Friday, April 11, 2008

Wake Up America

Sadly, there is no big new news to comment on this morning. It’s just the same old same old: Bush remains committed to sustained troop levels in Iraq – instead of being committed to any of the several institutions for which he is an obvious candidate; Hillary remains committed to Hillary –instead of being committed to anything else, and; McCain, like Bush, remains committed to the war -- instead of just being committed. The candidates continue their close race – instead of actually dealing with race, and the Ozarks is drowning in water – instead of the drought conditions we’ll have again by July.

Saddest of all is that America remains committed to ignoring the crimes of its leaders even in the face of story after story revealing them.

Two stories have caught my attention in the last couple of days. Neither has (or will) draw much attention, but both speak loud volumes about our moral decline. One was actually printed in the local paper this morning (Springfield News-Leader). It was a two paragraph story in the Nation/World sidebar, of course, but at least it was there under the meaningless little headline, “Officials sign off on tactics”. Here is whole article:
“Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick (SIC:should be ‘dick’) Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.
The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved.”

So why do I find this so sad? It could be because our culture has sunk so deep into its own inane mire that no one will pay any particular attention to it. Or maybe it’s that no one in the mainline press has taken the two minutes necessary to pick this story apart and point out that waterboarding has been considered a heinous act since it was created for the Spanish Inquisition. Or maybe it’s that regardless of whether such prisoners should be accorded the courtesies of the Geneva Convention, they ought to be treated humanely just because we are Americans. Or I might be saddened by the fact that it seems to be okay for an administration to enact policies it feels would be damaging to the president of our nation. (Else why would he need to be shielded?) Or it might be that the story implies that its subject is legitimate because it was passed through the Justice Department. Or could it be that the press didn’t care enough of to follow that detail through and point out that the person who approved the proposal was John Yoo?

The second story I found so sad also relates to John Yoo. Not surprisingly, that story didn’t make our local paper, but I find it of great significance. It was aired both yesterday afternoon and this morning in one liners during the NPR newscasts, and its upshot is that the Justice Department has now disowned another of John Yoo’s findings; this one to the effect that given the stress the nation is under as a result of the “war on terror”, the president could legitimately disregard any restrictions on the invasion of the privacy of American citizens.

Well, why, in god’s name would the Justice Department ever have espoused or even entertained such a finding? Why in the name of all that’s holy or unholy would any governmental body in the United States have even considered such a notion, and why, in the name of anything you can think of, would any American citizen sit quietly by while his government put forward any such proposal?

The answer to all three questions, I think, is not only a failure of the press, but just general abysmal ignorance. The bottom line is that John Yoo would have gone far in the Hitler administration and that makes him a welcome addition to BushCo where the highest accolades go to those who get in line and don’t ask any questions. The fact that he is still employed as a professor of law at a supposedly highly respectable university is just another testimony to the moral and intellectual degradation under which our nation labors.

Please. Wake up America.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

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