Monday, April 27, 2009

David Broder: Just Another Torture Apologist

by Dee Newman

A few years back Washington Post columnist David Broder was considered the “Dean" of Washington journalism. But, that was back before he drank the Kool-Aid and fell for the lies of Bush&Co.

Unfortunately, rather than tip-toeing-away with his tail between his legs, Broder is still trying to defend the indefensible.

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Broder accused those of us who believe that the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” authorized by the Bush/Cheney Administration deserve, at the very least, a serious investigation from the criminal justice system of having “an unworthy desire for vengeance.”

The truth is, Broder has an unworthy desire to conceal the truth and keep his buddies from suffering the consequences of their actions.

Though, I’m sure, there are those who would love to watch Dick Cheney waterboarded until he cried “Uncle” and confessed that waterboarding is torture, most of us have no interest in vengeance or retribution. What we have is a fervent desire and interest in upholding the rule of law and in preventing our government from ever again torturing anyone in our names.

After re-reading Broder’s column a number of times, I was unable to find a single statement that rang true. In fact, the majority of the column was a re-hash of the same old talking points I had heard Karl Rove and other “torture apologists’ spew out on Fox News and other networks earlier in the week.

What Broder seems to not understand is that this is not just about “policy differences,” as he and Rove would have us believe. No, this is a hell-of-lot more serious. It is about morality, the rule of law and the leaders of our precious country violating not only the international prohibition on torture, but also a number of federal statues and the United States Constitution, sanctioning and carrying out inhumane and illegal acts of violence against others.

Furthermore, it is about the fate of Americans captured behind enemy lines in future conflicts. The Bush Administration’s use of torture has dramatically increased the likelihood that our servicemen and women will be tortured in the future. If we fail to hold them accountable for their immoral and illegal actions, the risk to our servicemen and women will only intensify.

But, more than anything it is about who we are – our character and integrity!

Unlike President Clinton’s affair with an intern, it seems, to Broder, the issue of torture is not serious enough to warrant moral outrage or legal action.

Unlike the Japanese soldiers we sentenced to death for waterboarding our servicemen in World War II, Broder, believes to prosecute those in the Bush Administration for doing the exact same thing would be “irrational vengeance.” To Broder the decision by Bush&Co. to use waterboarding is just a “policy difference” between one administration and another.

According to Broder, Rove and other apologists, (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) waterboardering a person 183 times (six times a day) in less than a month is justifiable because they have convinced themselves it worked – that it kept our nation safe.

It always amazes me how rational people can rational anything. Apparently, Broder's six-year-defense of the Bush administration has left him hopelessly attached to an immoral and illegal strategy of torture that he must now defend no matter how morally corrupt his efforts appear.

As Shepard Smith said last week on Fox News, (And, I paraphrase) It doesn't make any difference whether it kept us safe or not, THIS IS AMERICA! WE DO NOT TORTURE! no matter what.

The end can never justify the means even in a ticking-time-bomb situation, which we have never experienced.

It is better to lose our lives than our values. That is what I call – true courage.

And, if you believe otherwise, you should, at the very least, have the courage to face the truth and consequences of you own actions in a court of law and let a jury of your peers determine your fate.

To continue to relentlessly defend the indefensible is not courageous – it is craven – so lacking in courage as to be worthy of contempt.

I have no desire for retribution. All I want is for those who authorized the so-called "enhance interrogation techniques" and their apologists to recognize and admit that what they did was WRONG!

Until they do the investigations should continue and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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