Via Greenwald, we find Juan Cole highlighting the ludicrous double standards that continue to be applied to the US Government when it comes to lofty notions of freedom and human rights. We praise the people of Tunisia for rising up against a dictator (whom we and our French allies kept in power for decades), and single out their courage to do the right thing. And, yet, at the same time, we’re mirroring every transgression of the Tunisian dictatorship as Bradley Manning is tortured because he blew the whistle on American violations on the entire code of civility. Note, too, that Manning may indirectly have facilitated the uprising in Tunisia by leaking a State Dept. memo highlighting the kleptocratic rule in Tunisia. Juan Cole points out:
If an American citizen, convicted of no crime and innocent until proven guilty, can be held under such conditions arbitrarily for half a year, essentially softened up and tortured as a means of extracting information from him, then the Republic is in extreme danger. Indeed, it may be that John Yoo, Karl Rove, Richard Bruce Cheney, and George W. Bush are already winning in their war on civil liberties in favor of a monarchical national security state.
Yep. It’s like when Hillary Clinton lectures the Chinese about how awful, absolutely awful it is that they censor their press — and then turns around and sics her goons on Julian Assange for disseminating the truth about her duplicity. Doctrine seems to remain: it is always bad when our enemies do bad things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it them to those we perceive as our enemies.