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The Democratic Leadership Is Complicit in Torture

070925_pelosi_hsmall_12phmedium.jpgLady Macbeth:
Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!-One; two: why, then
’tis time to do’t.-Hell is murky.-Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and
afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our
pow’r to accompt?-Yet who would have thought the old man to
have had so much blood in him?

OMG, who could have predicted. . .? Oh, I won’t even bother. Some things defy snark.

Glenzilla has the most thorough review I’ve seen so far on the heels of this piece from the ComPost, revealing the sidewalk check in concierge service performed for the most corrupt and unconstitutional administration in U. S. history, with services most notably performed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But Greenwald also reviews Jello Jay Rockefeller, Silvestre Reyes and the whole complicit crew. He concludes:

Just look at how compromised Congressional Democratic leaders are when it comes to those charged with exercising "oversight" over our intelligence communities. And one finds this with almost the entire list of Bush abuses.

Whether it’s the war in Iraq or illegal surveillance or the abolition of habeas corpus and now the systematic use of torture, it’s the Bush administration that conceived of the policies, implemented them and presided over their corrupt application. But it’s Congressional Democrats at the leadership level who were the key allies and enablers, never getting their hands dirty with implementation — and thus feigning theatrical, impotent outrage once each abuse was publicly exposed — but nonetheless working feverishly the entire time to enable all of it every step of the way.

Marcy Wheeler adds some questions and looks at this aright: as bad as the Democratic leadership has been, and as much as the blood won’t wash out, let’s not tell lies to ourselves, Americans: the blood is on all our hands. It’s all of our continuing responsibility, not to erase our history or actions, but to make all them public, to change our ways and reform, not because we expect the world to forgive us (would you?), but because there is no other way to rescue ourselves. . . from ourselves.

Here’s Marcy:

  • Frankly, I think our intelligence oversight has put the Administration in as difficult a position as John Yoo has. That is, by signing off on something (and, as the WaPo describes, in several cases encouraging it), our Congressional intell leaders gave the Administration the legal sanction to torture. And now, after years of it, they’re trying to shut it down. Shutting it down is far overdue–that has to happen. But we’re now in the difficult place of condemning, as a society, practices that our society sanctioned as legal just a few years ago.
  • We need to find a way to make intelligence oversight useful. On every major revelation like this, we have had at least one Democratic leader who objects to illegal practices. Yet that person is virtually helpless to respond.
  • And for that matter, we need to get better intelligence leadership. As I showed yesterday, Jello Jay’s first instinct when hit with one of these revelations is literally to parrot the script of the CIA. That’s not oversight. If nothing else, this revelation needs to spark a call for real leaders in Intelligence, not the script-reader in the Senate and and not someone whose brother is the CIA torture master’s buddy in the House. I nominate Russ Feingold and Rush Holt.

This nation has a lot to answer for before the rest of the world. Ugh.

We need better Democrats. Here’s where you can do your part.

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Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.