Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Not Able To Look the Other WayI sort of feel as if the President's speech last week on national security was aimed at those liberals ( I guess that's me and Bruce) who could not get past the criminal acts of the last 8 years. The President seemed to be saying, "Get over it. We have more important things to do here. Time to move on." And I did agree about the importance of moving on, we have many serious issues facing the nation. But I've had a few days to mull it over, and well...I really can't get past it.
This is the thing that I can't get over. The torture was used to produce false evidence that was then used to lead us into war. What we now suspect from Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson statements, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, is that the speech that Colin Powell gave to the UN, that very last sales pitch for the war in Iraq, was based on information obtained from waterboarding a detainee. The link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda came not from carefully analyzed intelligence, but from a man who would say anything to end his torture.
I am still amazed that the Bush Administration was able to lead us into the Iraq war. I am still sort of stunned that the American citizens allowed it to happen. I just can't move on, if it means that we pretend that a crime against humanity did not just occur. It is not so much the torture that disturbs me, to me that was the cruel and inhuman misdemeanor that led to the horrific crime of the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, and countless Iraqis. If we will not even prosecute the small crimes, how will we account for the huge ones?
And maybe the main reason that everyone agrees that we should just move on, is that we don't want to admit that we allowed this to happen. Maybe the press and the lawmakers and the voters of this country can't face the terrible shame. When I reflect on the things this country has done in the past eight years, torture was just the beginning of our fall from grace. It was the sin that set us on the path to this current state of immorality. Before we can be forgiven, we must air all of this dirty laundry and admit our consent in the matter.
There is no moving forward without acknowledging the past. Without the truth, we are moving sideways.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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