Mirror, mirror . . .
When it comes to loathing, I stand behind no one for loathing everything Loathsome George did and stood for.
In May Day’s Washington Post, op-ed contributor Michael Kinsley opined, correctly in my opinion, that the pointing finger of opprobrium for the torturing of “detainees” and “enemy combatants” that were schemed and executed by the Bush administration should have a 180-degree crook, to point at a knowing public that stood by. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/30/AR2009043003301.html?wpisrc=newsletter) To closely paraphrase Sir Edmund Burke, enough good men and women did (said) nothing, and evil triumphed.
I have written previously that, by 2004, we knew, we all knew. Only those who chose not to ponder the morality of the acts, or the accuracy of the reports, are now able to cloak themselves with some rationale, as despicably disingenuous as such a rationale assuredly is.
Others attempted to sanction what Americans must never abide, let alone exculpate, by suggesting the administration’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” were no different than the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) training experienced by select members of our own armed forces.
The membrane on that is soap-bubble thin. Those in training knew with absolute certainty that: 1.) the exercise was precisely that — training; and that 2.) those in charge and those carrying out the exercise would not take it so far that either physical or psychological damage would be the end-product. (Trainees and trainers alike were, going in, fully aware that being drummed out of the service would be the very least of repercussions if a trainee suffered permanent physical or psychological harm, or died. Sailors and marines undergoing SEAL training have 24-hour access to the fall-out bell, and are, every step along the way, encouraged by the instructors to pull on the cord that rings it!)
Those we took prisoner, bound, hooded, loaded into the backs of trucks, then transported either to an in-theater location, or overseas to a foreign country or to Guantanamo, and who spoke no English, enjoyed no similar assurance when water-boarded. For all they knew, indeed, for all we wanted them to know, they were going to perish a most agonizingly ghastly death.
Thus the conclusion remains unmitigated: WE knew! And for everyone who voted in 2004 for George W. Bush, the stain of their personal participation and guilt remains unblotted and indelible. What they knew of — or should have — they approved.