Thursday, May 7, 2009
A Wealth of Notions Begins
Welcome to my brand new blog. Please be patient with me while I learn the controls.
My current major concern is with the torture authorized by the George W. Bush Administration and what must be done about it. That so many right-wingers, partisan Republicans and even some Democrats can claim with a straight face that the "harsh interrogations" were not torture is public denial of a magnitude I had hardly thought possible.
I believe that a so-called "Truth Commission" would be a bad idea -- a swindle, actually. Its real purpose would be damage control; i.e., keeping as many of the politically powerful guilty as much in the shadow as possible while using grants of immunity to shield most of the rest. There would be a lengthy report loaded with such names as can't be concealed, dates and quotations of who said what and did what but when it comes to saying who broke the law the commissioners will claim that is outside of their charter and their competence. What laws were identifiably violated would have to be a judicial determination, you see. However, the quest for "truth" will have made prosecutions largely impossible. A few minor actors could face charges, or cop to pleas, of obstruction or perjury perhaps but not of the statutes enabling enforcement of treaty law against torture; e.g., Torture, U.S. Code, Title 18, Chapter 113C or War Crimes, U.S. Code, Title 18, Chapter 118. We will not have established that we have honored our treaty obligations and those most guilty will be home free.
I am not a lawyer, but I have seen enough politics to know what to expect.
For more of my thoughts see my posts as "Adam_Smith" at Politics Forum