Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Torturing the Truth

I completed the Long Island ½ marathon on Sunday with a new PR for the distance-1:47.53. This marks the third consecutive ½ marathon in the last year where my time has improved. I do realize that at some point the limitations of flesh and bone will invariably intersect with the decreasing numbers on the clock and I will be forced to confront the reality of aging and diminishing performance. But not quite yet. Running has saved my more times than I can count so I will keep at it until they carry me off the road kicking and screaming.

Speaking of kicking and screaming, it appears that the Obama DOJ has decided not to prosecute the attorneys who wrote the so-called “torture memos,” which gave the CIA permission under color of law to torture suspected Al Qaeda operatives to extract information about future attacks on the United States. Instead, they plan on wagging a stern finger at the naughty lawyers and suggesting that they be reported to their local bar association for disciplinary action. I don’t know where these lawyers practice, but the only thing that will get you disciplined by the bar where I live is if you flagrantly steal a client’s money. Using flimsy legal arguments to justify torture that ends in death? We call that zealous advocacy ‘round these parts.

I had thought that when I pulled the lever for a Democrat in this last election that I would be doing my part to help reverse the general collapse of the rule of law in the United States. The Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, torture were legacies of a reactionary Republican administration, or so I thought. It is worth recalling that we prosecuted Japanese soldiers who used waterboarding in WWII. Why is Obama willing to look the other way while those who perpetrated the act in our name get away with murder?

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