Framing Torture - Criminal and Immoral or Expedient and Effective?

This week former president G.W. Bush's memoir will be on book store shelves and glowingly reported in the compliant mainstream media. In it W. recounts his decision to approve torture so it seems like a good time to revisit the issue of torture both back then by the war criminals Bush-Cheney-Rumsfield and since then by the accessories after the fact, Obama and Holder.

The Bushy's started the ball rolling by asking many members of the Justice Dept. to write opinions about the use of torture. They recieved about 30 different opinions from various lawyers who worked there. Of those, 2 supported [Bybee and Yoo] its use, the rest opposed it as criminal and/or immoral because the UN Convention Against Torture [ratified by Ronald Reagan in 1987] and because Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113C of the US Code both clearly make its use under any circumstances illegal. As we now know the Bushistas cherry picked the two by Bybee and Yoo because they fit the Bush regime's preconceived agenda.

Water boarding isn't a new thing, its use has been documented in numerous cases for centuries. After WWII the US held war crimes trails, found Japanese officers guilty of torture for their use of water boarding and executed them. During the Viet Nam era the US put American soldiers on trail as torturers for using water boarding, they were found guilty and received stiff sentences. Those were the good old days when right and wrong, illegal and effective, immoral and expedient were understood as opposites. Now things are different, as times have changed, as the framing of the torture issue has been allowed to change, whatever is useful has become right. Team Bush tortured the 'terrorists' at Gitmo, at Abu Ghraib, in Bagram and who knows how many secret off shore CIA prisons. In my opinion, they undountedly created far more enemies for the US than they stopped.

Along came newly elect team Obama fresh off his election campaign where he vowed to prosecute those responsible for torture on numerous occasions. Obama's framing of the issue during the campaign was one of morality and legality. But once he was elected he allowed the shithead Cheney to re-frame the question throughout the media to one of necessity and effetiveness. Obama, a well trained Harvard lawyer, must have understood immediately the repercussions of letting Cheney's expediency framing go unchallenged. He remained silent, that was his moment, on the torure issue, to draw a line in the sand between right and wrong and he chickened out. Neither Obama nor Holder has ever held the Bush administration or their lawyers accountable.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield should be doing the perpwalk for their war crimes. Obama and Holder's decision makes them accessories after the fact to those war crimes. History will not judge any of  them well. Nor will it look kindly on all who've remained silent.

‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ - Edmund Burke

No Appetite for Prosecution: In Memoir, Bush Admits He Authorized the Use of Torture, But No One Cares