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A Dark Day in America: Torture Veto Vetoed

by Victoria Pynchon

From Settle It Now Negotiation Blog

Victoria Pynchon

Being "neutral" does not mean we check our common human decency at the door. 

Do understand this however.  When we are feeling frightened and disoriented, anger and its explosive cousin rage, consolidates our sense of self.  This is one of the main reasons why aggression is so emotionally satisfying.  /**

Let's do continue to talk with one another about these matters -- whether we agree about them or not.  Understanding our own fallible human nature and forgiving ourselves for our momentary failures to rise above our baser instincts is the critical first step in living our values.  

Today, this morning, I must admit that my response to the headlines is anger. My own fear and anger, however, have not been transmogrified into national and international policy and practice.  I am sorry, very sorry, to say that the American administration's fear and anger has been. 

From the BBC News 

Bush vetoes interrogation limits 

US President George Bush says he has vetoed legislation that would stop the CIA using interrogation methods such as simulated drowning or "water-boarding".
He said he rejected the intelligence bill, passed by Senate and Congress, as it took "away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror".  The president said the CIA needed "specialised interrogation procedures" that the military did not.  Water-boarding is condemned as torture by rights groups and many governments.  It is an interrogation method that puts the detainee in fear of drowning.

Continue reading here.

Despite the advice of mothers everywhere -- "you get more with honey than with vinegar" -- that renegade of international law, George Bush, has once again contravened this country's aspirational goal of serving as a model of human rights and liberties. 

Why mother was right -- and Bush wrong -- in my next post.

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/** Because our earliest experiences of helplessness relate to our size, strength and intelligence, only anger and its explosive cousin, rage, allow us to prove to ourselves and others that we are powerful instead of weak, competent rather than stupid, large rather than small. See See D.L. NATHANSON, SHAME AND PRIDE: AFFECT, SEX AND THE BIRTH OF THE SELF 209 (1992).
Thus do people who feel humiliated by another's aggression (such as the 9/11 attacks) respond in an attack mode, particularly those who feel "endangered" by the depths to which their self-esteem has been reduced by the assault on their sense of safety and self-determination.  Id. Such individuals experience humiliation as a threat to their physical well-being and lack the ability to trust and rely upon others. Id. 

Biography


Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all types of business torts and contract disputes.  During her two years of full-time neutral practice, she has co-mediated both mandatory and voluntary settlement conferences with Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Alexander Williams, III and Victoria Chaney.  As a result of her work with Judge Chaney in the Complex Court at Central Civil West, Ms. Pynchon has gained significant experience mediating construction defect litigation.  Ms. Pynchon received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the U.C. Davis School of Law. 



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Website: www.settlenow.com

Additional articles by Victoria Pynchon