Sunday, May 17, 2009

Turning the Page

Newt Gingrich said it's time to find out what Nancy Pelosi knew, and when she knew it. The question is what does Newt Gingrich know, and when did he learn it? For the past dozen years, we've witnessed the fallout from his "Contract on America." He's had his 15 minutes of fame. Gingrich needs to crawl back into the cave he and his fellow neo-cons have been hiding in.

It will take at least a generation to change what Bush/Cheney did and, more importantly, students of American History 101 won't look kindly on the impeachment of one president for lying to a grand jury about extramarital sex while letting another president, who committed war crimes and broke the law, to retire with dignity, and at taxpayers expense.

This business of Tim Kaine, chair of the Democratic Party, stepping forward, on "Meet the Press," to say that under Obama "We're not going to torture" anymore is meaningless party talk when you have a Military Commissions Act which grants immunity from prosecution for war crimes, and a CIA that now provides liability insurance for their interrogators. Protecting them from what? If we never plan to waterboard, or use techniques that are tantamount to torture, then why provide interrogators with protection from future prosecution? Does this sound like an infrastructure that is torture-proof?

That the spread of venereal greed started with Ronald Reagan is one thing, but that, in the post-Nixon years, people stood by and watched the enactment of interrogation practices which have, for centuries, been associated with torture is unconscionable. The neutralizing of the Constitution, and subversion of democracy under Richard M. Nixon, was perfected under George W. Bush. There is no room for nuance here; not to pursue an independent inquiry, and prosecute, will later be viewed as criminal acquiescence and moral dementia.