LLR Pages

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The 'Ethics' of the Washington Torture Crowd

Today's online edition of the Wall Street Journal features an editorial piece titled "Presidential Poison." According to the WSJ's op-ed, the Washington torture gang that was responsible for the vile, diabolical water boarding acts in Iraq -- yes, those who were under former Dictator George W. Bush -- should get a "Get-Out-of-Jail-Free" card because what they had done in the last eight years was ethical. After all, these federal thugs were just "acting in good faith," according to the neocon brown-nosing sycophants at the WSJ.

The editors of the WSJ penned the following passage in the piece, which should give more than enough reason of raising eyebrows to anyone who reads it:

Policy disputes, often bitter, are the stuff of democratic politics. Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama's victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting [the Bush administration] for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power.

It gets worse. The news organization tries to justify President Obama's precedessor's actions with these last three paragraphs:

Mr. Obama may think he can soar above all of this, but he'll soon learn otherwise. The Beltway's political energy will focus more on the spectacle of revenge, and less on his agenda. The CIA will have its reputation smeared, and its agents second-guessing themselves. And if there is another terror attack against Americans, Mr. Obama will have set himself up for the argument that his campaign against the Bush policies is partly to blame.

Above all, the exercise will only embitter Republicans, including the moderates and national-security hawks Mr. Obama may need in the next four years. As patriotic officials who acted in good faith are indicted, smeared, impeached from judgeships or stripped of their academic tenure, the partisan anger and backlash will grow. And speaking of which, when will the GOP Members of Congress begin to denounce this partisan scapegoating? Senior Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Richard Lugar, John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Pat Roberts and Arlen Specter have hardly been profiles in courage.

Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, due in part to his personal charm and his seeming goodwill. By indulging his party's desire to criminalize policy advice, he has unleashed furies that will haunt his Presidency.

In other words, the previous administration's actions were not only legal; they were also ethical. What the WSJ is really saying is this: "Then-President Bush and his administration's actions with respect to their practices of torture (i.e. water boarding) were moral and ethical, and they were necessary to prevent further attacks against American citizens in the U.S. Any attempt to undo the previous administration's decisions will put us in the cross hairs of the terrorists!"

Moreover, those who were critical of Bush's foreign and rendition policies, as the neocons want us to believe, are wrong and off-base to do so because the torture crowd was either giving the orders to have the "enemy combatants" (formerly called "prisoners of war") to be tortured or following them. That kind of attitude expressed by the pro-torture Wall Street crowd is just as bad as a Nazi soldier killing Jews with his guns or putting them in the ovens and then saying, "We were just doing our jobs!"

As blogger Christopher Manion correctly put it, the sad truth is that most politicians who "serve in office" or "represent the people" are basically legal criminals who legally steal from us and use the threat of violence in order to get what they want. They can easily punish their enemies and reward their allies in order to justify their lust for power and insulate themselves from any legal consequences, effectively making them above the law.

Partisanship does not and should not have a license to be reduced to a "policy dispute." It just simply means that some criminals legally decide on partisan politics as a career. Besides, the Democrats, according to the Journal, may be implicated as well. It's even suggested that investigations of any wrongdoing by both parties shouldn't be considered at all. If they are, as the statists say, they should be dismissed. It's an insult to the American people that both parties should not be probed even if they are tied to a crime.

And the Washington establishment says "ethics" matter in politics. How pathetic these people truly are!

[Hat tip to Chris Manion at the LRC blog.]

[Cross-posted at the Freeman Chronicles blog.]