Tuesday, May 12
Why prosecuting torture matters.
Lots of blogs today will express outrage and disgust over Harold Ford's stupidity yesterday on Hardball. We in Left Blogsylvania (yeah that's for you Tweety) have said the same thing about Rice and Cheney. How can they defend torture, and even say it was a good thing? Liars.
Couple things we have to remember in all of this:
1. None of these torture defenders have any accountability to the voters of this country.
2. By publishing and discussing their positions in the name of 'fair and balanced' the news media is legitimizing the torture "debate."
3. Most importantly, the world is watching.
I am worried for our country and its position in the world. I actually hope it becomes necessary for the current leadership to denounce in world court the words of Cheney, Rice, and Ford specifically as not speaking for the United States of America. There is a historical precedent here: one of the reasons Brown versus Board of Education came into being was the international pressure on the United States to be better on race relations versus the Soviet Union. Derrick Bell's book on the case has a chapter on "Brown as an Anti-Communist Decision," and this page is worth reading in the context of world opinion on America's torture policy under Bush.
If we are not better on human rights than so-called Islamic extremists, the terrorists win. We can't let Dick Cheney be an alternative voice in this country. This is not about his free speech, it is about legitimizing an idea at once abhorrent, vicious, and damaging to the United States.
Chris Matthews was right to call out Ford, but it's not enough. Matthews would not allow some Klansman to come on his show and talk about race relations in the interest of giving equal time to all ideas. "Fair and balanced" does not include the N word. It should not include the "torture was justified" words, either. It's time for corporate media to step up and silence this fake debate for the sake of, well, patriotism.
UPDATE: Ted Koppel agrees. Be aware, this is fucking hard to watch.
The really essential question is at 6:17. What does Cheney represent? We can't let him represent us on any level. Koppel is of course wrong that a Justice Department memo justifies any legality of torture. But I suppose if MSNBC / Olbermann / Matthews / Maddow are going to cover this obscenity, the discussion should happen now instead of when the nation is out of its mind again. But it's not a debate. There is no other side in this that deserves consideration.
permalink 9:24 AM