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War on Terror? Torture? Prosecute Us?

There is an ongoing debate over the closing of America's most notorious detainment/torture center at Guantanamo and the legality and efficacy of using torture to extract "information" from detainees in that and other facilities.

In a piece in this morning's Washington Post titled Torture? Prosecute Us, Too Richard Cohen leads with this:

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." So goes an aphorism that needs to be applied to the current debate over whether those who authorized and used torture should be prosecuted. In the very different country called Sept. 11, 2001, the answer would be a resounding no.

Contrary to what has become the accepted noise, "the world" did not "change" on 9/11. Our laws, our treaties and international agreements as well as our values remained. We did not become a "very different country" on September 12, 2001 despite Mr. Cohen's (and others) claim.

In many ways it is our body of law that binds the past, present and future. The rule of law gives constancy to our "values." Laws may change but the process of change is, and should be reasoned and deliberate, not an impassioned reaction to the events of the day. That kind of reaction to the passions of the moment is the path of the lynch mob.

Bush Cannot Be Allowed to Get Away With What He's Done to America

Promoted by GreyHawk. Originally posted 2009-01-19 17:02:53 -0500.

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

Bush Cannot Be Allowed to Get Away With What He's Done to America

I'm in total agreement with Obama's sentiment that it's time for America to heal itself and move forward, but I certainly hope he's not so fixated on that sentiment that he allows the Bush/Cheney gang to get away with the damage that they've done to America.

Of course, there are those who are going to insist that we have so many challenges before us that we can't be distracted by engaging in vengeance, but this is not a matter of vengeance, it's a simple matter of governmental housekeeping.

Just as it is necessary to refurbish and restore our national monuments from time to time, it is even more important that our American ideals be maintained in pristine condition. Thus, by allowing the Bush/Cheney administration to get away with what they've done to those ideals, and the damage they've done to America's image around the world, allowing them to walk away with impunity would be the moral equivalent of allowing them to leave graffiti behind on the Statue of Liberty.

When Did Iran Start Beating Its Wife Again?

originally posted 2008-04-28 10:19:13 -- as DEFuning says in the comments, this one is scarily prescient. -- Cho


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld created the Office of Strategic Influence shortly after the 9/11 attacks to bolster support for the Bush administration’s war on terror. Air Force Brigadier General Simon P. Worden, OSI’s director, envisioned the organization as having "a broad mission ranging from 'black' campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to 'white' public affairs that rely on truthful news releases."

The furor over his establishment of what amounted to an Orwellian Ministry of Truth caused Rumsfeld to disband the OSI in February 2002, but he later promised that when it came to manipulating public perceptions to suit his agenda, “I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.”

There’s one nice thing you can say about Rumsfeld: he keeps his word.