America’s Opportunity

April 25, 2009 at 9:22 am | Posted in Bush, torture | Leave a comment
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Naked young women being brutally tortured by Spanish Inquisition.  Photogravure after Jose Brito, copyrighted by G. Barrie & Son, c. 1901.

Naked young women being brutally tortured by Spanish Inquisition. Photogravure after Jose Brito, copyrighted by G. Barrie & Son, c. 1901.

As things currently stand, there will be no investigation or prosecution of crimes committed by the United States Government over the past eight years. That there are any Americans who do not consider this outrageous is hard for me to understand.

Paul Krugman had an editorial in Thursday’s New York Times which you should read but I append here Mr. Krugman’s addendum from his blog:

One addendum to today’s column: the truth, which I think everyone in the political/media establishments knows in their hearts, is that the nine months or so between the summer of 2002 and the beginning of the Iraq insurgency were a great national moral test — a test that most people in influential positions failed.

The Bush administration was obviously — yes, obviously — telling tall tales in order to promote the war it wanted: the constant insinuations of an Iraq-9/11 link, the hyping of discredited claims about a nuclear program, etc.. And the question was, should you stand up against that? Not many did — and those who did were treated as if they were crazy.

For me and many others that was a radicalizing experience; I’ll never trust “sensible” opinion again. But for those who stayed “sensible” through the test, it’s a moment they’d like to see forgotten. That, I believe, is the real reason so many want to let torture and everything else go down the memory hole.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

People who spoke against the use of torture, when not “treated as if they were crazy,” were ignored and their statements suppressed and destroyed.

If America does not investigate and prosecute war crimes committed by its own government, the terrorists will have indeed won and there will be nothing left of a once great dream that we are a people of laws and high moral ideals.

Five hundred years later people have not forgotten the Spanish Inquisition. Do Americans want this as their legacy?


Hey, Paul Krugman!

March 22, 2009 at 12:19 am | Posted in Department of the Treasury, Economy | Leave a comment
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Hilzoy posted this over at Political Animal. I think it’s both a catchy tune and a good question.

Cross posted at FromLaurelStreet

Restating The Obvious.

January 16, 2009 at 10:27 am | Posted in Miscellany, torture | Leave a comment
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Paul Krugman (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

Paul Krugman (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

I’ve said this before but maybe if Paul Krugman says it more people will listen.

Now, it’s true that a serious investigation of Bush-era abuses would make Washington an uncomfortable place, both for those who abused power and those who acted as their enablers or apologists. And these people have a lot of friends. But the price of protecting their comfort would be high: If we whitewash the abuses of the past eight years, we’ll guarantee that they will happen again.

Meanwhile, about Mr. Obama: while it’s probably in his short-term political interests to forgive and forget, next week he’s going to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s not a conditional oath to be honored only when it’s convenient.

And to protect and defend the Constitution, a president must do more than obey the Constitution himself; he must hold those who violate the Constitution accountable. So Mr. Obama should reconsider his apparent decision to let the previous administration get away with crime. Consequences aside, that’s not a decision he has the right to make.

Do go read the whole thing.

World War II: Biggest Public Works Project Evah

November 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Economy | Leave a comment
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Paul Krugman explains it to George Will:

[Sorry — you’ll have to view the video elsewhere, I’m on a byte-saving campaign.]

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