Well Being

Taxi to the Dark Side

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Please, if Taxi to the Dark Side opens near you in January, please go see it. I attended a preview last night and am still struggling with what to say about it… more than simply, GO. Watch this movie. Why?

Read the press kit information, especially page 7, the Director's Statement, where the director, Alex Gibney, describes the impetus to make this film. His father was a Naval interrogator during World War II, and at the end of his life was furious at the intimations of torture being carried out in the name of the United States of America:

This film is dedicated to my father – his righteous anger and his sense of possibility. Through him, I discovered that the issue of “torture” is not really about interrogation techniques. It is about a pandemic of corruption that ensues when the rule of law is weakened. He taught me that torture is like a virulent virus – spreading, mutating, building resistance to attempts to stop it – that infects everything in its path. It haunts the psyche of the soldier who administers it; it corrupts the officials who look the other way; it discredits the information obtained from it; it weakens the evidence in a search for justice, and it strengthens a despotic strain that takes hold in men and women who run hot with a peculiar patriotic fever: believing that, because they are “pure of heart,” they are entitled to be above the law.

What has this got to do with being a single mother, you ask?

Each and every one of the men being held in the prison camps around the world by our government have been denied their very basic right to habeas corpus. Habeas corpus, in its most simple definition, guarantees the right of every person held under U.S. law to challenge their incarceration. Habeas corpus is what allows demonstrators, protestors, journalists, and every other person who dares to speak out against injustice to sleep at night, safe in the knowledge that they will not be ‘black bagged' in the grey hours before dawn, secreted away, and subject to justice outside the law. As a mother, I cannot imagine the horrors that were inflicted on these prisoners–what would I do if someone treated my son this way? As a woman trying to teach her son the value of honor, dignity, compassion, and valor, how can I point to my country as the example of these things? Americans have been done wrong, led astray, and dragged away from the very ideals upon which this country was founded… sucked into the swirling vortex of a pogrom of fear and ignorance, fueled by the terrifying strength of our leaders' convictions and their utter arrogance, and fanned by the heinous acts of September 11, 2001.

Please. Just… please.