The Body in the Closet Will One Day Be Found (Regarding Torture and Corpses):
So in Charles Town, West Virginia, Beatrice Magaha died after falling and hitting her head while having a stroke. She had not allowed her family to enter her house and hadn't even seen them in a year or two. After her death, Magaha's daughter and son-in-law were going through her possessions when they noticed an awful smell coming from the bedroom closet. Obviously suspecting something but not wanting to find it, they called the police, who discovered a badly "decomposing body of another woman wrapped in plastic, blankets and a sleeping bag" stuffed into the back of the closet. They don't know how long the body's been there or, right now, who it is. They've taken DNA samples, but the corpse is so far gone, they may never know when the woman died.

Imagine that for a moment: in the back of your mother's closet is a corpse, one that's been there for years. And even if you hadn't seen her in a while, that meant that for a time, whenever you spoke with or visited or even thought about your Mom, she knew that a body was rotting in her closet. In her bedroom - not even in an attic or basement. Every time your mother went to the store, played cards with friends, or collected the mail, that body was there, decaying. Even covered up and shoved into the dark corners, the corpse made itself always known. God, how Beatrice Magaha must have stunk of death all the time.

Yesterday, we learned from ABC News that "sources" have told them that "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" in 2002 and 2003. The list of people at the meetings includes, as you might imagine, everyone but President Bush, who no doubt was told to go play with his toys while the grown-ups talk about grown-up stuff: Cheney, Rice, Powell, Ashcroft, Tenet, Rumsfeld. If the ABC report is accurate, everyone involved approved torture every time some CIA interrogator asked permission to torture. None of this is surprising, but the extent of the depravity is still somewhat breathtaking.

Imagine you are in that room with the so-called "Principals." They receive a request for an okay to drown someone a CIA agent believed had some information and was being uncooperative. Then the Principals check with Ashcroft to see if it's legal. Using John Yoo's logic on how the Constitution didn't apply as long as there were no visible scars, the thumbs up was given. All of this subversion taking place in the small Situation Room of the White House, stuffed to the back, if you will. Let's give some of the players the benefit of the doubt, that they were approving torture because they thought they were saving America. Then where was the agonizing over the decisions? No, instead there was enthusiasm, as when Rice said to the CIA, "This is your baby. Go do it."

The only fear seems to have been about how torture would be perceived by other countries and by this nation should people find out. As John Ashcroft, who has strangely been the only one to occasionally be appalled by the actions of the administration, believed, the cover-up wasn't sufficient enough: "Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."

No, no, history will bite you on the ass. As time passes, all the corpses are always discovered, the real ones buried in mass graves and hidden away in clapboard house closets, and the symbolic ones, the beaten and battered bodies of those the CIA and the NSA tortured themselves or sent to be tortured (some of them becoming real corpses), or even the nation's conscience, buried alive under the Oval Office so that Bush and Cheney could listen to its final thrashings.

Once Beatrice Magaha's daughter learned the truth about her mother, that, at bare minimum, she was a ghoul, if not an outright monster, she had to be changed as a person. Any illusions remaining about her mother were blown away by the stench of decomposing flesh.

If this was a nation that was ready to peer into its closet, now being slowly opened, if we were a reflective people, we would realize that our willful ignorance has rendered us victims of an enforced innocence, that we have, indeed, ignored the smell of our American rot.