Tag: Tom Engelhardt

Aren’t they the people your mother warned you about?

There used to be some other serious and important issues the whole country was focused on before Barack Obama and the Democrats shoveled $12.8 T-r-i-l-l-i-o-n D-o-l-l-a-r-s of your money (nearly last years U.S. GDP) into the hands of their criminal friends on Wall Street who destroyed the U.S. and global economy before they decided to move forward to torturing and distracting you with promises of a watered down useless legislative proposal called The Public Option that will shovel who knows how much of your money into the hands of the insurance companies who are screwing you out of proper health care while forcing you to pay through your teeth for the highest per capita health care spending, the highest infant mortality, and the shortest life expectancy of all advanced countries in the world.

But there’s always a new flap to take your mind off the older flaps.

If there seems to be something odd about this latest flap, if there’s much that we don’t know yet, we do, at least, know one thing: This particular small splash from the previous administration’s deep dive into crime and folly will have its brief time in the media sun and then be swallowed up by oblivion, just as each of the previous flaps has been.

After all, can you honestly tell me that you think often about the CIA torture flap, the CIA-destruction-of-interrogation-video-tapes flap, the what-did-Congress/Nancy Pelosi-really-know-about-torture-methods flap, the Bush-administration-officials-(like-Condi-Rice)-signed-off-on-torture-methods-in-2002-even-before-the-Justice-Department-justified-them flap, the National-Security-Agency-(it-was-far-more-widespread-than-anyone-imagined)-electronic-surveillance flap, the should-the-NSA’s-telecom-spies-be-investigated-and-prosecuted-for-engaging-in-illegal-warrantless-wiretapping flap, the should-CIA-torturers-be-investigated-and-prosecuted-for-using-enhanced-interrogation-techniques flap, the Abu-Ghraib-photos-(round-two)-suppression flap, or various versions of the can-they-close-Guantanamo, will-they-keep-detainees-in-prison-forever flaps, among others that have already disappeared  into my own personal oblivion file? Every flap its day, evidently.  Each flap another problem (again we’re told) for a president with an ambitious program who is eager to “look forward, not backward.”  

Of course, he’s not alone.  Given the last eight years of disaster piled on catastrophe, who in our American world would want to look backward?  The urge to turn the page in this country is palpable, but — just for a moment — let’s not.

As a start, remind me: What didn’t we do? Let’s review for a moment.