ethel’s words

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There is more than one link between Abu Ghraib and Utah: one of the architects of Abu Ghraib is a Utahn, and Utah vies with Abu Ghraib for torture. There is no greater depravity than that which surrounds us in Utah. Waterboarding, indeed. Slow suffocation and death. Sexual fiendishness subtitled interrogation. In Utah torture is subtitled, “discipline”.

There has been national coverage of some torture cases: Police officers turning into rapist cops gone wild with a broom handle, betraying sexual sickness. Fraternity boys mauling and brutalizing a girl, not satisfied with having gang-raped her. A gay college student battered by religionists and left to die slowly, attached to a wilderness fence. Prisons are “managed” with threat of torture; torture is so natural in prisons that nobody thinks of prison torture as cruelty.

But there is a torture that is worse than any of the above. There is tolerance of a torture that endangers the very foundation of what we think we conceive as “civilized” behavior. This is the torture and the torture-murder of infants and children by their care-givers--mothers, fathers, live-in “step-fathers”, step-mothers, foster parents, temporary care-givers paid by government to “care” for battered children removed from abusing parents.

It is happening elsewhere than in Utah, but Utah is the horror-inciting champion of battering and torture. The sickening parade of broken bones, injured genitalia, bruised flesh, disabled brains, goes on and on and on and on, with rarely a protest against this most heinous of all torture.

One individual private citizen woman went to San Francisco (later transferred to Oakland) to find legal help to protect Utah children. The resulting court order has not yet been satisfactorily complied with.

In Utah, smoking is the crime that is protested by government and theocracy--rape and torture and murder of infants by care-givers does not seem to disturb anybody of any note. The crimes (those discovered!) are reported in the printed press, but in insignificant, few column inches in back pages. (Some exceptions have occurred.) Photos of abusers--charged or convicted, are rare.

More on torture will follow, and no doubt, more torture will ensue.

Ethel C. Hale