Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And the retreat goes on...

How many of his principles is President Obama willing to let fall by the wayside in pursuit of "expedience"? Yes, it must be a priority to get the economy straight, re-regulate the fat cats, fix the budget, fix our broken health care funding system, and so forth and so on. But I agree with Jesse Ventura (below) about one of my biggest disappointments with President Obama -- that our President is not moving to prosecute those who violated or authorized the violation of our nation's laws against torture, and indeed, isn't even going to release further information that might further inflame public opinion regarding enforcing that law.

It's critical for the position of Bush Administration defenders that the lie that Abu Ghraib was an exception and not policy be maintained. Any evidence to the contrary must be suppressed. And if they can get Obama to cover up for Bush, their own task in preventing accountability for war crimes becomes much easier. Expedience may indeed be the lubricant that makes politics work, but expedience without principle is exactly that -- principle-less expedience. And Obama appears to be proving himself a master of this. Thus far.

-- Badtux the Morality Penguin


  1. I know it is normal for politicians to sort of forget their promises after they are elected, but to me this seems like being an accessory after the fact.

  2. Senor Snarky -

    I think you got this one wrong.

    First, I am all for investigations, prosecution and seeing Bush Cheney & Rumsfield behind bars would make me happy for the next 3 incarnations.

    However, the release of pictures that show the graphic torture & humiliation of Moslems wil be used and twisted by the radical clerics to drum up rage, funds & recruits.

    Now you and I know that none of the crap in those pics happened on Obama's watch. But once in the public domain - we have no control how that crap wil be used for propaganda purposes.

    Obama has deliberately been letting the air out of the jihadist war wagon. He's made direct appeals to the Moslem world that the US is not at war with Islam. My guess is that it's working and the Immans would love to find an issue to whip up the populace into a frenzy. Bush was their poster boy and the best recruiting tool they could hope for with torture and rendtition that kept the Moslem world as angry as a hive of bees.

    We need to keep pushing for trials of the archetects of the torture policy. We don't need to go for sensational cheap digs to piss Rush off, if we are also enraging the Muslim world.

  3. The problem is that the Arab world *already* knows all the details of the graphic torture and humiliation of Arabs, so there's no real reason to hide it from them. If you're trying to differentiate yourself from the prior administration, the easiest way to do that is to say, "*this* is what the prior administration did to Arabs. *this*" (point to pictures of happy Arabs) "is what *I* do for Arabs."

    In short, Obama is playing domestic politics, trying to hide the details from the domestic audience in order to reduce the drumroll of support for prosecuting the former administration for war crimes. The Arabs? They already know what kinda evil shit was going down. They have al Jazeera, after all. The photos ain't gonna make a damned bit of difference on the Arab street, they already know the Bush administration was some evil motherfuckers.

    - Badtux the Geopolitical Penguin

  4. You are as logical as your profession. (I know - I wrote a bunch of COBOL in my time.)

    Thie is an emotional issue. If you show an Arab a translation of the torture memo, you might get a reaction On a scale of 1 to 10 about a 2. Ask him to participate or contribute in revenge against the US and you wil get a ho-hum reaction. Now SHOW him pictures of that torture on a live Arab. On that same emotional scale for the same act described in text, now in pictures. the reaction is 8 or 9. He's pissed and Bush and Obama, he can be talked into the need for retaliation.

    We are deliberately pouring cold water on the jihadist movement, and it's a working strategy. Why mix in kerosine?


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