First, let me make something clear: we need to make sure that the media doesn’t succeed in distracting us with all this flu hype and angst. Or the bloated coverage of teabaggers. Or.. well, let’s just say it’s painful obvious in a very torturous way, that the media would like to distract us.
Now the quotes…
Five years after the Abu Ghraib revelations, we must acknowledge that our government methodically authorized torture and lied about it. But we also must contemplate the possibility that it did so not just out of a sincere, if criminally misguided, desire to protect us but also to promote an unnecessary and catastrophic war. Instead of saving us from another 9/11, torture was a tool in the campaign to falsify and exploit 9/11 so that fearful Americans would be bamboozled into a mission that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. The lying about Iraq remains the original sin from which flows much of the Bush White Houses illegality.
President Obama can talk all he wants about not looking back, but this grotesque past is bigger than even he is. It wont vanish into a memory hole any more than Andersonville, World War II internment camps or My Lai. The White House, Congress and politicians of both parties should get out of the way.
“Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, has testified to Congress that more than 100 detainees died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, with up to 27 percent of these declared homicides by the military. They were allegedly kicked to death, shot, suffocated or drowned. Look, our people killed detainees [Friedman’s emphasis], and only a handful of those deaths have resulted in any punishment of U.S. officials.”
No one would suggest letting a serial killer off the hook for 27 torture-murders.
Granting prosecutorial immunity to war criminals like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell is already “tearing the country apart(?)”
First and foremost, it confirms many people’s suspicion that there are two systems of justice in America: one for the rich and powerful and another for you and me. If I kidnap a man and hold him overnight, I face the death penalty or life in prison. Bush and his top officials ordered the kidnapping of tens of thousands of men as young as 12 years of age, the torture of thousands and the murder of hundreds. Until America’s official mass murderers are treated as harshly as its freelance psychos, Americans will view their justice system as something to be feared rather than respected.
It’s torture to even discuss this issue, but discuss it we must. Unless we want to continue this “one application law for our leaders and pundits, and one for us.” That effectively dismantles any claim to being “free” American has.