Monday, December 31, 2007

has anyone seen my country -- she's fallen, and can't get up. . .

actually, she was knocked-down. . .

the 2007-ending new york times editorial
focuses sharply the depravity of u.s. torture,
and tapings of it -- from birth, to death, to
rebirth -- as perhaps the most-appalling
scandal yet, from an administration seem-
ingly unconstrained by common human decency
(to say nothing of a 230-year-tradition-of-
obeying-the-rule-of-law). go read it all (by
clicking on the nyt masthead, below), but
here is perhaps the very best (worst) of it:

There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency. . .

. . .In the years since 9/11, we have seen American soldiers abuse, sexually humiliate, torment and murder prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. A few have been punished, but their leaders have never been called to account. We have seen mercenaries gun down Iraqi civilians with no fear of prosecution. We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant.

We have read accounts of how the government’s top lawyers huddled in secret after the attacks in New York and Washington and plotted ways to circumvent the Geneva Conventions — and both American and international law — to hold anyone the president chose indefinitely without charges or judicial review. . .

. . .The C.I.A. contracted out its inhumanity to nations with no respect for life or law, sending prisoners — some of them innocents kidnapped on street corners and in airports — to be tortured into making false confessions, or until it was clear they had nothing to say and so were let go without any apology or hope of redress.

These are not the only shocking abuses of President Bush’s two terms in office, made in the name of fighting terrorism. There is much more — so much that the next president will have a full agenda simply discovering all the wrongs that have been done and then righting them.

We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America.



Liberality said...

it is editorials like that that make me most hopeful!

nolo said...


have a great new
year -- continuing solstice!

regime change
comes home in 2008!

p e a c e