Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Treason, Torture, and Truth

In the waning days of the most disastrous presidency in the history of the nation, material is sprouting in the press and the blogs regarding the prosecution of White House officials including Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams,Alberto Gonzales, David Addington and others for a variety of charges including war crimes, treason, corruption, fraud, and torture. Many justice desiring souls want to see these criminals held to account for crimes they clearly committed. The most tenable argument, outside the innate desire to see evil rewarded its just desserts, involves the dangerous precedent possibly set for future officials should the likes of the above get away with their atrocities.

Sirocco has a good post on the subject as does Dashiell, who asserts:

Let’s be absolutely clear. Richard Cheney should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, and for treason. As detestable a human being as he is, revenge is really not the point. Justice requires that when an individual holding high office in this land violates his oath of office, causes the deaths of untold thousands, and threatens the very foundation of constitutional government, there should be an accounting. Not for his sake—he’s incapable of remorse or apparently even of the recognition of ethical values—but for our sake and the sake of the country. If there’s no accountability for criminal behavior on the part of the most powerful people in the nation, then the law itself becomes hypocritical when applied to lesser crimes.

At the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus has a thought provoking piece Pyrrhic Torture Trials which as the title suggests, challenges the payoff / cost reality of prosecutorial efforts towards the arrogant thugs. Obama has already voiced more interest in addressing the future than the past, not eager to see his administration lose precious energy furnishing well deserved punishment to a small number of creeps. That history will condemn the monsters is no real penalty, for their arrogance and self-righteousness will follow them to the grave. Chris Wallace asked Dick Cheney what his "highest moment" in the last eight years was, and he answered "9/11." The answer is most telling, for 9/11 provided the "Pearl Harbor event" most desired by the PNAC fiends in their quest to rule the world. Dick Cheney was born right, has been right all his life, and will die right. The man has never made a mistake, drawn a wrong conclusion, or made a sub-optimal choice. Reality has no place at the table of his convictions.

We may not have the resources to have these individuals executed or imprisoned, but at the minimum we have an obligation to the truth. The reality of the American equivalent of Nazi Germany should be exposed and studied. Document the instances of illegal wire-tapping, torture, forgery, fraud, incompetence, and grotesque disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law. Organize the evidence and rigorously study the enabling factors and forces. Publish it all with the standards of academic discourse. We all know the saying about what happens to those who do not know history.


Blogger Sirocco said...

Continuing the sick joke, the Bush DoJ has decided to bring torture charges against a high-ranking political official ... from Liberia.

12/31/2008 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sick joke indeed. Unbelievable.

Cheney and the rest should be tried with all the energy we have. I agree with Dashiell and Sirocco.

If these brutal criminals just walk, we tell the future that what they did is ok. That is unacceptable.

12/31/2008 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Mariana said...

"... what happens to those who do not know history" Glad you mention it this time, I am tired of hearing myself say it every time I turn the TV on.
"That history will condemn the monsters is no real penalty" History books can, and in many instances do, distort or change the historical truth, see Ruanda, Rusia, etc, so no lesson can be learned there for awhile (or for ever). History cannot be changed or rewritten but history books do, the knowledge turned perception in order to manipulate the future.

1/01/2009 7:10 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

I guess someone would have to explain to me how the Democrats' unconditional and unquestioning support of the actions of Israel is any different or will produce better results. Given that the Democratic leadership is solidly behind whatever Israel chooses to do, is there anyone out there who truly believes that American foreign policy in the Mideast will change significantly?

1/02/2009 9:00 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Chris Hedges on the current situation in Gaza.

I feel sorry for Chris Hedges. He is one of those lone wolves who howl in the night, an American journalist with stellar credentials who is brave enough to write honestly about Israel and the Mideast. He is obviously seething with rage. He actually lived in Gaza for awhile.

Then there's the rest of us who think we just voted against a certain type of foreign policy.


1/02/2009 12:25 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Use this link to the Chris Hedges article. The one above starts on page two.

1/02/2009 12:32 PM  

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