Let's Not Mince Words About America's 'Death Camps'

Having Washington pontificate about human rights while it commits horrific human rights abuses on the soil of other nations that it passes judgment on is an outrage. This article from Hungary's Index asks, 'Do we shit on the doormat, and then get up in arms because the doormat is dirty?'

By W. Árpád Tóta

Translated By Michael Kaulkin

December 5, 2005

Index - Original Article (Hungarian)

Each year, the U.S. State Department issues a report on Hungary that measures our respect for human rights, and how we're proceeding on our road to democracy.  Basically, it's about whether we're behaving ourselves. Anyone can see it on the Embassy's homepage. I'm reading it now, and it's making my blood boil. I know I should be ashamed, but I'm thinking: Why don't you report on your mother, you Yankee peasant!  America has no moral basis for this.

We mostly uphold human rights, the report says, but there are still some problems.  For example, in some cases the police use unnecessary violence, despite the law against torture: hitting, kicking, even nightstick beatings; state-assigned lawyers do substandard work.  Then there are prison conditions.  So the Hungarians should work toward due process for everyone, protecting the innocent, good-natured police and comfortable prisons.

Not-So-Secret Facility at Guantanamo

Now let me amend this report. I'm not saying that police brutality isn't an ugly thing, and a state-assigned lawyer is certainly worse than a well paid one.  There's room for error in the building of a democracy.  But let's also point out that Hungary does not keep concentration camps on its territory or on that of any other state.  It does not build secret torture chambers in which people are kicked around without any charges against them.

Concentration camps (and lets drop this phony expression "secret prison"; they're secret because they're really concentration camps) are the ultimate in state crookedness.  Not only do they beat and kick, but the sadistic personnel there do whatever they want, and it's a not a matter of substandard legal defense, but no legal defense. People can be thrown in there without charge or trial, and there are no footprints leading out.  These are neither prisoners of war nor convicts, because if they were, they'd have rights.  They are not people but livestock.  They can't be innocent, because then they wouldn't be there, so if they're there they're beaten until they admit to being spies or saboteurs.

For weeks I've been wondering what the difference is between a Soviet and an American gulag.  What's to like about an American concentration camp, or even accept, pardon or explain?  Why do they hold terrorists there?  How do we know who's a real terrorist if a confession can be beaten out of anyone.  And they complied with the law; they just took their subject on a little Egyptian study tour.

Placing concentration camps in Europe is a level of brashness that not even the Soviet Union achieved.  This matter of outsourcing gulags could be a watershed in European-American relations: do we forgive this, because we've seen concentration camps before, or do we make a worldwide scandal for exactly that reason?  It looks like these camps are within Eastern Europe's comfort zone.  It wasn't heads of state who reported to Brussels that, damn it, these animals are building death camps in Europe! No, it was the Washington Post who first raised this issue.  They took it as an honor, and then made excuses while happily appeasing the beast. One is reminded of any number of past terrorist states.  It may seem harsh, but history shows that if a set of institutions is built where anyone can be annihilated by those in power, then the machine guns are already waiting in the wings, and they're going to go off.  If you're not with us, you're against us.  Who said American democracy is permanent and unbreakable?

But at least let's leave each other alone.  Let's come to terms, dreaded superpower.  America shouldn't write reports about what horrible things happen in some countries, especially when they're doing them themselves.  Do we shit on the doormat, and then get up in arms because the doormat is dirty?

© Watching America and WatchingAmerica.com. All Rights Reserved. 2005

Site Design v1.0 & v2.0:
Fifth Wall Media Design