Let’s get this straight: Charles Graner
is not America. America would never
hold a knife to his wife’s throat, then say
when she woke that he was considering
killing her. And America’s wife in turn
would never call her husband “my own
Hannibal Lecter.” Am I right, or what?
Charles Graner may be Hannibal Lecter,
but he is not America. America is not that
kind of husband. Nor would America email
his adolescent children photos of himself
torturing naked Iraqi prisoners and say
“look what Daddy gets to do!” Am I right?
America is not that kind of father. America
would never torture naked Iraqi prisoners.
Let’s be absolutely clear about all of this.
And America’s ex-lover and co-defendant
would never whisper to the sketch artist
at America’s trial: “You forgot the horns.”
Charles Graner may or may not have horns,
but America is horn-free. America does not
torture prisoners. America may render them,
fully clothed, to Egypt or Syria, for further
interrogation, or to men like Charles Graner,
but America is not, ipso facto, Egypt or Syria,
and Charles Graner is not now nor has he ever
been America. And don’t talk to me about
Guantanamo. Please! Let’s get this straight.
You and I know who America is. We know
what America does and doesn’t do, because we
(not Charles Graner!) are America. Am I right?
Is this all clear? Tell me—am I right, or what?