Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Senate Report on Torture

From the Earth Bound Misfit, a succinct summary of where things stand or should stand with respect to the just-released Senate Report on torture.

"Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly." -- Attorney General John Ashcroft, in one of many meetings about using torture.
The Bush Administration knew about it. The Cheney Cabal pushed for using more brutal methods.  
As horrific as the report is turning out to be, it is also a profile in cowardice. There was no acknowledgement of the Bush Administration's demands that people be tortured. And the Obama Administration, aka MTAHNSrefused to turn over nearly ten thousand documents to the investigators. Obama opposed the CIA turning anything whatsoever over to the Senate inquiry, which makes Obama, for trying to cover up the commission of war crimes, as culpable as Bush.
The CIA and the Department of Defense committed war crimes. They committed the sort of crimes that, nearly seventy years ago, we executed enemy prisoners for doing similar things.
But they were not rogue agencies. The CIA and the military did what their bosses demanded of them. Which is not an excuse, but an explanation.
The release of the Senate report is a laudable step. But it is also a stark example of the shitty tendency of bureaucracy to blame the underlings for following the orders of the bosses.
Which leads me to this: We should either open a prosecution of the senior members of the Bush Administration for what they did, or pardon everyone who was convicted for torturing prisoners at Abu Graib. Either we follow through on being a nation of laws or embrace that we are a nation of war criminals. There really isn't any middle ground.

My thoughts are that since so many people wanted to hide the report--basically because it contained unpleasant things and would cast the mighty United States of America in an unfavorable light--then that's all the more reason to release it fully. 

If we are not proud of what we did, then it was wrong.  Period.  So...I'm waiting for the indictments or the pardons.  It's likely to be a long wait.

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