|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Tuesday, January 11, 2005
: A strongly worded editorial from the Washington Post in December calls this not "scandal" but "war crimes". "Thousands of pages of government documents released this month have confirmed some of the painful truths about the abuse of foreign detainees by the U.S. military and the CIA -- truths the Bush administration implacably has refused to acknowledge. Since the publication of photographs of abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in the spring the administration's whitewashers -- led by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld -- have contended that the crimes were carried out by a few low-ranking reservists, that they were limited to the night shift during a few chaotic months at Abu Ghraib in 2003, that they were unrelated to the interrogation of prisoners and that no torture occurred at the Guantanamo Bay prison where hundreds of terrorism suspects are held. The new documents establish beyond any doubt that every part of this cover story is false. Though they represent only part of the record that lies in government files, the documents show that the abuse of prisoners was already occurring at Guantanamo in 2002 and continued in Iraq even after the outcry over the Abu Ghraib photographs." 11:00:59 PM
American Gothic: A long provocative piece from Tom Engelhardt, with collected links to the successive torture revelations and the broader themes of this administration. "as the year of Abu Ghraib ended, ever more of America's secret world of torture (generally called "abuse" in our press) has been tumbling out of the darkness and into the news -- thanks largely to leaks from anonymous but obviously angry sources inside the military and the intelligence "community." .. Extraction of information was always secondary at the highest levels to the freeing of the President from all constraints ..
Fighting for [you fill in the blank]. That sums up our present Bush moment. In fact, little that this country does from diplomacy to torture to foreign aid is any longer imaginable absent the military. We are a nation whose public face -- however we may still think of ourselves -- is no longer a civilian one, not just in Iraq but in the world at large.." 10:57:21 PM
"Digby" on values:: A particularly trenchant blogger says it well. On values: "If either party could give them the real thing instead of an ersatz, superficial rendering of smarmy religiosity, they would gain the support of a large majority of this country. You have to give Rove credit. He has done a lot with what he has to work with. Sexual priggishness, vengeance and racism are very difficult concepts upon which to build a positice values argument, but they've managed to create the illusion that they have "moral clarity" by garbing their narrow vision in religious and patriotic terms --- and because we have failed to stand up for our universal values of liberty, justice and equality. They win by default. "
And on the scandal at Guantanamo: "Now we find that in addition to a bunch of false intelligence gained through torture and other means, we are going to lock up a lot of these guys at Gitmo forever. Sadly, we can't give them any kind of due process because we don't have enough evidence. And that's because many of them were innocent of any affiliation with the Taliban or al Qaeda and many others were very low level grunts. But they've known this for years [in a mid-2002 CIA analysis].. It gets worse, though. Since we kidnapped these innocent men and threw them into a hellish gulag they have, unsurprisingly, become radicalized... And it's you and me and your kids who they hate now, not just the leadership or the troops. They hate us personally. And they hate us because we don't seem too worked up about this disgusting breach of human rights. In fact, a majority apparently think it's just dandy, including the most powerful leaders in the land who continue to support the war criminals who concieved this disasterous blunder, even this week elevating one of them to the highest law enforcement office in the land. 10:39:49 PM
So let's have another lecture on morality and values. I really need to hear one. Let's hear some more talk about how liberals are leading this country down the path to perdition with our lack of restraint and our inability to draw lines between right and wrong and good and evil. I need to bask in the glow of republican righteousness and beg for forgiveness for sinfully indulging gays in their quest to form families and cleanse myself of the shame of forgiving a man for committing adultery. God help me, I need some moral clarity and I need it damned quickly because I'm really wondering just who in the hell is evil in this war on terror and who isn't. It's getting hard to tell the difference here."