First, an excellent connect-the-dots excerise by Frank Rich: “Obama Can’t Turn the Page on Bush“, op-ed in the New York Times, 16 May 2009. I recommend reading it! Opening:
To paraphrase Al Pacino in “Godfather III,” just when we thought we were out, the Bush mob keeps pulling us back in. And will keep doing so. No matter how hard President Obama tries to turn the page on the previous administration, he can’t. Until there is true transparency and true accountability, revelations of that unresolved eight-year nightmare will keep raining down drip by drip, disrupting the new administration’s high ambitions.
That’s why the president’s flip-flop on the release of detainee abuse photos — whatever his motivation — is a fool’s errand. The pictures will eventually emerge anyway, either because of leaks (if they haven’t started already) or because the federal appeals court decision upholding their release remains in force. And here’s a bet: These images will not prove the most shocking evidence of Bush administration sins still to come.
There are many dots yet to be connected, and not just on torture. …
This response deserves to win “quote of the day” honors: “Sympathy for the bad apples“, by The Editors at The Poor Man Institute for Freedom & Democracy & a Pony, 17 May 2009 — Hat tip to Obsidian Wings. Red emphasis added. Excerpt:
It’s funny that when torture was all the fault of poor, ugly hillbillies of the sort David Brooks writes about in his Adventure Stories for Young Aristocrats, we had to throw the book at the evil-doers. Now that important figures in Washington have admitted to directly ordering more and worse, however, the question of even investigating whether some sort of crime may perhaps have taken place is fraught with all sort of beard-tugging brain-twisters which no man can untangle, even with the help of modern computer technology.
- How can we investigate if we don’t know all the facts?
- How dare we enforce laws against things which might possibly be permissible in some highly artificial thought experiment?
- What if ‘24′ is FOR REALS?!?
- These are the sorts of questions which need to be shrugged at for 50 billion news cycles before we can even think about OH MY GOD A SHARK ATE A WHITE LADY AT HER WEDDING!!!!!
We’ve got what amounts to a reverse Nuremberg defense, where Bush administration officials are let off the hook because they were only giving orders. I’m not sure that’s such a great idea.
Please share your comments by posting below. Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 word max), civil and relevant to this post. Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).
For information about this site see the About page, at the top of the right-side menu bar.
For more information from the FM site
To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar. Of esp interest these days:
- About America’s national defence strategy and machinery
- About Obama, his administration and Ameican policies today
Posts about torture:
- So many Americans approve of torture; what does this tell us about America?, 30 April 2009
- We close our eyes to torture by our government. The Brits are stronger., 9 April 2009