Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On torture, war crimes and hypocrisy

So Democrats in Congress are up in arms about revelations that our government tortured inmates as part of the War on Everything Terror. It's not like this was new information. We've known about it for years. Books have been published based on government documents. Those senators and representatives on the various intelligence committees and oversight committees knew all about it.

But now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has released a summary of its findings, we must all show a renewed sense of indignation. I'm sure there are a few poor souls out there who had no idea this kind of thing must be going on and who are relying on Fox News to shape their opinions and give them some talking points to defend illegal behavior.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Cal), among others, has railed at the CIA and the Bush Administration for implementing the program. But, where is that same indignation at the innocent bystanders killed by unmanned US drone attacks in the Middle East? Where is that same indignation when a Hellfire missile tears apart the bodies of women and children out in the fields?

For all of her pontificating about the evils of the torture program (and don't misunderstand my point, those who carried out the program are all guilty of war crimes and should be held to account for their actions), Ms. Feinstein has been a champion of killing innocent men, women and children in illegal missile attacks in foreign countries.

And where has President Obama been through this? He stood in front of a microphone and said we needed to look forward instead of placing blame for past sins. Of course this is the standard line uttered by all presidents when confronted with the illegalities of the prior administration. His pledge to look forward only serves to protect those who have committed illegal acts in his administration - for if he isn't looking to prosecute those who did bad before him, whoever next occupies the White House won't throw the book at members of the Obama administration.

And that's how we undermine the idea that our nation operates under the rule of law.

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