...I've noticed for a long time that our establishment media has tried to sell the public on the false idea that the torture issue is all about liberals vs. conservatives, left vs. right or Republicans vs. Democrats. They are doing this so that citizens of all political persuasions, who are horrified about what our government has done in our names, will not band together to force our government to hold these war criminals accountable. Our media and political elite want us to continue squabbling with each other, just like the guests do on the "crossfire" type shows, in order to divide us so that our power to demand accountability will be diluted. That's why they don't want us to know that there are conservatives who favor accountability (more on that in my next post) or liberals who don't advocate prosecutions of Bush administration officials just because they hate Republicans. That's also why they don't want us to know that there are more people who favor accountability for torture than those who don't.
Our establishment media and political elites know that if we know the truth about all of these things that there will be no way for them to stop us from forcing our government to hold our leaders accountable. They also know that once we stop viewing each other as the "enemy" that we will all discover who our "real" enemies have been all of these years. And once that happens then the chummy club of insiders, who have had a stranglehold on our country for decades, will no longer be running the show and calling the shots. And the thought of having a true democracy positively scares them to death.
In his just-released cover story on Paul Krugman's status as Obama critic, Newsweek's Evan Thomas includes these observations:By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring.Thomas then acknowledges what is glaringly obvious not only about himself but also most of his media-star colleagues: "If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am) . . ."
Yesterday I ran across a piece by Michael van der Galien called Christian Conservatives Against Torture that appeared on the PoliGazette website.
We have all heard a lot about Christian conservatives in recent years. We know the standard talking points by now. They are radically right, in favor of a total war on Islam, intolerant even hateful towards those with unorthodox sexual preferences (hey, is that the political correct expression of the day or what?), and support torture.
I also ran across several pieces by conservative Rod Dreher where he talked about Bush lying to us about torture and about how those who tortured should be held accountable.
One thing that nobody should ever be permitted to say again, after reading these memos: "The United States didn't torture." When President Bush said it, he was a liar. The only question is whether or not he was lying to himself, so that he could sleep at night, or consciously lying to the public for reasons of political expediency.
I disagree. Those who approved of torture should be made to defend what they did. The public should be forced to confront these things, and to learn what our government is capable of, so that we might prevent it in the future. I'm inclined to former Reagan Justice official Bruce Fein's view.
How is it that even after the CIA station chief on the ground told his superiors that the terrorist being tortured had said all he knew that the CIA kept on torturing the guy? What does that tell us about what we were really up to? Was it really a "necessary evil"?That can't be undone, obviously, but if we don't try to understand how and why that happened, what will our refusal to look at our deeds, and what was done in our name, say about the American soul? "Yes, but they are terrorists," is not much of a defense.
So, according to the Rubber Hose Right it's *not* torture *because* it was done 183 times. Now, I recall back in the day, when torture apologists were explaining that it was not torture because it was so brutal and effective that KSM cracked instantly. "A couple of dunking and it was all over. What's the big deal?" Now we are told that he didn't crack instantly by the same apologists for torture--and that this proves it's not a big deal too.And this:
But yeah. Sure. Waterboarding somebody 183 times. That's not torture.
Enjoy the bubble.
Now and then, there has been talk of prosecuting the Bushies who ordered the creation of our torture regime and the commission of war crimes. I'd be completely in favor of that since I'm one of those people who thinks the US remains a nation of laws under God even when it is inconvenient to the fortunes of Movement Conservatives.
However, as some of the Left are now discovering, the big problem facing those who would like to pursue this course is not primarily GOP opposition (though it, of course, exists) but rather fellow lefties (including their very own President) who, having now seized the One Ring as suddenly reluctant to just give up all that reckless unilateral power.