18 December 2014

The Republican Gospel


I
 see by various news reports that Republicans are crying foul on the “partisan” release of the CIA torture report. Apparently torture—its desirability and its effectiveness—is now part of the Republican gospel. Never mind that it is illegal under both American and international law. Never mind that Americans of all parties were at the forefront of making torture an international crime. Never mind that we have been among the first to bring such war criminals to justice when their victims were American citizens. No, opposition to torture is now a partisan issue. Democrats oppose it. And Republicans love it.
If support for torture is now a solid plank in the Republican party platform then I want nothing to do with it. I’ve put up with the anti-science shit. They’ll get over it, I tell myself. It’s a stupid phase. I’ve looked the other way when Republicans have engaged in the worst kind of assaults on the poor and minorities. They aren’t real Republicans—hell, they’re not even real Americans. But I expect more of my party.
What do I expect of my party? What do I fucking well expect of my party? I expect to see the goddamn Republicans take the lead in rooting out crime in high places, not burrowing in deeper and deeper in a vain attempt to cover it up, like a cat trying to bury its excrement by scratching the bare tiles of a naked floor. If it was Republicans who ordered torture, who enabled torture, who did the goddamn torturing, then I expect to see them expel the bastards from the party, I expect to see them take the lead in prosecuting them, I expect to see them clean house. Both the party and the national house.
Well, no I don’t. I’ve lived too long. I expect them to behave like the sniveling cowards they are, like the wretched refuse that all politicians are, to strut and fret their weary hour upon the stage until the whole thing blows over. And it will blow over—indeed, the polls show that it already has. Nobody cares. Eighty percent of the public thinks that torture is no big deal. Eighty percent of the American public anyway.
But Malaysia (of all places) has put George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo on trial for torture in absentia. Tried them and convicted them. Cheney and Rumsfeld and Yoo and the others are now legally war criminals. The lead prosecutor, Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, noted “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”. What if other countries follow suit? What if the winds of politics change?
Oh, hell, I know nothing’s going to happen. It never does. You can ask Augustine Pinochet about that.

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