Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some of Life Has To Be Mysterious

It's difficult to imagine a more embarrassing, intellectually vapid defense of war crimes than this. Magic acts need to be mysterious. Authorizing torture at the highest levels of government is the type of criminality we must investigate. No one is above the law. Wishing this abhorrent period away, out of the recesses of our collective memories, only tacitly endorses this abominable behavior, and sets the precedent that a president can break the law with impunity. This is a pathetic, partisan defense of the indefensible in the name of "bipartisan" comity.

I suspect this cringeworthy performance will be remembered as the coda of a dark era. At the end, torture apologists could only plea for us "keep on walking" rather than investigate any abuses. Claims that torture, and only torture, could keep us safe have been debunked. And so Republican loyalists are only left to describe torture prosecutions as a "partisan witchhunt" and call on us to be "forward-looking." I wonder how that defense would have worked at Nuremberg.

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