Cullen Murphy has written a book titled GOD'S JURY. In it he describes the nature and specifics of the Three Inquisitions. One, led by a Pope in the Vatican, murdered just about all they considered unworthy of being acceptable Christians, and finally ran out of firewood and it ended. The Second Inquisition, was intended to get rid of people of other faiths who were secretly practicing "outside" the Vatican's set of rules. It similarly ended when all the Jews and other "unworthy" Christians were tortured, killed, or exiled from Spain. The Third, aimed at Protestants and open reading of the new printing press, ended when the Enlightenment began to herald in a new era of thinking. However the Enlightenment never seemed to "catch on" with Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and the right-wingers in the United States.
Why draw a parallel between the Cheney years and the Inquisition? For many reasons, but an obvious one is that both used similar means of torture. At least one captive died at Guantanamo during the Bush-Cheney years from the Inquisition's "pulley method" of torture. And water boarding, which the Bush-Cheney cabal said was not torture, was officially labeled torture by the Vatican who practiced it openly and commonly during the Inquisition.
How could a nation like the U.S. allow this to happen? Easy. They were elected to office by you, the voting citizens of the United States of America. From Ronald Reagan to the present there has been a trend farther and farther to the right-wing of politics. And using Inquisition-era torture was not above or beyond these right-wingers. Allowed to their own devices, they did many things that were uncharacteristic of a post-Enlightment nation. This new breed of right-wingers were closer to the schemes of the fascists in Germany and Italy in the 1930s and 1940s than any enlightened nation might exhibit.
Bush-Cheney dealt in lies and deception to start wars. The U.S., which previously had a reputation as a trusted and enlightened nation, lied to the United Nations and every international group it touched. Iraq was a designated target for occupation, and stated so by many of the new right-wingers BEFORE George W. Bush took office. The only thing standing in the way of the new right-wing was truth. So that was thrown aside and a new truth evolved, one that satisfied Dick Cheney, his allegiance to Halliburton, and the big war corporations who were in on the right-wing plans to deceive the American people and the world. Result: the quagmire in the Middle East, muddied and sullied and quicksanded by Bush-Cheney and their political and corporate allies. Look at Iraq today. Look at Afghanistan today. Look at what has evolved from all this mess: Syria, Egypt, Mali, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and on and on.
A nation that condones torture (as the Bush-Cheney government did), is a nation in decline and moving away from democracy to a war corporation oligarchy. This is where we are today. At a crossroads. Please consider what role you play as a citizen of the United States in the 21st Century. Your vote can still stop the onslaught of a political movement that tortures, cares not for the poor or middle class, and plots fo the wider and wider spread between the rich and the rest of us. Your vote counts. Be enlightened.