Waterboarding is in the news again, now that Attorney General Mukasey has declared the Justice Department will not investigate individuals who followed DoJ directives, even if those directives were based on dubious or non-existent legal reasoning; nor can those who created, endorsed, or propagated these questionable rulings be held accountable. (To catch up on this week’s comedy, click here.)
First, no whining from any senators who voted for Mukasey; he said he was going to do this, and he has. No surprises. It’s your fault.
The United States of America (remember them?) prosecuted Japanese soldiers as war criminals for waterboarding American prisoners. The current administration’s position is that it might be illegal, unless some mid-level functionary in the Justice Department wants to make points with the White House and writes an opinion no one but Dick Cheney agrees with to say it’s legal. Then it’s legal. Honest to God.
I don’t understand how some employees can walk into the Department of Justice building and not get sick to their stomachs just reading the sign. DoJ has done little, if anything, for the cause of justice since Shrub took office. All departments of the Executive Branch serve the president; that doesn’t mean they’re his lackeys, toadying up to spread a see-through veneer of legality to whatever he wants. Torture? Warrantless searches? Renditions? Denial of habeas? Whatever Shrub and Darth Cheney want, someone at the Department of Injustice can be found to justify it.
This is not the
Witnesses for the prosecution:
- Ignored warnings in August of 2001 that al-Qaeda planned to fly planes into buildings.
with no evidence they had anything to do with 9/11, the UN (accurately) said they had no WMD program, and we had nothing resembling a plan for what to do when Saddam was gone. Iraq
’s reputation abroad with our “you’re either for us or a terrorist sympathizer” rhetoric. America
- Preached fiscal restraint while increasing the budget by over 63% since taking office. This does not include the cost of the wars in
and Iraq . Including those expected “emergency requests” would hike the increase to 74%. Afghanistan
- His brand of fiscal conservatism has increased the national debt 60% since he took over. This is impressive, considering we were running surpluses and paying down the debt when he took office.
- The disparity between the richest and poorest among us continues to grow to historic levels.
- Not even during the Red Scare and the height of McCarthyism have our civil liberties been so badly eroded.
- Torture is now condoned by the Executive Branch, as it feels necessary.
- Long-dismissed legal theories are trotted out as fact. (Unitary Executive, signing statements, ignorance of checks and balances.)
Yet well over half of all Republicans think he’s doing a hell of a job. Let’s see what they might point to:
- We haven’t been attacked in this country since 9/11. (Of course, we’ve now lost more killed and many times more wounded through our misguided responses than terrorists have ever killed here.)
- Their taxes are lower.
- He talks tough.
Shrub will leave office next year with this country improved in no way since he took over, other than relative incomes for those already in the top percentiles. For that, 61% of Republicans approve. A few conclusions can be drawn:
- They’re selfish. (I got mine, and I’m keeping it.)
- They’re cowards. (I don’t care what rights I sacrifice or who else has to die to make me 0.0001% safer.)
- They’re bullies. (Do it our way, or else.)
- They’re mouth-breathing, inbred idiots. (Self explanatory.)
- All of the above. (These are not mutually exclusive.)
If this pissed you off, I guess we know where you fall on the approval rankings. Suck it up.