Apr 08

The US tortures

And apparently, that’s a-okay for a lot of people. I mean, clearly it’s a non-issue what with (yet another) religious sect in Texas and Clinton’s campaign drama taking up the news. It seems very few almost no news outlets are interested in getting into the hard work of investigating war crimes by the executive branch.

In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News.

The so-called Principals who participated in the meetings also approved the use of “combined” interrogation techniques — using different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time — on terrorist suspects who proved difficult to break, sources said.

Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding. (ABCNews)

This is after the protestations of these same US officials that “the United States does not torture”. Granted those of us with brains and not living like ostriches were well aware that these people were lying and committing crimes and for our troubles we were called unpatriotic or treasonous by the flat-earth types who refused to allow logic to dwell in their heads.

Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post seems to be another reporter who is paying attention:

If you consider what the government did to be torture, which is a crime according to U.S. and international law, Bush’s statement shifts his role from being an accessory after the fact to being part of a conspiracy to commit.

He even points out the media’s lack of interest in this “old news”:

The mainstream media by and large seem to agree with Bush that the ABC News Report wasn’t so startling, and they have given Bush’s remarks almost no coverage. There was no mention of Bush’s admission in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal or the Los Angeles Times. There was nothing on the major wire services. And nothing on CNN, CBS or NBC.

What kind of world do we live in when the President can get on TV, admit to high crimes and no one in the media bats an eye and Americans, by and large, are more consumed over their reality shows and campaign silliness? Still don’t care? Let’s look at it another way: I have two children who have never lived in a United States where torture was not allowed.

Sucks, don’t it?

The ACLU has called on Congress to investigate, though I’m still unclear as to why Congress feels they can’t. I understand that Nancy Pelosi must have made some strange backroom deal with Bush to remove impeachment “off the table“, but surely there are other Congressmen and women who have backbones, who believe in the ideals and moral authority of America to move this forward.

“Long after the Bush administration is history, our nation will continue to be tarnished by its record of disregard for the rule of law and human rights.

“If there is a redeeming factor, it is the exposure of these illegalities and the determined effort to prevent a recurrence.

“To that end, the American Civil Liberties Union has called on Congress to investigate.

“Given the record of the Bush administration, including the political manipulation of the Justice Department under disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the request is entirely reasonable. We urge our elected officials to embrace it – and to restore our country’s dedication to moral leadership.” (Tuscaloosa News)

I heartily agree and urge you to write your Representative and ask them to push for investigation into these heinous crimes. Do it so that I can tell me kids that the US doesn’t condone torture.  For reals.

Dec 07

RIP: Rep. Julia Carson

I just read in the newspaper that the Julia Carson died after her bout with lung cancer. Sigh. This marks the passing of the second black female Representative this year.

A member of the House from 1997 until her death, Carson was the first woman and first African American to represent the 7th District. She was also the first African American woman elected to Congress from Indiana.

Carson was known for her tireless efforts at aiding the homeless, advocating for women’s rights and bringing and end to the war. The people of Indiana have lost a voice of hope.

Condolences go out to her family, friends and constituents.