Monday, November 10, 2014

A Veterans Day Message From A Man In The Trunk Of A Car

I don't have much time to say this. I hope I don't.

Someone struck me in the temple and wrapped a hood over my face before I could respond. My hands and feet are zip-tied, and my kidnappers are driving wildly and fast. The turning of the vehicle rocks me from side to side in the close darkness as if I'm at sea. One side of my face is slick, and I want to go black and expire before we reach wherever we're going. I've heard what happens in such places.

I should add that I am not the one they were looking for. Their leader didn't say my name correctly. I can hear rumbling from an argument. But they will agree to smother their doubts. Like all of you they know they can't stop.

The men don't wear uniforms. They don't wear your flag. Your leaders don't admit what they are doing. They might belong to units your military does not acknowledge. Or they are retired from the armed forces and now work for a civilian agency. Private companies will hire them for this kind of work soon, if they haven't already. But they are all over the world, and they are working for you, even if you have absolutely no control over them. You know enough to know it's happening, that it's beyond anyone's supervision, and you all have your own reasons for keeping quiet.

I and the others (the many, many others) have only one pitiful revenge. We know this thing you're doing is killing you.

It's destroying basic meaning of all the words you use to tell yourself who you are. The word "veteran" does not actually mean anything under conditions of such secrecy and violence. The phrase "defending our freedom" that you like to use - you already know it has little in common with these grubby little crimes you commit everywhere.

What becomes of a nation founded on an idea when it can no longer use words to describe that idea?

I think you already know the answer.

And that's why, through my pain and terror, I pity you.

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1 comment:

  1. "In the Libyan fable it is told
    That once an eagle, stricken by a dart
    Turned and saw the fashion of the shaft
    And said: It is by our own feathers
    And not by others' hands
    Are we now smitten."

    ReplyDelete

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