Free the Torturers – and the Rapists Too!
If Dick Cheney can trumpet the 'success' of his torture policies without fear of retribution, why can't us ordinary criminals?
I am over the moon about President Obama's recent publication of the Bush administration's torture memos. They come as a breath of fresh air for those of us banged up in Cook County Jail.
Obama's announcement that "nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past" is the most reassuring news most of us here have heard in a long time.
Speaking as a multiple rapist and serial killer, I welcome the president's clear view that "this is a time for reflection, not retribution". Absolutely. We have indeed been "through a dark and painful chapter in our history" (in my case 17 years in the super-secure lockdown facility).
Now people may say that it is not safe to let me out, especially as I have never expressed any remorse for my actions and indeed have every intention of reoffending as soon as I possibly can.
But then has ex-vice president Dick Cheney ever expressed any remorse for killing a million or more Iraqis? Has he ever said that he wouldn't torture more people all over again if he had half the chance?
Quite the reverse. He has gone on record trumpeting how successful his torture policies have been. "I find it a little bit disturbing," Cheney said on Fox News, that "they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort ... There are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity."
Speaking for myself and my fellow sadists here in Cook County, I cannot tell you how cheered we all were by Cheney's defence of his torture techniques.
And hasn't the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, announced on no less a programme than ABC's This Week that "It's not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back" out of "any sense of anger and retribution"?
Bang on the money, Emanuel. How heartily we concur with your sentiments, and look forward to the day when you will unlock our cell doors and let the light of day shine on all us poor, unrepentant sinners.
And didn't the president himself tell employees at the CIA not to be discouraged by what's happened in the last few weeks? "Don't be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we've made some mistakes," he told them. "That's how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be president of the United States and that's why you should be proud to be members of the CIA."
Yes! All of us here in Cook County Jail have made mistakes. That's why we're here. I made the mistake of brutally attacking somebody or other in broad daylight in a busy street. But I've learnt from that. That's what makes me proud to be American. Now I want to move forward - particularly forward out of Cook County Jail.
And I have every confidence that if Obama and Emanuel are prepared to let the likes of Cheney be free to wander the streets of our capital unmolested by petty laws and restrictions, they will apply the same standards to us rapists and killers.
For surely he intends to apply this spirit of forgiveness and non-retaliation to all criminals - not just those in politics.
© 2009 Guardian News and Media Limited