Calling it your job don’t make it right

Tyler Murphy

So President Barack Obama released the Bush administration’s dirty little torture secrets Thursday. In the memos CIA operatives received direction from the Office of United States President to ignore standing domestic and international law in violating the most fundamental human rights of prisoners.

The document goes as far to authorize the threatening of prisoners’ families in order to make suspects comply with their interrogators demands.

Obama also released Thursday that he would not seek the prosecution of CIA members who followed these directives.

Ironically this is going on while in an unrelated case the United States is working to extradite a suspected Nazis prison guard for crimes he allegedly committed 66 years earlier. Couldn’t one argue that he was just following directives too?

You can and should hold people accountable for their actions. Soldiers and secret agents are caught in a tough spot when it comes to following immoral orders but honestly I have little sympathy for them. A human being is not a machine and there are always options. Loyalty is often confused with integrity but they’re not the same thing.

I do understand the line of thinking in moving forward and focusing on those creating illicit policy rather than those who enforced it. In that regard I give Obama great credit because although he offered to spare the torturers he hinted that the attorney general would looking into those who implemented the policies.

I despise all the people who were directly involved in making these shameful acts a part of my country’s history. CIA operatives, U. S. soldiers, even past presidents, any and all who conspired to torture and kill another person, without trial or charge, are traitors everything America stands for. National extremism and sanctified violations of civil rights are as dangerous to the people of this country as any act of international and domestic terrorism.

One of my favorite movies Paul Newman said it best in ‘Cool Hand Luke.”

In the movie Luke returns home after fighting heroically in World War II and his free spirited nature lands him in prison. While there he suffers abuse at the heavy hands of the conservative prison administrators.

As he’s being moved to solitary confinement a likable character playing a guard turns to Luke and says, “Sorry, Luke. I’m just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that.”

Luke: “Nah… calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.”