Reclaiming America’s Soul

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

In “Reclaiming America’s Soul”, Paul Krugman rejects the arguments of torture apologists . . .

Isn’t revisiting the abuses of the last eight years, no matter how bad they were, a luxury we can’t afford?

No, it isn’t, because America is more than a collection of policies. We are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. In the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. But never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for. “This government does not torture people,” declared former President Bush, but it did, and all the world knows it.

And the only way we can regain our moral compass, not just for the sake of our position in the world, but for the sake of our own national conscience, is to investigate how that happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible.  These investigations should, where appropriate, be followed by prosecutions – not out of vindictiveness, but because this is a nation of laws. We need to do this for the sake of our future. For this isn’t about looking backward, it’s about looking forward – because it’s about reclaiming America’s soul.  

As he always has during his long and excruciating career as a babbling shithead, John McCain has elevated the debate, and solemnly declared, “Prosecutions would make us no better than a Banana Republic.”  

OK.  Well . . . this would be a good time to observe that some people are wrong about some things some of the time, others are wrong about most things most of the time, but John McCain can be counted on to be wrong about all things all of the time.

Earth to Manuel McCain (R) Panama . . .  

John McCain Pictures, Images and Photos

Not prosecuting would make us no better than a Banana Republic.

As Eugene Robinson notes in the Washington Post . . .

The many roads of inquiry into the Bush administration’s abusive “interrogation  techniques” all lead to one stubborn, inconvenient fact: Torture is not just immoral but also illegal. This means that once we learn the whole truth, the law will oblige us to act on it. . . . The rule of law is one of this nation’s founding principles. It’s not optional. Our laws against torture demand to be obeyed — and demand to be enforced.

Glenn Greenwald . . .

That torture is a serious felony certainly is a “stubborn, inconvenient fact.”  American officials condoned and conducted torture.  Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general of the United States, has stated flatly that it is “illegal”; and “in a country founded on the rule of law, a president can’t sweep criminality away for political reasons, even the most noble.”   I hope Obama loyalists study that last sentence and digest it.

If you’ve had your vaccinations and have signed the waiver absolving Rusty1776 Tours of any responsibility for injuries you may sustain, or for infectious diseases you may contract such as Obama is God Syndrome or DHinMI Swamp Fever, you may now board the tour bus to Daily Adulation so we can observe all of that studying and digesting taking place . . .

Michael's Tour Bus Pictures, Images and Photos

Well.  That was fun, wasn’t it?  Almost as much fun as crawling a mile across broken glass with red hot needles poked in your eyes.  

(Please read this constructive criticism of Dkos quickly, my temporary Dkos Bashing Permit expires at midnight)  

Refusing to enforce the law is complicity in violations of the law.  War crimes have been committed. Politics is not the issue, morality is the issue.  Politics empowers oppression in all of its forms-fascism, communism, authoritarianism, corporatism.  These oppressive systems always inflict suffering on the most innocent, always empower the most corrupt and dishonest, and always exempt them from obeying the law.  

And the media goes along for the ride.

Glenn Greenwald . . .  

The rules for how media stars behave are vividly evident as they finally take part in what they are calling The ‘Torture’ Debate.  Here are three key rules for Beltway media behavior that, as always, are shaping what they say and do:

(1) Any policy that Beltway elites dislike is demonized as coming from “the Left” or — in this case (following Karl Rove) — the “hard Left.”  Media stars recite that claim regardless of how widely accepted the belief is in American public opinion and regardless of whether there is anything “leftist” about the view in question.  

Roughly 40% of Americans favor criminal prosecutions for Bush officials — even before release of the OLC memos — and large majorities favor investigations generally.  Individuals such as Gen. Antonio Taguba, Gen. Barry McCaffrey and former CIA officer Robert Baer advocate investigations and/or prosecutions of Bush officials.  But no matter:  the Beltway opposes the idea, and it is therefore dismissed by media stars as coming from the “Hard Left.”

(2) Nobody is more opposed to transparency and disclosure of government secrets than establishment “journalists.” And the favorite mantra of media stars and Beltway mavens everywhere — Look Forward, Not Backwards — is nothing but a plea that extreme government crimes remain concealed and unexamined.

(3) The single most sacred Beltway belief is that elites are exempt from the rule of law.  Amidst all the talk about how prosecutions would destroy post-partisan harmony and whether torture “works,” it is virtually impossible to find any media star discussions about the fact that torture is illegal and that those who order, authorize or engage in torture are committing felonies.  That is because — other than for fun sex scandals and other Blagojevich-like sensationalistic acts — the overriding belief of the political class is that elites (such as themselves) have the right to break the law and not be held accountable.

RePugs and too many Democrats are warning against prosecuting torture, they say it would be divisive and tear this nation apart.  They’re arguing that a nation divided against itself cannot stand.  It seems to me that if they weren’t wearing that blindfold of politics over their eyes, they’d see that a nation that has lost its soul cannot stand. It’s a cold, dead corpse.  

We have to breathe new life into this country.  We have to reclaim America’s soul.  There’s only one way to do that–restore the rule of law, prosecute BushCo criminals.  Only then can we stand once again as a living, breathing democracy and lead this world into a better and brighter future.  



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  1. Stretched over black and blue,

    Hear their heartbeats.

    We hear their heartbeats.

    Hear the heartbeats of the victims of torture.

    They are human beings.

    If we do not prosecute torture, are we?

    • Viet71 on April 25, 2009 at 00:57

    It’ll take about 1 – 3 million marchers in Washington, D.C.

    The banner:  Shut This Fucker Down.

    Where is Mario Savio when we need him?

    The problem with blogs is that they’re an outlet for anger that would better be expended in the streets.

    [Sorry for the unintended “wrong” — which I’ve fixed.]

    • Viet71 on April 25, 2009 at 01:21

    Obama says supposedly that he doesn’t want prosecutions (or a Truth Commission) because they would draw energy away from his agenda.

    Excuse me.  Agenda?

    Are we talking about Afghanistan?  Wall Street bailouts?  More government transparency?  

    I’m all ears and eyes.

    Fuck.  What a waste of a presidency.

  2. Six reccs for this essay . . .

    Apparently, there’s quite a few people here who can’t spare five minutes of their precious time to read an essay of mine.

    Every essay I’ve ever posted here, and every essay I ever will post here deserves to be read.

    I’ll be back on May 24.  If the essay I post then doesn’t get the reccs it deserves, I’ll go on strike for another month.


    • Viet71 on April 25, 2009 at 17:55

    I and I think many others really like your diaries.

    Keep pounding away.

    • Alma on April 25, 2009 at 22:42

    to deprive all of us because not enough recommended?  🙁

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