Frank Rich Just Farted in Church

He did it. He absolutely went there. On the op-ed page.

Frank Rich just ran through the unspoken barrier that got Dick Durbin in
such hot water two years ago. He’s made the historical comparison that no one has been allowed to make, for fear of diminishing the scope and scale of an evil that reigned a half-century ago. A comparison that someone in the MSM has needed to make, because we are surely walking down that same road.

Ten days ago The Times unearthed yet another round of secret Department of Justice memos countenancing torture. President Bush gave his standard response: “This government does not torture people.” Of course, it all depends on what the meaning of “torture” is. The whole point of these memos is to repeatedly recalibrate the definition so Mr. Bush can keep pleading innocent.


Still, the drill remains the same. The administration gives its alibi (Abu Ghraib was just a few bad apples). A few members of Congress squawk. The debate is labeled “politics.” We turn the page.


Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo. It’s up to us to wake up our somnambulant Congress to challenge administration policy every day. Let the war’s last supporters filibuster all night if they want to. There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country’s good name.

There you have it: They are the Gestapo. And we are the “Good Germans.”


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  1. you gotta wear it.

    • Edger on October 14, 2007 at 16:03

    Maybe he’ll wake a few up before it’s too late.

    For their part, the German people quickly accepted the new order of things. Keep in mind that the average non-Jewish German was pretty much unaffected by the new laws and decrees. As long as a German citizen kept his head down, worked hard, took care of his family, sent his children to the public schools and the Hitler Youth organization, and, most important, didn’t involve himself in political dissent against the government, a visit by the Gestapo was very unlikely.

    The overwhelming majority of Germans did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of culture had been destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work had become regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation…. The Nazi terror in the early years affected the lives of relatively few Germans and a newly arrived observer was somewhat surprised to see that the people of this country did not seem to feel that they were being cowed…. On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow it imbued them with a new hope and a new confidence and an astonishing faith in the future of their country.

  2. is over rated anyway.

    9-11 was the Reichstag fire and we’re already in Poland.

    Get used to it.

    • fatdave on October 14, 2007 at 17:29

    am Potomac.

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    • Slugbug on October 14, 2007 at 19:02



  4. is still shameful.  It is so ironic that the same people who attempt to lecture others about practicing “situational ethics” don’t seem to have any problems with practicing situational ethics themselves–using convoluted arguments and lies to try to justify immoral and evil acts like spying, law-breaking, torture, and killing. 

  5. troll rated in some places. The need to not look and blame wingers or others for this that we have collectively allowed is bi-partisan by not speaking out we validate and legitimize the need for these horrors. In torture debates, the inhumanity and imorallty always comes as an after thought to it doesn’t produce desired results, if it comes at all. Goodwins law can be a real catch twenty two. 

    • Twank on October 15, 2007 at 14:38

    Late ’60s.  High school.  Upstate NY.  German class.  Only 6 – 8 students in class, total.  Small language lab classroom.  German teacher.  Mrs. Strait.  Wonderful person.  In her mid 20’s at the time (my estimate from here.)  She’s Austrian (not sure NOW what that means.)

    Somehow, the whole “Germany/holocaust/etc.” becomes a topic of discussion. Again.  Late ’60s.  WW II was NOT ancient history like it is today to some people (Hell, Viet Nam is ancient history to some people)

    Anyway, I remember Mrs. Strait’s comments. This is, of course, through a 40 year lens.  Please bear that in mind.

    “The people (civilians) knew of the death camps.  You could SMELL the bodies burning.  SMELL the dying bodies.  EVERYBODY KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.  What could people do?  If you said anything, you were next.”

    Stays with me today.  Haunting.

    Wonder how Mrs. Strait is?

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