Shut up and sit down

Author: admin

The Hell raising by most Republicans in Congress over publication of the Senate torture report is as off-base as it is loud. Not unexpected. Certainly true-to-form. And – as has so often been the case with them – dead wrong.

The outcry over the black and white evidence this $40 million report lays bare about the “official” actions the Bush administration conducted – then lied about – is baseless B.S.. Bush, Cheney, Tenet, Meyers, three of Meyers’ predecessors at CIA and the hundreds of Americans who conducted, who knew and who lied, over and over and over. Those should be your targets for condemnation.

The self-serving, political lying continues with hourly, ill-aimed blasts at the media and/or at Dianne Feinstein, Jay Rockefeller and all Senate Democrats on the Intelligence Committee. “Kill the damned messenger!!!”

What these liars, deniers and political justifiers ignore is fact. Had there been no torture – illegal, inhuman torture with this nation’s sponsorship – there would’ve been no report. Nothing to investigate. Nothing!

My strong personal “thank you’s” go out to each member of the Committee who voted to conduct the lengthy investigation, then publish the findings. Had the decision to put these grisly facts on the public record not been made by this week, the new Republican majority in the Senate would’ve buried it – every nationally embarrassing, humiliating, loathsome truth would have disappeared from any outside knowledge. Bet the farm!

In recent years, I’ve found it hard to say anything positive about the public utterances of John McCain – leading Senate militarist – who seems to have gone “round-the-bend” on many subjects. Following his usual urging, we’d be at war about everyplace in the world except maybe Kansas. But, this time, using his terrible life experience as the only member of Congress to undergo protracted torture at the hands of an enemy in wartime, McCain became an eloquent defender of both the public’s right to know and the facts that should be known. Alone in his party’s upper ranks, he stood on the floor of the Senate and soundly condemned those who tortured and those who covered it up. He was right!

Then, there’s the Bush-Cheney axis. The 500+ page executive summary seemed to say the President was not told what the CIA was doing. Maybe. Maybe not. But, you damned well can bet Cheney knew. And approved.

You see, there’s this tidbit – not part of the damning document. In the hours after release this week, CNN unearthed a piece of video from 2007 in which Bush-the-Junior said flat out “This nation does not torture anybody!” Direct quote. Yet the report says Bush was briefed on what the CIA was doing in 2005. Even gives the exact date. And by whom. Eighteen months before his televised press conference denial.

There’s an interesting Northwest side note. Faced with the possibility the report would not be published, Oregon’s Sen. Wyden loudly pledged to use every power available to him to get the document on the record. Then, when the document hit the table, Idaho’s Sen. Risch – himself an experienced attorney – twisted both fact and logic condemning all Senate Democrats – and their firstborns – for publishing. He publically screwed up in his own description of what’s in the report. My experience with him is that Jim’s often got a problem with candor. And truth.

Finally, the torture report makes a somewhat overlooked note about the Bush administration and who knew what. Seems, according to those who briefed the White House on what the CIA was doing all those years, one important official was left out. Secretary of State Colin Powell. He was named specifically as the one senior Cabinet member not told.

That fact needs more airing. If there’s anyone left in the Beltway media with any sense of curiosity and journalistic integrity, every attempt should be made to contact Powell and ask him two questions: was he told and, if the answer is what the report says, why does he think not? The Committee has documented a full 25% of all the countries in the world participated in our shameful torture program. So, why was the nation’s top diplomat – who was in continual communication with those nations – not told?

Given that fact – and additionally how badly Powell was used in the Iraq “chemical weapons” lie to the world – he might have some interesting insights to share. About both instances. He’s been speaking more candidly lately on lots of things. I’d like to hear his thought on this.

To those who became the messenger, providing the extensive and undeniable truth of our government’s cancer, we owe gratitude and deep appreciation for making us face the facts as they are – not as some sick political minds have covered up and lied to us about far too long.

To those who would kill that messenger – and, in doing so, continue the tragic betrayal we should’ve known long ago – shut up and sit down!

You too, Jimmy.

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