Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ugly Alert!

There is one thing sure about the current controversy over U.S. torture policies under the Bush Administration; it is going to get ugly.

We’ve heard accusations that President Obama has lost control of the torture issue. Of course, he never had control. Too much was already known. He could have tried to prevent release of the torture memos, but the courts would have eventually forced their disclosures and then President Obama would have been accused of being complicit.

Former Vice-President Cheney has not helped. Well maybe he has helped…, helped himself and fellow former administration members. He has positioned himself and them to be vindicated should another attack occur (after 9/11/2009, that is).

Their argument is that the Bush policies kept us safe after 9/11 and that fact justifies whatever they did. Of course, as I’ve previously written (Who Has The Best Record?), Bill Clinton kept us safe after the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 and I haven’t heard anyone claim he authorized terrorism (although there may have been renditions). And we have at least one documented case (the planned bombing of the LA airport in 2000) where they thwarted a terrorist attack.

I don’t think we know why the terrorists attacked when they did and why we haven’t been attacked since 9/11. But if water boarding 3 terrorists is the reason we haven’t been attacked in the U.S. since 9/11, we are in trouble. I haven’t heard about any recent high level terrorists we’ve apprehended who we could torture to prevent the next attack.

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