No, Mr. President. I won't look the other way.

“In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.”

-President Barack Obama, April 16, 2009

I concur with President Obama most of the time.  But he’s wrong today, and he’s messing it up for everyone.  The memorandum from President Bush’s administration that he released today outline torture: the decision to authorize, the proscriptions and applications, the “limitations” and durations of.  To quote Howard Feinman, they are “a window into a heart of darkness.”

Part of my support for him until this time was the necessity for rectification, for redirection, for a return to the ideals that fundamentally support the United States of America.  And my support of him was based on the deeply held belief that CHANGE meant holding people responsible for the decisions they chose to make, the actions they chose to take, and the values that those actions expressed.

Releasing the memos with the right hand, and exonerating the torturers with the left hand while claiming that he is “looking forward not looking back” is an offense against those ideals which he has espoused almost as great as the former president claiming divine authority to invade Iraq.

No, Mr. President.  I won’t look the other way.

Frankly, I’m embarrassed that you are.  There are prosecutors in Spain who understand that the treatment of people in United States’ custody under the Bush Administration, under the purview of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales and John Yi and George W. Bush, was torture and constituted criminal activity, if not crimes against humanity.

Forgive the profanity . . . it is the result of believing that truth, justice, honor, integrity and equality are not simply cool logos on t-shirts, but the reason that my ancestors fought, bled and died on these and other shores.  And those ideals were shat upon by the elected leader of this nation and his coterie for eight years.

I supported you, Mr. President, because I believed that you were intent upon restoring if not those perfected ideals, at least domestic and international responsibility to pursue those ideals.  Today’s duel decisions call into question that intent.  Not because it is simply a decision you’ve made that I disagree with.  I don’t believe that any president would make decisions I agree with 100% of the time unless I were elected to that office myself, which is obviously not the case.

Today’s decisions literally give cover to the prison guards, literally allow the torturers to continue on the payroll that I fund, and leave the ideals for which I struggle and teach each day laying on the floor of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay with their heads bashed in, and leave me gasping for air wondering how to teach my children about justice, about morality, about right and wrong when one of the primary examples I use each day cowers behind rhetoric of progress while allowing regress to fester with impunity.

Loving my country and being a patriot means speaking truth to power, and yours is as has often been said, the most powerful office in the world.  We as a people cannot afford to simply look forward.  That is the ridiculous attitude that lets idiots claim racism no longer exists because you were elected.  Releasing the document which catalogues torture without holding the torturers accountable is moral cowardice, which means that they did the right thing if only because they got away with it.  You have become accomplice after the fact by your failure to hold them accountable.

It is important that we move forward, that we look to the future and the reconstruction of our nation.  But it is equally as important that those responsible for the current state of the union face the consequences of their actions.

No, Mr. President.  I won’t look the other way.

And neither should you.

Bush-era interrogation memo: No torture without ‘severe pain’ intent

Rights groups criticize CIA immunity on interrogations

Future of the U.S. depends on torture accountability

Memos reveal harsh CIA interrogation methods

President Obama’s Statement on the Memos

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
This entry was posted in Blah!, Democracy, Personal Opinion, Personal philosophy, Political correctness, Politics, Rant!, United States of America, WTF! Moment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to No, Mr. President. I won't look the other way.

  1. PiedType says:

    Didn’t the “I was just following orders” defense get shot down at Nuremberg? Maybe Obama isn’t holding the underlings accountable because he plans to sock it to the guys who issued the orders — Bush & Cheney et al. That’s customary; the top dog takes the fall.

    I think I wrote about this myself, a while back (before the latest revelations) and concluded Obama would indeed move forward without doing anything. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! I want Bush held accountable by us and in front of the entire world.

    I expected to disagree with Obama about a lot of things, but this one really hurts.

  2. ReyMac says:

    According to Rahm Emmanuel this morning on This Week, the President doesn’t want to prosecute anyone. I’m trying to search the Constitution or the law codes to find out where he gets the authority to not enforce the law because it’s inconvenient?

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