Saturday, November 13, 2010

Torture is American now

It is hard to write about the nonchalant acceptance of our torture program because it seems Washington does not have a conscience capable of being shocked. Having created an institutionalized, bureaucratized, formalized program of cruelty is just blandly accepted, as though it is some force of nature that we were powerless to prevent or even mitigate.
-danps at Open Left

I think the slide to acceptance of torture is one of the great moral failings of our time. Others are the continuation of the drug war, the wage stagnation of the past couple decades, and paralysis in the face of climate change. At least with the latter three, there do seem to be political forces working to mitigate those problems, even if they aren't winning. On the torture issue, it seems it's just Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald shouting impotently.

Torture is a war crime. Our government authorized torture. Nothing is happening, because people can't think of their fellow Americans as torturers. Or maybe because many people think that torture of the other is OK, they think it isn't illegal.

I support Obama in many of his domestic policy battles against Republicans (like most progressives, I wish he'd fight harder). But I also believe he is complicit in covering up war crimes by not investigating them. And that makes him a war criminal, too.

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