Friday, April 24, 2009

Two Points About the Torture Debate

Two quick points about the political football game Washington is having this week over the "torture memos."

1) The "debate" about the torture memos and what to do about them is, most unfortunately, a distraction that helps the Republicans, on my view. It allows them to kick up a bunch of gorilla dust (for example, I'm doubting the Cheney people sent someone over to inform Nancy Pelosi that they had waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times, but you would think that they had from watching cable). Just put it all out there (without cherry-picking either) and walk away, and it will take care of itself.

2) One thing that does make me mad, though, is the way the military just sort of tossed those loser guards from Abu Ghraib and not a single officer even so much as fell on his sword for a sweet pension deal, while we now know (and had every reason to think at the time) that the policy of rough interrogation was coming down from the very top. The attitude of the brass seems to be, "Well those kids weren't our professional torturers, so it's not the same thing." Seems a bit low for all the officers to run off and let those hillbilly kids go down.

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