Alex Gibney (William Sloane Coffin’s stepson) sporting orange ribbon
The Washington Post reports on Tinseltown’s latest de rigeur fashion accessory seen everywhere at the recent Academy Awards celebration.
There was a dollop of politics. When Alex Gibney won for his documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side,” about the use of torture in the war on terror, the director said he made it to honor his father, a former Navy interrogator, who was outraged at abuses revealed at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. “Let’s hope we can turn this country around and move from the dark side to the light,” Gibney said.
Out on the red carpet, Paul Haggis (the director whose “Crash” won Best Picture in 2006) said he didn’t know what accounts for all these deeply dark, brooding, troubled films. But isn’t it obvious, he asked, flashing an orange ribbon on his lapel. Orange, why orange? “It’s Guantanamo,” his Max Azria-clad wife, Deborah, said, showing off her orange bracelet, which read: “Silence + torture = complicity.” Suddenly, we noticed — orange ribbons and bracelets everywhere.
Paul Haggis & Deborah Rennard
And your point is…?
As an American, do you support torture?
I’m afraid I do not personally subscribe to the expansive definition of “torture” widely employed by the sissified bourgeois urban left, which would classify the most modest forms of negative reinforcement in the same category as the rack and the iron maiden.
Illegal combatants, i.e. persons captured bearing arms against the United States in violation of the traditional laws and customs of war could legitimately be executed by hanging after a drumhead court martial. The employment of mild forms of non-life-threatening discomfort and psychological manipulation against such persons in order to secure information needed to protect the lives of thousands of American civilians ought to be regarded as perfectly legitimate, and in no way equal to what they actually deserve .
Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence, considers waterboarding, which the US has employed, torture. So, this definition is not employed only by us sissies. (Thanks for the ad hominem.)
Taxi to the Dark Side, the documentary that won the Oscar, is about an innocent Afghan taxi driver beaten to death by American soldiers while being held in extrajudicial detention. A modest forms of negative reinforcement, to be sure.
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