Just Another Sunday in What Is Still Gitmo America:
So yesterday, while getting his taint licked clean by Fox "news" host Brit "My Chin and Neck Are One" Hume, President George W. Bush said he authorized the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He chose the tortures off a menu of tortures like he was ordering a steak at Outback: "So I ask what tools are available for us to find information from him, and they gave me a list of tools." And then he asked how they were cooked: "And I said, are these tools deemed to be legal." They worked, he claimed, in filling his belly with information that, he says, saved American lives. But he can't tell you what or how.
Over on the CNN, Wolf Blitzer was a little less generous with his tongue on Dick Cheney, only tugging the Vice President's nipple rings a little with his teeth. When Blitzer asked Cheney about the treatment of prisoners, Cheney, as is his way, took the moral high ground and scabbily oozed, "Now you don't go in and pull out somebody's toenails in order to get them to talk. This is not torture. We don't do torture." In regards to how the torture that we don't do was done, Cheney giggled like Peter Lorre on nitrous oxide, "I have no reason to believe anybody out at the agency violated any tenet of the obligations and responsibilities we have in terms of statutes or our treaty obligations. I think it was done very professionally." Because you don't want unprofessional torturers doing the job.
Over on the ABC, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos's Hair, President-elect Barack Obama declared, "Vice President Cheney I think continues to defend what he calls extraordinary measures or procedures when it comes to interrogations and from my view waterboarding is torture. I have said that under my administration we will not torture." But as for investigating the torture that both Bush and Cheney have said they approved of, Obama said, "[O]bviously we're going to be looking at past practices and I don't believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards." This was just after he had said that he's not sure Gitmo will close in 100 days because he has to figure out how to detain people who may be guilty but were tortured and that their testimony from torture can't be used in what is usually referred to as "court."
(Brief note: Anything assumed about what Obama is going to do when he's actually president contains a certain amount of bullshit because we don't know what he'll do in office. See, for instance, George W. Bush, who all your punditry was saying was going to be some kind of shiny "compassionate conservative," which we learned, once he was in office, meant, "I won't rape you in public." Still...)
No, someone needs to tell Obama, one of the greatest faults of the Bush administration is its failure to look backwards, its refusal to understand what happened and why. Fuck this whole "move forwards" horseshit. That was the mantra of this White House. It's why they didn't even want a 9/11 commission. It's why they didn't want any real accounting of the Iraq War. When you're investigating crimes, you are always looking backwards. Stop damning us to repeat. You can be sure that, when they're no longer in office, there's a lot of White House officials who are gonna avoid going to most of Europe for fear of arrest.
And you can’t close Gitmo as fast as you wanted to? Jesus, could we just stop buying into the right’s political paradigm. You try the prisoners under the evidence that's allowed in court. Let the chips fall where they may. Sorry - if we fucked it up, then we fucked it up. That shouldn't change our fundamental beliefs about justice. No, instead, Democrats have to talk like Republicans because that's what "bipartisan" means.
Democrats have to learn to stop being so goddamned self-loathing. It’s like saying that, if you’re a woman, you dated a guy who wouldn’t go down on you because he thought vaginas are unclean, and you ended up believing that your pussy is nasty. Then, when some new man comes along and wants to eat you out like a fat vegetarian at an all night salad bar, you say, because you’ve been conditioned to do so, "No, I don’t like that." But anyone you ask for advice will tell you: spread your legs and show your lips and get down to business so you can enjoy your life.