Monday, May 02, 2011

Shrub Bush on Bin Laden's death: total absence of self-reflection

It's not that George W. Bush ever presented himself to the public as particularly self-reflective or even especially serious.

But his reaction to the news of Osama bin Laden's demise (from Andrew Buncombe and Omar Waraich, US forces kill Osama bin Laden The Independent 05/02/2011) still surprised me by its cluelessness:

The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done. [my emphasis]
For a man who will have potential arrest and indictment hanging over him for the rest of his life for torture and even potentially murder in connection with the torture program, it takes some combination of incredible arrogance and lack of appreciation of one's own vulnerabilities to say something like, "No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

There is a sense, of course, in which that is true. The torture issue isn't going away. There will be a formal reckoning with it someday. For the good of the United States, I hope it's sooner rather than later.

The Obama Administration should take a hint from Bush's statement and do its duty to prosecute the torture crimes of the previous Administration. And of this one, if the evidence warrants it.

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