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Anything Less Than Absolute Moral Clarity from Democrats Will Enshrine Bush's Abuses

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:23 PM
Original message
Anything Less Than Absolute Moral Clarity from Democrats Will Enshrine Bush's Abuses
Edited on Thu May-14-09 08:23 PM by ProSense
Peter Daou

Anything Less Than Absolute Moral Clarity from Democrats Will Enshrine Bush's Abuses

Over the past four months there have been a series of flare-ups between the Obama administration and the progressive activist community, centered mainly around the new administration's willingness (or lack thereof) to reverse Bush-Cheney's radical excesses in the realm of civil liberties, secrecy, detainee treatment, interrogation, and counter-terrorism.

Ever astute and incisive, Digby raises what I think is the critical point in this entire debate:

The argument against torture is slipping away from us. In fact, I'm getting the sinking feeling that it's over. What was once taboo is now publicly acknowledged as completely acceptable by many people. Indeed, disapproval of torture is now being characterized as a strictly partisan issue, like welfare reform or taxes.

Ari Melber, my former Kerry campaign colleague, takes a parallel tack, arguing that there should be no debate here; torture is illegal. Even Bush acknowledged that.

(Video: Ari Melber on MSNBC: We are not in a debate about torture's efficacy -- torture is illegal.)

Glenn Greenwald, an indispensible voice on this topic, says bluntly:

Ever since he was inaugurated, Obama has taken one extreme step after the next to keep concealed both the details and the evidence of Bush's crimes, including rendition, torture and warrantless eavesdropping.

As has been the case for years, Democratic leaders, operating within the Washington bubble, misconstrue the concerns of the netroots and often privately dismiss them as the rantings of immature outsiders and political neophytes.

But as always, the progressive community, a far more efficient thinking machine than a handful of strategists and advisers, is looking ahead and raising a unified alarm. The message is this: anything less than absolute moral clarity from Democrats, who now control the levers of power, will enshrine Bush's abuses and undermine the rule of law for generations to come.

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. This article and the articles he points to are great - they all re-focus back on the truth
Torture is wrong. The Ari Melber was great in the video - he made some very strong points very very well.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. That is why the "but" in Kerry's April 24 statement regarding the photos is key
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Exactly - and why the title of the article which flipped the 2 parts did not mean the same thing
Even in 2004, one of the most compelling thing he ever said was that an American President needed to tell the truth - and the look in his eyes left no doubt that he tells the truth and values it.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. that is exaclty it
Edited on Thu May-14-09 08:34 PM by ixion
if the dems don't act to restore the Rule of Law, we only slide deeper into the Tyranny of Empire.

Don't count on them to do this, however, because they're part of the problem, in large part. There are exceptions, Kucinich being one of them, but most of them are dirty, corrupt and/or incompetent.
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ProgressIn2008 Donating Member (848 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R. Daou makese some very good points here -- on this one, we agree
I especially agree re: the waters getting muddied, where torture becomes framed as one more partisan issue. That's a repugnant notion. Torture is a crime and no one should be above the law, done deal.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. Moral clarity
figured heavily in the change I believed in, and thought I was voting for. I never expected Mr. Obama to deliver 100% on my personal agenda. But he presented himself as a man with a clear moral vision, and a promise that he would return us to a government of laws, not men. It's disappointing to find that some men (and corporations) still seem to be above the law and that we need to wear special glasses to perceive the outlines of Mr. Obama's moral perspective.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. Speaking of moral clarity, take Senator Ted Kennedy
A Nation of Laws, Not Men

Posted December 7, 2007 | 11:54 AM (EST)

Senator Edward M. Kennedy


I'm headed to the Senate floor right now to speak about startling news from today's newspapers:

The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency's custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terrorism suspects -- including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody -- to severe interrogation techniques. The tapes were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that video showing harsh interrogation methods could expose agency officials to legal risks, several officials said.

The news that these CIA tapes were destroyed came the very same week that we learned that as many as ten million White House emails were not preserved, despite a law that requires that they be kept, and at the same time as the president continued to insist that we grant the phone companies immunity for their role in the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

I've already introduced the Torture Prevention and Effective Interrogation Act, legislation that requires the Army Field Manual standards to apply to all government interrogations, not only those conducted by the Department of Defense. Today's news is just another reminder that Congress needs to take action immediately to prevent this administration from continuing to make a mockery of our anti-torture laws.

I'm headed to the floor to demand answers. I hope you will demand them as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-edward-m-kennedy-/a-n...
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. Let's not accept that frame of this very criminal behavior.
The law is the law. Let's expect that we all will have it mean the same thing for every one. Not just a way to build the nest egg of our police dept. via tickets and arrests of the less fortunates.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. Some of the democrats are not moral
Some of them are just like bush but hide it under a D.

Most politicians are corrupted. If a politician is not corrupted when they arrive,they will most likely become corrupt soon after wards with the temptations power gives,like money privileges far beyond normal people,and from hanging around the psychopaths on the hill..
Look at the words and the voting records very few ever mean what they say.And why we tolerate this evil,shit out of the government and corporations along with the right wing asshole cancers,abusing power in every conceivable way,and getting away with it all again and again,while the same old people circulate themselves in high places, I will never understand why this same old shit is tolerated by the governed .
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. Pure hyperbole
Granted, idealistic and correct, but hyperbole nonetheless.

If I didn't know better I would say you have bought into the 'magic negro' crap. Eight years of tangling, deceiving and obfuscating will take years to unravel. It must be done carefully and judiciously and using the perception of the general public to sway opinion to the point that is irrefutable.

Do you want instant results or long lasting change?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Hyperbole my ass.
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1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. we elected a president. not a pope. i concur...
in a political system, our politicians will do what politicians must do.

what exactly were you expecting?

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Moral clarity depends on politics?
Edited on Thu May-14-09 11:42 PM by ProSense
Expecting leaders to not commit war crimes and not invade other countries based on lies, and to denounce such actions as criminal, immoral and unjust shouldn't be political considerations.

Arguments can be made for or against releasing the photos, for or against launching an immediate criminal investigation and taking the time to do it right in the "best interest of the country."

There is, however, nothing to argue or debate when it comes to moral clarity regarding torture. America does not torture. Obama: Waterboarding is torture.

As far as what politicians will and must do: what were Obama's political considerations when he released the memos? Moral clarity?

There is a debate raging in the U.S. and other parts of the world about whether or not the U.S. is going to prosecute war crimes committed by the Bush administration. Does anyone really believe that al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are going to distinguish between Abu Ghraib photos, the torture memos or any of the hundreds of news clips on the subject of U.S. sanctioned torture?


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1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-15-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. "Moral clarity depends on politics?" no. fuck no. but politicians are politicians...
you are expecting politicians to define "Moral clarity"???

"America does not torture." really?

are you that young and naive?







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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-15-09 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. You can't have it both ways
Are you condoning hypocrisy. America doesn't torture. I wasn't the first person to fucking say it. Democrats have been repeating it.

Moral clarity was the excuse for releasing the memo. It's not a sometime thing.

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1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-16-09 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. but you can have it both ways. do not be so naive...
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
10. I am disgusted by the unwillingness to prosecute clear war crimes
:grr:
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
12. and with the exception of two or three Congressmen,
we are getting the exact opposite of moral clarity.
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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
13. K&R
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
16. This is the gamble; STRATEGERISTS LOST; this is NOT IMPEACHING; this is THE COST.
:thumbsdown:
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
18. Yep- it seems like America became and remains a nation full of torturers
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-15-09 04:20 AM
Response to Original message
20. most in Washington (both parties) don't want "absolute moral clarity" . . .
they want to maintain the option to re-visit even Bush's worst transgressions "should the need arise" . . . they don't want things like torture taken off the table just in case we might need to use it again -- and that's pretty reprehensible, imo . . .
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