I have often wondered if the Washington Press establishment existed in some kind of hermetically sealed dome cut off from the infectious outside world. At least in Logan’s Run the bastards blew up after 30 years.
David Broder has a remarkable piece in today’s Washington Post that insists that Bush Administration war crimes and crimes against the Constitution should go unexamined.
What is it in Washington? I expect the Peggy Noonans of the world to want to sweep the failings of their idols under the rug, and have no problem with doublethink but the entire establishment political press is on this bizarre “bygones” initiative. The whole panel on the Gwen Ifill show was on this bent.
How much of a rocket scientist do you have to be to understand that this is not about revenge or partisanship (as MonicaGate surely was) nor is it peripheral to the actual governance of the Nation (as MonicaGate surely was)?
After lying the country into an unnecessary and ruinous war, wiretapping the entire world and letting Wall Street run Ponzi scemes, the Bush Administration created an obviously fake legal rationale to retroactively provide cover for torture, which accomplished nothing other than degrade the moral authority of America and serve as a major recruiting motivation for her enemies.
Now I am not looking to “punish” them for the awesomely bad policy judgment on Iraq or Financial regulation. While I think their hearts were in the wrong place, I think they legitiately believed their own nonsense.
But constitutional and legal mockeries to deprive citizens and others of rights (NSA Wiretapping, Gitmo, Torture) is not a policy dispute. It is a perversion of the foundation of AMerican law and a violation of core principals. And Laws. And Oaths.
But this quote takes the cake:
“The memos on torture represented a deliberate, and internally well-debated, policy decision, made in the proper places — the White House, the intelligence agencies and the Justice Department — by the proper officials.”
How can you possily get this so wrong. The only accurate words in the quote are “torture” and “deliberate”.
Mr. Broder, those memos reveal a deliberate, craven attempt to shoehorn torture into a definition that makes it some form of spa treatment. It was not “well-debated” it was shockingly poorly debated, both in scope and intellectual honesty. A policy was made essentially based on the contrivance of four lawyers, whose work was kept secret for years. Officials were told of the fact of an administrative opinion authorizing torture, but not the details. When we see the details it is obvious they were not kept secret for National Security reasons but rather to hide the transparent phoniness of the legal rationale.
The Bush Administration took a terrible event and turned it into a war and a near bankruptcy of the nation. Unless we can show that this was all just to make Haliburton money, maybe that does lie in policy disputes. Ruinous, insane, unjustifiable policy, but not criminal.
What is it about the criminality of violations of basic rights through perversions like the Patriot Act and legal rationales for torture do you not understand?