Author Archives: iamagangmember

An open letter to Sen. Klobuchar on the 10th anniversary of the torture memos

Caucus resolution on war budget

It’s caucus time. Progressives and libertarians will likely once again propose resolutions about the U.S. war budget. They’ll argue, “Let’s spend that money on our true collective needs,” or “Let’s return that money to our pockets.” And these resolutions will likely once again have no effect. The powers-that-be already are responding with horror to the […]

January 10 statement on torture to Henn. Cty. Board of Commissioners

January 10 statement on torture to Henn. Cty. Board of Commissioners & proposed resolution Mr. Chair, Commissioners. My name is Chuck Turchick and I live in Minneapolis. You have my sympathy. I have gotten a hold of your leg on the issue of accountability for U.S.-committed torture, and when that happens, I tend not to […]

I ain’t gonna study war no more, study war no more

This “ain’t gonna study war no more” stuff has gone too far. Down by the Mississippi Riverside, at the University of Minnesota, there is little study of war as a phenomenon in human history. Oh, you can find courses on individual wars, but war in general, an activity that has all but dominated our history, pretty much […]

Military spending: Thinking outside the box

Whether he said it or not, P. T. Barnum was right. There’s a sucker born every minute. We need only look in the mirror. The biggest financial scam in human history — second place isn’t even close — is what is euphemistically called the defense budget of the United States of America. In comparison, Bernie Madoff was […]

Today is a sad day

Dear Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Representative Ellison: Today is a sad day. It is the ninth anniversary of the John Yoo-Jay Bybee “torture memos,” which were eventually withdrawn after unsuccessfully attempting to define torture out of existence. But it’s our actions in the nine years since that time that truly sadden me. I am saddened […]

Congressman Ellison: Do I Matter?

Dear Congressman Ellison: As-salamu-alaykum. I am a Canadian citizen, and I heard you speak today on “The Generosity of Inclusion: Everybody Counts, Everybody Matters.” I submitted a question, but it didn’t get asked. At one point I almost felt like I should jump up and ask it, but I have tremendous fear of your government. […]

An apology to my government officials re: torture

Dear President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Congressman Ellison: I wish to apologize for all the emails I have been sending you on the issue of accountability for U.S.-committed torture. I did not realize that as government officials who took oaths to uphold the Constitution, you were protecting many more rights […]

Be Wary of “Democracy Now”

My typing fingers were starting to twitch. I had just watched a recent Democracy Now segment about the new U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture calling on the United States to investigate and prosecute torture. I was all set to send an email to two State Department officials, whose comments at the November 2010 U.S. appearance before […]

I Am a Gang Member

I am a gang member. In my neighborhood it seems everyone is. I can’t remember when I wasn’t in a gang. I’m not bragging or anything; that’s just the way it is in my neighborhood. My gang controls a certain territory. I don’t know how it came to be our territory; I think we sort […]