The elevator may not have gone to the top in the Bush Administration... but, as McClatchy is now reporting, memos obtained revealed that the authorization for torture did go right to the top: former Vice President Dick Cheney and then-national security advisor Condi Rice. [H/T to Make them Accountable for many of today's items, btw.]
To his credit, former President George W. Bush is maintaining a low profile these days, knowing that the impetus to accountability against him personally may just not be there, as his own role is arguably somewhat murky, and he can always have the dodge of having relied on others for advice. Not so Dick Cheney, of course, who is hitting the hustings with his current round of lies about the efficacy of torture. Perhaps, in his own delusional world, he believes them, but no less a figure than FBI Director Robert Mueller assures us that he is not aware of any terror plots foiled as a result of "enhanced interrogation." Unless I'm missing something, Dick is almost daring the Obama Administration to indict him... stick around!
It seems things is a movin' on their own now: even Congress has reached the point where it feels its political bread is buttered more by investigating torture than by sweeping it under a rug, with at least one member of Congress, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz of Florida, suggesting that Judge Jay "Bugs" Bybee's days on the federal bench may soon be numbered. A British court has ordered disclosure of U.S. torture documents in former GTMO detainee and torture victim Binyam Mohammad's case... stay tuned! Despite the rather unsatisfactory "middling" position the President has taken on this torture issue thus far, he may have opened up a bigger can o' whoop-ass than he envisioned... or perhaps, the Macchiavellian grandmaster saw all this coming all along?
Regardless of what the President anticipated (and we have no reason to believe this was particularly well thought out, btw)... we can always count on the self-obsessive and self-referential media to have its head up its ass, as our friend the always insightful Eric Boehert tells us here... the media's obsessive concern is with Washington process: how disclosure of the torture memos will play at Beltway cocktail parties and what it says about Obama's "style" and similar crap and so forth, rather than with the story itself. And what a story: in our time, the government of the supposedly most advanced nation in the world took it upon itself to revert hundreds of years to Medieval torture chambers, based on the misguided and criminal acts of a few sociopaths and psychotics who managed to obtain positions of power. But try getting that through the Village Elders who decide what is important enough for us to be told.
Times... they are a changin'... well, we can hope that, anyway.
Glad to see you retain some hope about the evolving possibility of some accountablity. I do too. Sometimes I can't offer objective reasons that satisfy my rational calculations, but there seems to be some kind of shift.
Maybe I'm just starry-eyed.
Posted by janinsanfran at April 25, 2009 10:32 AM
As much as it may make you shudder, torture isn't really Medieval, it's been around since day one, and has been used in every war in human history. Suffice it to say no matter what happens in the media currently, it will happen again and is considered a necessary evil by many.
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Posted by lawonthestreet at April 29, 2009 4:43 PM