Nope, No Accountability Here — Why do you ask?

woman_wagging_fingerAP quotes Obama’s CIA chief reassuring his troops: nobody involved in torturing people will suffer consequences of any sort. Whew, thank goodness. For a moment there I was thinking that this whole “Change You Can Believe In” might mean some sort of accountability — you know, if you knowingly violate the constitution or international treaties like the Geneva Convention, you might suffer the consequences. But nope, not having any of it. Unlike the German and Japanese war criminals who were tried and convicted after WWII, you just need to claim that your superiors told you to do it, and you’ll be off the hook. It didn’t work 50 years ago, because everyone agreed that it’d be too easy a cop-out to blame someone else for having given you permission, but evidently we’ve regressed to a point where that excuse will fly, even though every sentient being (and certainly a CIA interrogator) would or should have known that torture is never right, no matter what your boss or your boss’s boss says.

I guess this means everyone in the former administration food chain can simply pass on the buck to the next level up. Eventually it’ll all stop on Bush’s doorstep, and since Obama has more-or-less declared that he’s too busy looking forward to prosecute anyone for past violations of the law, no matter how egregious and damaging to our reputation as a nation ruled by law, that means the show is over. Even my own sometimes cool senator, Leahy, is busy planning a kiss-and-make-up session with a truth commission where most or all of the “witnesses” would be granted immunity. That’s right, that’ll teach future war criminals a thing or two: if you torture people or tell others to do so, you might have to stand up and say you did it, and then you, too, could walk away without any further consequences. Oooh, how intimidating. Like that kind of pathetic and impotent fingerwagging would stop someone who thought waterboarding was a great way to treat other people…

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