Friday, January 11, 2008

Dirty hands

Beyond a somewhat half-hearted recommendation from Rep. Jane Harman against the CIA's planned destruction of its torture videotapes, it doesn't really appear as if much of anyone in the Dem. hierarchy actually gave much of a damn. One can easily say that too many of their own party members' hands were dirty as well.

As I noted back in Why Pelosi Took Impeachment off the Table:
For those who would like to keep on believing that torture is merely a GOP thing (and more specifically a Bu$hCo thing), they need to wake up and smell the coffee. There was undoubtedly plenty of bipartisan support for such cruel techniques as waterboarding. If Pelosi ever had a problem with these techniques, she apparently didn't voice it then, when it might have meant something. Same goes for pretty much the rest of the sorry lot that was privy to the same information.

Of course, the Democrats' own tortured history goes back a way. All we need do is travel in time to the early days of the Clinton regime to witness the acceptance and use the practice of extraordinary rendition - including both Bill Clinton and Al Gore (yes, one of the darlings of today's self-styled progressives). Heck, by 1996, the Clinton regime was signing into law limitations on habeas corpus - thus serving as a precedent for last fall's sorry Congressional spectacle in which torture was made the law of the land and habeas corpus was essentially erased altogether. As noted previously, the CIA for numerous decades has been given pretty much carte blanche to research, utilize, and export torture techniques without any objection whatsoever from White House administrations of either party. Congress up to the present time seems perfectly okay with continued funding of one of the US government's notorious vehicles for exporting torture (SOA/WHINSEC) - there was this summer quite the rogue's gallery of Democrats among those voting in favor of continued funding. And on it goes.
Indeed Harman's main concern about the possibility of the CIA destroying its videotaped evidence of torture seems to have much more to do with the keeping up of appearances rather than anything to do with human dignity, which is why I tend to view even her apparent protestations as at best half-hearted.

Impeachment of the perps in the White House, or even a really serious investigation of the gross human rights abuses committed by our government is simply beyond the scope of possibility for the current Congressional leadership. Not only would a lot of GOP skeletons come out of the closet, but since the Dems share the same closet their skeletons would be exposed for all the world to see as well. In the game of keeping up appearances, I suppose it is seen among Beltway apologists (including alleged "progressive" bloggers) that it is better for Pelosi and colleagues to appear spineless than to be exposed as part of the same criminal enterprise. The former allows for the continued delusion that all that is needed is simply larger Dem majorities in order for the necessary "courage" to manifest itself. The latter would be much harder to explain to constituents and would likely be viewed as it should as beyond redemption - which would not bode well in an election year.

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