Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recommended Reading

Over the course of the past week, it's been alternately fascinating and depressing to watch the story about Bush era torture memos play out in the media. Very quickly it became about the debate about torture instead of the torture itself.

Glenn Greenwald has a must-read breakdown of why this goes far beyond partisan politics, and why those who would argue otherwise are the most complicit of all. Worth special mention, this bit that points out how far this complicity stretches across party lines: they have done for years, Democratic leaders continue to lead the way in shielding Bush crimes from scrutiny and stifling public disclosure of what was done. Obama met yesterday with Congressional leaders and emphatically argued against the establishment of a Truth Commission, insisting that such an inquiry would interfere with his political agenda. Senate Majority "Leader" Harry Reid then dutifully and obediently announced that Senate Democrats will block any such investigations in favor of a Senate Intelligence Committee proceeding that will occur largely in secret and will not be completed until the end of the year, at least (I remember when Democrats used to mock GOP leaders for having Dick Cheney come to Congress and give them their marching orders). Democratic Congressional leaders are doing now what they did throughout the Bush presidency: namely, pretending to oppose what was done while doing everything possible to protect and enable it and shield the wrongdoers from scrutiny (in large part because some of the wrongdoing was by their own party).
In other words, the same political shell game that's always played in Washington regardless of which side is the home team.

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