Monday, December 10, 2007

Arthur Silber is right again

Given the recent revelations that many Democrats were made aware that waterboarding was being employed by the CIA back in 2002, Americans should be raising holy hell. This is beyond outrageous. As usual, Glenn Greenwald is all over it.

This story was obviously leaked by Republican operatives to damage the Democratic leadership, and it has had the desired effect. Rightfully so. Senator Biden is right about what should happen next: a special counsel must be appointed to conduct a criminal investigation. Every member of Congress who knew about this, Democrat or Republican, must be held accountable. If Jay Rockefeller had any integrity, he would resign from the chairmanship of the Senate Intelligence Committee immediately. His inaction is inexcusable. The whole purpose of his committee is to provide oversight of government intelligence activities and ensure conformity with the laws and Constitution of the United States. They have failed miserably.

What happened to the very explicit statement by George Bush that "this government does not torture people?" After World War II, the United States prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American soldiers because it was considered torture. What happened between then and now to make it not qualify as torture any more? Is 9/11 going to be our perpetual excuse for every evil act committed by our government that we ignore?

Several months ago, Arthur Silber said,

But for the reasons set forth above (and a full case would fill many volumes), the Democrats are not going to impeach any of these criminals, barring events entirely unforeseeable at present. And they will not for one overwhelmingly significant and determinative reason: always with regard to the underlying principles, and frequently with regard to the specifics, the Democrats are implicated in every single crime with which they would charge the members of the administration. The Republicans' crimes are their crimes.
Anyone want to take any bets on what becomes of this affair? I predict it will get swept under the rug, like all the other illegal activities perpetrated by the current administration, for precisely the reasons Arthur put forth. Democrats won't do anything about Republican lawbreaking because they are just as guilty. Despite their protestations to the contrary, Democrats have demonstrated that they are not actually opposed to the "corporatist, authoritarian, warfare state" that is the United States government. Unlike their Republican counterparts, however, Democrats are just too wimpy to come right out and say it. Their base wouldn't stand for it and there would be little left to differentiate the two parties. The Democratic strategy is to express phony outrage and publicly condemn the actions of the administration, but not actually do anything about it because they will find it useful if they win the presidency next year as they anticipate. The real battle is not between Democrats and Republicans; it's between the have and the have nots. All of us in the latter category just don't realize it.

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