Thursday, September 3, 2009

David Broder's Torture Regime Analysis

David Broder, a longtime skeptic of investigating past abuses by the Bush administration, has a dolorous pablum today in the Washington Post (yes, the same paper that features the columnist I criticized yesterday about his view on the torture regime). After claiming that he "agree(s) on the importance of accountability for illegal acts and for serious breaches of trust by government officials -- even at the highest levels," Broder has this completely contradictory statement two paragraphs later:

Nonetheless, I think it is a matter of regret that Holder asked prosecutor John H. Durham to review the cases of the agents accused of abusive tactics towards some captives.
(...) is the first step on a legal trail that could lead to trials -- and that is what gives me pause.

Mr. Broder, how exactly to you hold people accountable for "illegal acts and for serious breaches of trust by government officials -- even at the highest levels" if there are no trials? After all, we are a country that respects the law and follows due process (supposedly) so it's not as if Cheney and Co. are guilty just as a matter of arbitrary decree. Indeed, numerous laws specify that if there is credible evidence of the types of illegalities and abuses of the law enabled and carried out by the Bush administration, an investigation is warranted and required by law. If an investigation leads up the chain of command in the torture regime, and it certainly has to considering the evidence that is already out, those accused will have their day in court. Remember, due process.

Instead of clarifying how exactly the Bush administration would be held accountable for the Torture Regime, Mr. Broder muses:

In times like these , the understandable desire to enforce individual accountability must be weighed against the consequences. This country is facing so many huge challenges at home and abroad that the president cannot afford to be drawn into what would undoubtedly be a major, bitter partisan battle over prosecution of Bush-era officials. The cost to the country would simply be too great.

If I hear that decrepit, depraved, sycophantic excuse of not being able to prosecute Bush-era officials for obvious, blatant crimes because it would be "too partisan and bitter" and upset the cozy, elitist atmosphere of Washington I may puke.

But, alas, this is the same David Broder who wrote this in April:

...(Obama) was just as right to declare that there should be no prosecution of those who carried out what had been the policy of the United States government. And he was right when he sent out his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to declare that the same amnesty should apply to the lawyers and bureaucrats that devised and justified the Bush administration practices.

Later in the same article, Broder had this ridiculously absurd statement:

The memos on torture represented a deliberate, and internally well-debated, policy decision, made in the proper places -- the White House, intelligence agencies, and the Justice Department -- by the proper officials.

The way Broder describes the memos -- "the memos on torture" -- clearly demonstrate his delusional rational for his vapid arguments against investigating, let alone prosecuting, Bush-era officials. Torture is undeniably illegal in the United States or by agents working on behalf of the United States government. By acknowledging these "memos on torture", Mr. Broder has given implicit recognition that the United States government devised a set of memos --"memos on torture" -- that authorized practices illegal under domestic and international law, not to mention morally repugnant to any civilized person. Apparently, Mr. Broder is not only OK with this law-breaking and injustice, he wants to cover it up.

Amazing that one of our leading political commentators and journalists has the audacity to justify covering up crimes committed by the government when that is the exact opposite of what his profession revolves around.

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