Tag Archive for ‘Torture’
I had just finished reading the uncensored edition of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book, In The First Circle (Harper Perennial, 2009), when I came across Chris Hedges’ article, “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists” (Truthdig, Dec. 28, 2009). In Hedges’ description of the U.S. government’s treatment of American citizen Syed Fahad Hashmi, I recognized the Stalinist legal system as portrayed by Solzhenitsyn.
Some time in early or mid-1949, a CIA officer named Bill (his surname is blacked out in the file, which was surfaced by John Kelly in the early 1990′s) asked an outside contractor for input on how to kill people. Requirements included the appearance of an accidental or purely fortuitous terminal experience suffered by the Agency’s victim.
Torture is a violation of U.S. and international law. Yet, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, on the basis of legally incompetent memos prepared by Justice Department officials, gave the OK to interrogators to violate U.S. and international law.
America has lost her soul, and so has her president. A despairing country elected a president who promised change. Americans arrived from every state to witness in bitter cold Obama’s swearing-in ceremony. The Mall was packed in a way that it has never been for any other president.
By reversing himself and refusing to release graphic photos of abused prisoners of war, Barack Obama has stunned liberals. They feel betrayed and abandoned by a president they put into office. On war and torture, at least, they thought Barack was one of them. He is not. Barack is not into ideology. He is into Barack.
After opening the door to a truth commission to investigate torture by the CIA of al-Qaida subjects, and leaving the door open to prosecution of higher-ups, President Obama walked the cat back. He is now opposed to a truth commission. That means it is dead. He is no longer interested in prosecutions. That means no independent counsel—for now.