Godfather III

Just when I thought I was getting away from politics, when I thought I had exhausted the topic of torture and Guantanamo, I see the embarrassingly disgusting and partisan reactions to the DOJ Ethics Panel request for preliminary investigations into detainee abuse. Just like with Michael in Godfather III, right when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.

To avoid repeating myself too much, where I have already made my argument, I will only add the following:

  • Of course it is obvious why Just-Trust-Me-Dick is against investigations.  All roads lead to Dick. It is almost impossible to argue with a straight face that the legal memos giving cover to the enhanced interrogation program were provided in good faith. In that sense, the Dick Cheney’s should be investigated, not the CIA. But as Kitapsiz has frequently commented, “What difference would it make in any event, he already shot a man in the face while under the influence and escaped the law …” As a result, just like with Abu Ghraib, the small fish pay the price.
  • If credible claims of criminal activities exist or, in the alternative, if Dick Cheney is so sure that the CIA did nothing wrong, then why wouldn’t an investigation be a good thing? It would both reinforce the rule of law and set Mr. Cheney free.
  • It is ironic that Mr. Cheney and the CIA defenders are calling this investigation partisan. This investigation would not have happened but for Mr. Cheney’s call for the enhanced interrogation program in the first place, a radical change in policy that, as detailed in the IG Report, even the CIA operatives recognized would eventually led them to be investigated. So although Cheney is now crying “foul play”, an eventual investigation was both foreseeable and anticipated. In that sense, the CIA was set up by Cheney. Furthermore, why is Cheney so worried about the CIA’s feelings? Does he think they are little children that need constant coddling?
  • Most of Cheney’s fear-mongering about Obama making the U.S. less safe is directed at policy changes that took place during Bush’s second term and that Obama is simply continuing. Remember even Obama the sell-out is against Holder’s independent investigation.
  • The Bush Administration did everything in its power to fabricate evidence and conceal information regarding the War in Iraq and has even recently admitted to manipulating terror alerts for political gain. The political and media class have had absolutely no accountability whatsoever for the key roles they’ve played in the massive propaganda campaign that has caused immeasurable death and destruction. The issue of torture only highlights the pathetic state of our establishment media and the farce that is congressional oversight. As Glenn Greenwald has written, Congress and the establishment media have played absolutely no role in demanding transparency here. The only reason any of this information is being disclosed at all is because of lawsuits by human rights groups. This represents a major failure in how our systems of checks and balance and free press are supposed to protect us from government abuse.
  • We were led to believe that only the worst of the worst, the most hardened of terrorists were subjected to enhanced interrogation. We now know that to be false. We also know that numerous Guantanamo detainees who were tortured and kept in cages for years were later declared innocent, not by bleeding-heart left-wing socialists but by seasoned military judges.
  • The press has largely ignored the fact that some one hundred detainees died under the enhanced conditions and apparently others “just got lost”.
  • According to our treaty obligations and therefore as required by law (in conformance with the U.S. Constitution), the U.S. is obliged to investigate credible allegations of torture. Failure to do so may subject U.S. officials to criminal prosecution abroad. Once again, it was Cheney’s program that has set our guys up to become international pariahs.
  • Since when was Jack Nicholson’s Cheney-esque “You can’t handle the truth” character from A Few Good Men supposed to be the hero or Daniel Day Lewis’ from In the Name of the Father (tortured until he confessed to a terrorist bombing he didn’t commit) the villain?

Back in 1998 during my last semester in law school, I worked on a project for the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law where I spent most of my time reading and compiling the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, including all of the gruesome details of torture from the worst years of Cuba, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. For those of you who think that the IG Report is not so damning, it reads like it was right out of a Latin American dictatorship.

It’s interesting that we are supposed to be world leaders, beacons of light, yet the entire Republican Party and many Democrats, with an enabling press, are passionately against transparency and upholding the rule of law. As Juan Cole writes in reference to the CIA operatives who expressed concern about foreign prosecution,

But why weren’t they afraid of prosecution in U.S. courts? When did the U.S. go from having, in the Bill of Rights, among the most advanced human rights laws in the world to being a gulag backwater where it is only a trip to Holland that American torturers fear?

What is happening to us? Suddenly we are afraid of the rule of law. We refuse to innovate or even recognize, as in the case of health care, that other countries have models we can follow. Even in technology and infrastructure, we are falling behind (we are number 28 in the world in Internet connectivity speed). What is left of those infamous American values?

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6 Comments

Filed under Essays, Obama 44

6 responses to “Godfather III

  1. Paul

    I think the responsibility lies at the top of the administration that asked for torture to begin by renaming it as “enhanced interrogation techniques”, (even Ronald Regan, called the practice of torture “abhorrent”), is anyone surprised that Cheney is now crying about the investigations.

  2. I think the primary point is simple: hypocrisy, of the worst sort. A secondary can be added: distraction.

    Maobama has hired every felon he could possibly find; when comes the call to investigate his administration? How about an investigation into the 400bn given to AIG, with a directive of no oversight/no transparency because said financial megalith controls Congressional Pensions securities? How about the resurrection of “Your Life, Your Choices”, (chalk up another one for WeeWillieBillie!!!), a book for the express purpose of making assisted suicide look like the best option for U.S. Veterans?

    Literally, I could go on for days. Then of course, it all comes back to the Amurikan citizen and the words of one of the Founding Fathers:

    “Any nation that would sacrifice a little liberty for a little security, will deserve neither and lose both.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

    Maobama doesn’t care about the Rule of Law; he has made it clear he hates the Constitution, the Constitutional Authority and anything American, descendant from the principles created by that document.

    On a positive note, Ted Kennedy is dead. I hope he suffered and agonised. Perhaps this is a turning point. Maybe, finally, that abject genetic strain of ignominious, pernicious bottom feeding cretins, narcissists and worthless aberrants will die out.

    Can I get Hoorah!!! Another Kennedy gone!!!

    It’s laughable that they are half-masting our flag for that puke. Now that, that is a national embarassment.

  3. eric

    The question why Goldman Sachs seems to have so much power over taxpayer money regardless of which party rules the White House, once again, without even a peep out of the press is just another example in a long list …

    I hate to celebrate the death of anyone, but you sure gave me a good laugh. I read somewhere a Tweet by a non-American who wrote something about Kennedy having been moral force in the US during difficult times. That was almost as funny 😉

  4. I will no longer use the word “socialism” in any post context; we are moving to fascism, and with haste.

    So keep going back to the Bush Administration, exactly what the media and the Maobama regime want; utterly distracted sheep.

    You want tyranny, I give you the current government.

    http://www.politechbot.com/docs/rockefeller.revised.cybersecurity.draft.082709.pdf

    Hail the inglorious death of civil rights; may the great days of the Constitution be long remembered.

    Just for those of limited literacy capability, prostiticians, mongoloids, partisan sheep, socio-political label users, and generally the rest of the absurdly and ludicrously intellectually challenged Amurikan public: This bill openly destroys the authority of the First and Fourth Amendments, without any possibility of recourse; legal or otherwise.

    Vae victus, hail the honored dead, that they didn’t have to live in the age when the world’s finest Republic was burnt to the foundations by the worst manner of cowards ever known.

    Plus, they didn’t have to live with hearing words like “moral”, “Lion”, “humanities defender” uttered about the lowest form of homo sapien known in all the myriad: that called “Kennedy”.

    I celebrate his death, and laugh at his pathetic family who supports the withering, pudgey troll. Perhaps even the worms will find him unfit for their sustenance needs … seriously, how could anything so vile and disgusting taste good?

    (I think the non-American Tweeter meant to post “moron force” …. ?)

  5. cnap

    It is dangerous to celebrate anyone’s death and to hope they suffered is so beyond my heart strings. Kitapsiz, you amaze me with your lack of compassion. Have you even seen someone died of a brain tumor? It is horrific. I would not wish it on my worst enemy which I hope I do not have one. Loosen up and have at least a trickle of empathy. Your hardness is not a drawing card to you. I feel only pity that your heart is so hardened.

  6. He is, and forever will remain, an enemy of the Republic.

    Would you be so moved to compassion if, say, your daughter was terrorised and then drowned by a killer, (it’s called murder, in case you are unawares), and then his life celebrated when he died of a brain tumor?

    Equivocate, it matters not at all.

    “Pity” is the illogical emotional response to the unreasoned fear of death of another, and the fact that we all know we must meet it likewise, in due time.

    “Heart strings”? Euphemism for irrational emotional response.

    “empathy” and “pity” are euphemisms for fear.

    I’m not, at any time, attempting to create any “drawing cards”. Uninteresting pursuit, without any worthwhile outcome ~ there is the actual, and all else is simply unreasoned bullshit.

    My heart isn’t “hardened”, else, I would have ceased to be an active entity in the process of “living”.

    No scusa.

    He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man.

    Samuel Johnson
    English author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 – 1784)

    lolz, poetry as elucidation of fact. lmao, that’s almost memorable … almost.

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