I’ve been reading the recently released Bush torture memos and am feeling sick to my stomach.

The scariest part was highlighted by Glenn Greenwald (click to enlarge):
This excerpt basically admits that most of the techniques the OLC lawyers approved are routinely condemned by our own State Department when performed by other countries.

I need an Alka-Seltzer. I’ll let Greenwald finish up for me:

The more one reads of this, the harder it is to credit Obama’s statement today that “this is a time for reflection, not retribution.” At least when it comes to the orders of our highest government leaders and the DOJ lawyers who authorized them, these are pure war crimes, justified in the most disgustingly clinical language and with clear intent of wrongdoing. FDL has a petition urging Eric Holder to immediately appoint a Special Prosecutor to determine if criminal proceedings should commence.

Obama did the right thing by releasing these memos, providing all the information and impetus the citizenry should need to demand investigations and prosecutions. But it is up to citizens to demand that the rule of law be applied.

Update: I can’t say this strongly enough. The torture that Bush committed in our names has resulted in the washing of all of us in the blood of the people we tortured. It is now up to each and every one of us to contribute to washing this inhuman stain off our souls.

As a Daily Dish reader writes:

This is an eye opening event for me. It’s easier for a liberal like me, who voted against Bush twice, to feel I’m off the hook. But, clearly, I kept my eyes closed and my mouth shut. When I let talk of torture filter in, early on, such as keeping people awake and some of the accounts of Abu Ghraib, I kept drawing lines to things I wanted to believe. They’re keeping them awake? Oh, that must be like playing loud music. Like… they used on Noriega. Today, I have to ask myself why I didn’t take to the streets.

I guess I’m “lucky” again in that I have a President who believes in the rule of law. But where was I, a Jew, taught to say Never Again when I was growing up? My guess is that somewhere this evil satisfied a dark place in me. A generalized anger or rage that we can all walk around with at times. Why else was I content not to stare this evil in the face?

Update 2: Here’s another quote from Greenwald. We must heed his words:
The Obama administration should, on its own, initiate criminal proceedings, but the citizenry also has responsibilities here. These acts were carried out by our Government, and if we are really as repulsed by them as we claim, then the burden is on us to demand that something be done.

More than 250,000 Americans attended protests yesterday (ostensibly) over taxes and budget issues. If these torture revelations are met with nothing but apathy, then it will certainly be reasonable to blame Holder and Obama if they fail to act, but the responsibility will also lie with a citizenry that responded with indifference.

If 250,000 ragtag rightwing nuts can turn out to protest nothing in particular besides a popular black Democratic President, and we can’t muster more than a whimper over spilling the blood of countless CIA detainees, then I weep for the future of our country.

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  1. Gherald says:

    You weep for the future of the country because we had a president who didn't give terrorists rights and kept us safe after 9/11? Damn you, another elitist blame-America-first liberal who's soft on terrorism and doesn't protect national security. President Hussein has made us less safe!

    We are a Christian nation and socialism has FAILED. Also, the surge worked!

    (I joke because I'd rather not cry)

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