Open Thought for the Day

From a commenter at reddit, on the subject of Associate Attorney General David Margolis, with Holder’s approval, reducing the conclusion of the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility report on Yoo and Bybee’s Torture Memos  to Bush to say that they showed only “poor judgment“:

If Obama’s ‘Justice Department’ had conducted the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, all of the Nazis would have gone free – ‘Merely Poor Judgement, the Holocaust was just a policy mistake’!

There is a road, no simple highway,

Between the dawn and the dark of night,

And if you go no one may follow,

That path is for your steps alone…

In April 2007 scribe, one of the lawyers who comments and diaries regularly at Talkleft wrote a short diary on impeachment, and in one of his own comments to that diary in reply to another commenter had this to say, that I think applies strongly here if not nails the crux of the matter. He was discussing the legal concept of “eternal precedent“:

What we do, and what we vote and say, today, will ring down through the centuries.  And those who stand with Bush and Cheney, or oppose removing them, will do so at the peril of being on the wrong side of history.

I wonder what it will be like to live, say a century or two in the future, when people may well look back at these days, shake their head and wonder “what ever possessed them, that they discarded all the rights they’d won, defended, and brought into other nations, merely for the illusory promise of ‘security’?”

Every now and again, when I listen to Austrian radio, I’ll hear them refer to the “Grossdeutsche Wahn*” – that’s the mass hysteria which accompanied the bullsh*t Hitler and his cronies sold the German-speaking (and a lot of the rest of the) world. Sixty years on, they’re still shaking their heads wondering “what the hell were we thinking”.

*”Wahn” means, roughly, “Craziness”, “insanity” or “Hysteria”.

On the other hand, in a century or two, torture, degradation and authoritarianism may, because of Bush, Cheney and their henchmen, be as normal and accepted as breathing, eating and drinking.  After all, in ancient Rome, not only were there multitudes of slaves, but a slave could not testify without having been tortured first.  And everyone thought that normal.

The paradigm for the future – for the descendents of those who may have kids today – is what the choices made today will decide.  And that is why the precedent we set today is eternal.  Once that choice is made, or ducked, it’s done and the alternative path now available, is gone and can’t be gotten back.


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    • Edger on February 23, 2010 at 01:40


    • TMC on February 23, 2010 at 02:47

    any of them brought to justice but I can sleep and look myself in the mirror knowing that I opposed them and their policies and called for their prosecution. I will call for them to be brought to justice to answer for their crimes until they are all dead, or I am.

  1. Lets say that all of this military training is all about control of shit.  The very core pride of the military is all about God, Corps, country and lest you never ever forget it.  Ya, well Ok then they totally and definitively fucked up because the world knows, the world saw the pictures and you know about stuff that if they did in fact have total and absolute control you would not know about such stuff.

    It means either one of three things.

    The military does not have control of the ranks.

    The “leaked” pictures and stories of torture came from morons who didn’t realize the damage this would cause to America or

    The CEOs of globocorp are sick and tired of a measly 300 million morons fucking up their profit margins by demanding 25% of Their world resources.

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