Saturday, October 23, 2010

Then They Came for Me

Bob Koehler

Speaking out a year ago against the idea of holding civilian trials for terrorism suspects, Liz Cheney captured the paranoid arrogance of the past decade with stunning efficiency:

"This demonstrates conclusively that we are going back to a pre-9/11 mentality," she said.

Oh the horror! Fair trials, rule of law, habeas corpus, Miranda rights, blah, blah, blah - remember what a nuisance our justice system used to be before Liz's father and the rest of the neocon High Nooniacs made us safe by hustling us off to a police state and perpetual war?

I can't help but think about the younger Cheney's comment - and the fear it implies, not of terrorists but of liberals -

And when I do, the first words that come to my mind are those that Martin Niemoller, a conservative German Lutheran minister, famously uttered at the end of World War II [...]

A fear- and vengeance-driven post-9/11 mentality could yet become the done deal it is in Liz Cheney's mind. She and other war-on-terror promoters still have enormous political and financial power. They also have an outsize media forum from which to bloviate and intimidate, despite all the harm they have wrought this past decade, not just to millions of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the American troops who served their ends, but to the financial and moral integrity of their own country.

And a wishy-washy Obama administration, unable to break publicly from the worst policies of its predecessor, mostly serves the agenda it was elected to stop. In this political void, lawsuits such as the one brought by Abdul Razak al Janko are our stand-in for the truth commission, or the war crimes investigation, that should be convened to begin reversing the Bush era.


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