The Torture Crack In The Bush Administration
When the NY Times felt compelled to write an anti-torture op-ed which called for the impeachment of federal judge Jay Bybee, he who was instrumental in writing the Torture Memos, it was a happily ironic moment. "Happily" because it would duly trigger a major turning point in Obama's stupid See-No-Evil policies regarding sins committed in our names; "ironic" because the New York Times chose not to at least acknowledge its past prominence in warmongering and rah-rahs in support of torture. My thought upon seeing the op-ed was this:
"Ah-ha! Finally #*@%-$^ gettin' somewhere. NYT thinks it's time for CYA."
Torture, as long predicted here, is the aperture in which to shove the crowbar for rupturing the Bush Administration asunder, and that vulnerability is sufficiently appreciated by the perpetrators. The fact that they can in domestic and international law be taken all the way down (in theory) to an execution chamber is why Dick Cheney regularly emerges to warn What Will Happen if we reverse torture policy. Now, he may sincerely believe the Taliban will attack Lake Placid and al-Qaeda will invade Wyoming. But primarily he's just trying to cover his ass and understandably so. If you were guilty of ordering war crimes, you might play a little CYA, too.
Senator Russ Feingold is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and he's angry on both moral and turf grounds. He seemed the best hope in view to get the crack spreading out into a real Ass-Raping of the Evil-Doers, so I've occasionally written his staff to rant about the evils of torture, and have signed every petition about it I've come across. Here's what The Crowbar had to say recently when counter-punching a Sunday Talking Head:
"Part of what troubles me are the lawyers -- we should see their law school degrees -- who consciously wrote these memos justifying and explaining full well those outrageous arguments," the Wisconsin Democrat said on Tuesday in reference to the Bush-era torture memos released last week. "I cannot join the president, or his spokesman, or [chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel, who said we aren't going [to prosecute these people]. I can't. I just disagree with them."
"If you want to see just how outrageous this is, I refer you to the remarks made by Peggy Noonan this Sunday," he said, referring to the longtime conservative columnist's appearance on ABC's This Week. "I frankly have never heard anything quite as disturbing as her remark that was something to the affect of: 'well sometimes you just have to move on.'"
"It is truly horrifying and unforgivable that anybody operating under the auspices of the United States of America had involvement in any of this," he said. "So I'm not even completely ready to [cede the argument] that people who devised these techniques should be off the hook. I understand the argument. I also remember when people said that they were just following orders. So that troubles me and I am thinking about it."
Obama advisors like Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod have suggested that prosecution of Bush officials is likely off the table due to political sensitivities, to not looking backwards, to Jupiter not yet being aligned with Mars, etc. Right. These two men are devout Jews, and yes, I am explicitly pointing out an inherent religion-based pro-torture bias against Muslims on the part of the Obama Administration. On the part of our entire paranoid country.
Look. We haven't been torturing Evangelicals and Born-Agains in our midst, and do thousands of them not espouse fiery cataclysms on the District of Columbia on a weekly, if not hourly, basis? As these dangerous assholes stock up on assault rifles for probably a dozen Church Shoot-Em-Ups over the next year, why, may I ask, have electrodes not been placed on their genitals in order to save their future victims?
And god help us if we were to ever torture a single Jew for, I dunno, plotting to take over the international banking system. Because then there would be books! Movies! Ongoing outrage, in memoriams, anti-defamations and never-agains ad infinitum. Even if they've trade-marked the Holocaust, why are we not torturing an Israeli security encryption provider which spies on federal and local law enforcement agencies which use its services? (Note: I refer to a company in my profession.)
We torture Muslims. Not Xtians. Not Jews. Bowing to pressure from the left and after being outed by Feingold, the New York Times reported today that White House "aides did not rule out legal sanctions for the Bush lawyers who developed the legal basis for the use of the techniques." There's a long way to go from here to hand-cuffs, much less ass-rapings or executions, but the crack is getting closer to the source. And now it's going to speed up.
UPDATE: Feingold responds to Obama's statement that he is open to prosecutions of some Bush officials:
“I am pleased that the president made clear that he has not ruled out investigations or prosecutions of those who authorized torture, or provided the legal justification for it. Horrible abuses were committed in the name of the American people, and we cannot look the other way, or just ‘move on.’ The final decision will be up to the attorney general and the president, but I urge the Justice Department to take this matter very seriously."