Thursday, April 16, 2009

"A dark and painful chapter in our history."

-Those are the words our President used to describe everything done in our country’s name up until he came into office. President Barack Obama officially absolved the CIA from prosecution for harsh, painful interrogation of terror suspects today.

There is a deafening silence from NeoCons and the Right at this moment, and it would be funny if it weren’t so damn predictable. All the pundits who spontaneously became defenders of the rule of law (careerist hypocrites on television like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly) when the Congress decided to go after all of the contractually generated ill-gotten fortunes (“bonuses” in the parlance of our time) of the most incompetent financial advisors and asset directors in AIG’s finance divisions are now silent again. The men who so passionately defended the sanctity of contractual incentives or unearned bonuses are perfectly and willingly ignorant of all the wrongdoing that today’s presidential order sweeps under the rug.

Where are Glenn Beck’s tears now? What’s the matter?

Doesn’t fatso love his country anymore?

…The four latest declassified Bush Administration memos authorizing secretly approved methods like the all too familiar waterboarding technique and other forms of creative beating expose, due to their expansive detail, the exact ways in which those methods and their implementation violated the Geneva conventions.

Here’s something that may surprise you: I agree: the CIA officials should not be prosecuted. The culpability of CIA officials acting as interrogators are frankly immaterial, because what I need is a full accounting of who made the actual decisions. Who signed the authorizations? Who of our supposed representatives in the Senate, in the House, knew what and when?

I want to know: who really did this? Who made this violation of international and domestic laws accepted procedure? Who decided our Constitution and the various agreements the United States has signed in direct response to the abuses of the first and second world wars were just pieces of paper deserving of no more respect or authority than a bounced check.

What really needs to be investigated is this scandal’s entire chain of command and most importantly, its point of origination. But today’s presidential order is aimed at stopping that.

So long as we argue about whether CIA operatives should be held responsible (They shouldn’t in so far as they were doing what they were told they should do by the administration in power to protect the nation) we will never get to the point where we demand investigations of the people in government who thought this up and all the others who made this happen.

Mr. President, it’s not "a dark and painful chapter in our history," it’s a matter of weeks past. It’s a matter of who can be trusted within our current government to uphold the Constitution and protect the country -not just as a piece of real estate, but as a sovereign Republic where citizens can rest assured that the law applies to all.



Jack Jodell said...

This is indeed a sad day for America. We continue to invade people's privacy with widespread illegal wiretaps and email snooping and we let war criminals and breakers of international treaties go uninvestigated and unpunished. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas and Dick Cheney are all getting exactly what they want: An authoritarian state with unchallengeable executive power. And this has been cemented in stone by a supposedly liberal and progressive President. I hang my head in shame and horror at this betrayal of the American ideal.

SJ said...

These are sad developments my friend, all the more depressing because they are happening so early in the term. I really think that it is our Congress that needs to come clean. Nancy Pelosi among many other Democrats may have been briefed on these changes in policy and signed off on them. It's not really about our CIA, but the Congress and the Executive branch authorizing violations of rules and laws we claim to uphold as a nation, and doing it secrectly.