Thursday, November 01, 2007

Torture me with sorcery, it's forcin' me so torture me

(image h/t to One Utah)

John Kerry, who was actually in combat and, some say, shot at and wounded, has this to say about "Waterboard" Mukasey:
"Judge Mukasey’s refusal to classify the barbaric practice of waterboarding as torture waves a red flag about his nomination to serve an Administration that has adhered to the Cheney doctrine on executive power and torture. I am not comfortable confirming anyone who cannot see that this method of interrogation is antithetical to American values and traditions – especially not to a position that is charged with representing our entire justice system. We need to reestablish faith in the Department of Justice.

“Many of us wanted to believe that Judge Mukasey could undo the damage of the Gonzales years. Unfortunately his lack of candor and his refusal to acknowledge this abuse of power suggest he is unable or unwilling to do so, and this is why I will be opposing Judge Mukasey’s nomination to be the next Attorney General of the United States."

Damn straight.

Of course, even though Mukasey is supposed to be the Top Legal Officer in All The Land™, he's really just a beard:
Mukasey is not a free agent. He had been strictly briefed and in his testimony was following orders. He has avoided calling waterboarding torture because that is consistent with the administration's position and past practice. Mukasey's refusal to disavow waterboarding reveals his acceptance of his assignment to a secondary role as attorney general, an inferior agent, not a constitutional officer, to certain political appointees in the White House.

Those who are responsible for waterboarding have defined and dictated Mukasey's evasions. His acquiescence demonstrates that no one in his position could take a contrary view to that of David Addington, Vice President Cheney's former counsel and now chief of staff, who directed and coauthored the infamous memos by former deputy assistant director of the Office of Legal Counsel John Yoo justifying torture, and charged the current acting director of OLC, Stephen Bradbury, to issue new memos rationalizing it.

So Mukasey is the public face of the administration's unconstitutional torture policy, appointed to rubber-stamp Addington's and Cheney's evil fantasies of playing Jack Bauer.

Or, as commenter Fluffy writes at Lawyers, Guns, and Money:
TR wasn't masculine for the simple reason that he wasn't a man. He was a boy.

All "national greatness" types are essentially adolescent boys.

That's because they don't really dream of national greatness. They dream of personal greatness, with greatness being defined as being the star of their own comic book. I don't think you can underestimate the impact of the "Buffalo Bill" style popular culture of newspapers and pulp magazines in the second half of the 19th century, and their role in producing Hemingwayesque personalities like TR and, well, like Hemingway himself.

They wanted to grow up and have people write pulp stories about them, like the stories they read about Custer and Wyatt Earp. All of the rest of it is rationalization to that end.



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