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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Secrets and Karma

May 3, 2009

I’m not sure I wanted to know about waterboarding. Who’s with me on this? Did we need or want to know about the action known as waterboarding. The American Civil Liberties Union thinks we should know and see waterboarding. They filed a lawsuit in an effort to expose pictures and interrogation notebooks. What I know right now is that I’ve felt safe since 9/11. I’ve felt that my government did what they needed to at that particular moment in time to keep us safe. Even President Obama acknowledges that the information gained from Abu Zubaydah after he was waterboarded most likely disrupted major al-Qaida attacks and saved us all. But then Obama said, “waterboarding violates our ideals and our values.” There is even some sort of official secrets act from the Senate Intelligence committee that made it a crime to disclose any type of classified information. I’m so confused! Was it the right thing to do or not? Like it or not, President Obama has guided us into the world of “transparency.” So now we have to grapple with waterboarding. Truthfully, I liked it better when it was a secret. Solomon Ibn Gabirol said, “Your secret is your prisoner; once you reveal it, you become its slave.” Is waterboarding worse than the death penalty? Is it worse than shooting three pirates in the head? The names of the men who developed and implemented waterboarding were released to the public, mug shots and all. So do we get to see the people who shot the pirates in the head? How about mug shots of all the people who gave a lethal injection? We can all remember times in our lives when we heard a secret and it was detrimental, even painful. And after learning the secret, were you better off than before? Most likely…just scorned. To me, revealing the waterboarding secret is not about justice. Justice is a man-made concept based on reward and punishment. It’s really about karma. Karma is the natural law of cause and effect. It is a response in the moment, a response based on how you feel at that moment. So waterboarding seemed like the right thing at that moment? Maybe. So it seemed like the right thing to do when President Obama gave the order to shoot three pirates in the head, right? Three people died to save one. Is that ok? Just as it seems like the right thing to do when we kill a death row inmate? There’s two points to all this. Think long and hard about the effects of transparency before you tell a secret, and, remember the natural laws of cause and effect. Listen to how you feel in the moment, and ask yourself if it feels like the right thing to do.