.)

And naturally, President Trump loves it.  I don’t usually put those two words — “President” and “Trump” — together, but this is an instance where he totally has earned it.  He is channeling our love of torture — of using violence, force, threat, compulsion — to get our way.

I’m not saying that the U.S. is worse than other nations in loving torture, but — like having guns — torture (broadly defined) seems to be a tool that we love to wield.  And President Trump — who uses even the pardon power as a way or rewarding his friends specifically for its effect upon those who DON’T show their love for him, and therefore don’t get the goodies he has to give out — he is the PERFECT emblem of using vicious, disgraceful, disgusting force for our benefit.

HE LOVES TORTURE!  HE LOVES USING POWER TO FORCE COMPLIANCE!  The naked teenagers (or recent teenagers) who had to endure his slavering presence in the “locker room” at beauty pageant he owned — they had to put up with him because he had money and power!  He loved it!

But this: this may be less sexually gratifying, but emotionally — this is even BETTER!  Because this is immigration, and he is (by one theory favored mostly by Republicans) TOTALLY in control of it!  HE IS THE UNITARY EXECUTIVE, BABY!  HE ENFORCES THE IMMIGRATION LAWS!

He isn’t legally entitled to kill people (even immigrants),  other than in acts of war and technically-not-war — and some acts of torture like waterboarding have been specifically outlawed (“SAD!”)– but BY GOD, HE GETS TO DO THIS!

Plenary control over immigration enforcement!  It’s a freaking LICENSE to torture.  And so he’s TOTALLY HAPPY with taking people’s children away from them — possibly forever … AND WHO KNOWS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM IN OUR HANDS, MR. BORDER-CROSSER, AND IT’S TOTALLY YOUR FAULT IF ANYTHING HAPPENS, NOT OURS, BECAUSE YOU’RE THE ONE WHO BROKE THE LAW, NOT US, AND MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU CAME OVER HERE ILLEGALLY … 

Torture.  So cheap.  So effective.

“She was only gone for ten minutes.  But when she came back she was crying.”

(“Do you know WHY she was crying?)

“No … b-b-b-but …”

(“Maybe she just missed you, right?”)

“That’s not the point!”

(“Right — the point is that you shouldn’t have crossed the border.  And now whatever happened — or happens — to your daughter, that’s on you.  Not us.”)

Yes, we are in effect using the threat of child rape — because, when you take children out of the care of the people who protect them and leave them in charge of people who can act with impunity and want to teach you and those like you a lesson, that is what you are actually dangling in front of their noses — to convince people not to come to our country illegally.  And Trump is HAPPY about this, he’s HAPPY to have his Cabinet members lie about it, he’s HAPPY to but those crossing the border illegally into this position, he’s HAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPY at this utter monstrousness.

“And it’s gonna work, too!”

(When he said that we’d get tired of winning, maybe this is what he meant.)

So you, and your country, are going to hell — along with Trump.  And it’s so CHEAP!  So SATISFYING!  So HARD TO PROVE!  Everything the man wants, all together!

I have to admit that I cringed at Samantha Bee having used a vulgar term for female genitalia to describe Ivanka Trump after Ivanka posted a Mother’s Day photo with her infant, extolling the loveliness of motherhood, while doing nothing publicly to get her father to stop this policy.

Now I’ve thought about it more.  And now I want a statue of her installed in the Capitol.

As for Trump, I’d like for him to be separated from his Secret Service protection any time he enters a foreign country.  (Don’t worry, he’ll probably be back in an hour or so.)  (Or, perhaps: worry.)

If we successfully protect our borders from “invading” children — generally refugees, though not necessarily asylum-worthy — by separating them from their protective parents, then we’ve won our supposed personal security through implicit threats of what will happen to them and the people accompanying them if they try to cross.  How do advocates of such a policy really think that that’s going to work out for us?  The one bright side here is that at least we have enough respect for how evil torture is that we’re being hypocrites about our benefitting from it — even if that fools no one.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)