The Other Face Of
The United States Of America tortured people. It tortured a lot of people. It lied about torturing people. It lied about torturing a lot of people. It tortured on its own, and it subcontracted the job to countries with more experience at it, since the United States never had made torture a policy before. Within the government, the theory and practiced of torture was discussed by a bunch of bloodthirsty legal aesthetes the banality of whom would have shocked Hannah Arendt. Godwin be damned, these were people who acted like tiny Heydrichs at their own personal Wannsee, and they dragged us all into a moral abyss with them because not enough of us cried "Stop!" loudly enough even to prevent the re-election of the president who'd countenanced it.
Simply put, the "government officials" were liars. I don't know when it became journalistic protocol to give the benefit of the doubt to people who lie to us, but that was not a good day for the First Amendment. But the final offense against democracy was not John Yoo's, or Dick Cheney's, or even that of old President C-Plus Augustus. It belongs to Barack Obama and his people.
Asa Hutchinson, the co-chairman of the panel, and nobody's idea of a centerpiece at the next ACLU fundraising dinner, apparently tumbled to this essential truth about the administration in which he himself had served.
That was true once. It is not true any more. The previous president made sure of that, making us all complicit in monstrous crimes against humanity. And the current president, perhaps because he thinks we are all delicate flowers who need to be shielded from an honest account of what we allowed to happen in this country, is attempting still to prescribe an anesthetic to treat a crime. Read this whole report. Know what we all did, you and I. In the days ahead in which we will talk a lot about the nature of political violence — and, depending on the news, may well hear again the shrill cries of the harpies of unreason and fear and abanoned wrath — read this report and learn how the big kids do it. And here's the thing about moral quagmires.
It doesn't matter if you're looking forward.
It doesn't matter if you're looking backward.
You're still fking sinking.
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