Friday, April 17, 2009

At long last, have they no shame? (Obviously not.) - UPDATED

Digby has a good article posted today on the torture memos released yesterday and the whole phenomenon of torture as planned, implemented, and "justified" in the Bush administration. She provides some history and context.
They are all war criminals, from the nice looking Mormon sadists who call themselves doctors, to the twisted bureaucrats in the Justice Department who call themselves lawyers, to the top leadership of the Bush administration who sat there and watched choreographed torture sessions in the White House and have the utter gall to call themselves human. They all knew that what they were doing was repulsive and immoral. That's why went to such lengths to ensure that all of it was approved with all the is dotted and all the ts crossed all the way to the very top and back down again. They all implicated each other.

Apparently, they assumed that nobody would ever prosecute even one of these very important, upstanding members of their professions for horrific crimes such as these because if [one] went down they would all go down. And apparently they were right.


And no reflection or retribution is not the answer. Prosecution is the answer. If these aren't criminal acts, nothing is. It's the stuff of nightmares.
She also makes the point that while we replicated KGB techniques of an earlier era, those techniques were designed to provoke false confessions, not useful information.

Andrew Sullivan writes at length about "The Bigger Picture" in all this.
Looked at from a distance, the Bush administration wanted to do two things at once: to declare to the world that freedom is on the march, and human rights are coming to the world with American help, while simultaneously declaring to captives that the US has no interest in the law, human rights, accountability, transparency or humanity. They wanted to give hope to all the oppressed of the planet, while surgically banishing all hope from the prisoners they captured and tortured. And the only way they could pull this off is by the total secrecy they constructed and defended. So we had a public government respectful of the rule of law, and a secret government whose main goal was persuading terror suspects that there was no rule of law at all. It is hard to convey just how dangerous this was and is.

--the BB

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