12 March 2014

American Torture Redux, Undermining Democracy at Home

There is no news in this post. I have, in the past, devoted a multitude of posts to the all-American practice of torture. This was a regular topic during the G.W. Bush administration when decisions about who to torture and how were being made by those at the very highest reaches of the government - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et. al. - each of whom should be tried for their criminal actions. Our torturers are back in the news as a result of their alleged efforts to further subvert inquiry into their bad behavior. Yesterday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of breaking domestic law in their efforts to shroud their prior (ongoing?) violations of domestic and international law as they carried out policies of - in the words of the Editorial Board at The New York Times - "illegal detention, rendition, torture and fruitless harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects." You can find a report of Feinstein's here at The Times. Feinstein's speech is especially telling because (as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee) she has a well-deserved reputation as an apologist for our national security state. So, the BushCo policy (and, to be fair, the policy of prior, slightly more discreet, administrations of both parties) of torture in defense of freedom and democracy is coming around to subvert democracy at home too. No surprise.

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