LEADERS' REHTORIC, CONVENTION SPEECHES AND PLATFORMS BUT PRACTICE CONTINUES; NO PROSECUTIONS OF DECISION LEADERS
By Robert Weiner and Daniel Khan
The nation is divided as it continues to debate torture of terror detainees. Yet as much as torture is condemned by many, even the President, there really is "a plague on both our houses", since Trump wants "worse" but Democrats have prosecuted no one who created the program or CIA officials (and their administration high ups) who condone and contract it out to foreign countries.
The presidential conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia and the ongoing campaigns have reflected the conflict. At a rally in St. Clairsville, Ohio in response to a question about waterboarding, Trump said, "I don't think it's tough enough." He added later that he supported "much worse." To sound tough on terror, we heard "law and order" repeatedly at the Republican Convention in Cleveland.
The Democratic National Convention's platform voted by the delegates July 26 states, "We reject Donald Trump's suggestion that our military should engage in war crimes, like" torturing prisoners."
On July 28, Clinton's Democratic nomination night, Gen. John Allen addressed the delegates: "I also know our armed forces will not become an instrument of torture, and they will not be ordered to engage in murder or carry out other illegal activities." Again, it is noteworthy that he referenced our armed forces, not the CIA's or executive branch accountability.
On August 31 in Cincinnati, before the American Legion, Clinton criticized Trump: " if we abandon our allies, if our Commander-in-Chief orders our military to break the laws and commit torture or murder terrorists' family members. That is why it is so critical we get this right." Yet there is no acknowledgement of the CIA's involvement.
At an August 15 rally in Scranton, PA, Vice President Biden said Trump " knows it's illegal, and says he would still order it even though the military commanders said they would not obey his orders." Once again, what's missing here from Biden is any mention of who is committing or subcontracting the torture, not the army commanders, but the CIA.