I’ve been generally pleased with the progressive policies advanced by the Obama administration, but this really pushes my buttons. I said just before and then again just after the election that the birght line standard by which I would judge Obama consisted of his actions regarding torture and wiretapping. Everything the administration has said and done indicates that they will not abuse their power in the blatent manner of the previous administration, but they are also preserving the legal structures that would allow them to do so if they chose. The Obama administration also has settled on the formula that if it happend before we got here we don’t want to look at it. I think there is a little more moral wiggle room on this one, but not much. There are short term political reasons for not going after the Bush violations of law and fundamental American valuse, but in the long run this moral rot will emerge. And since the legal structures will still be in place, the moral rot will be defended and protected as a way of defending and protecting executive power.
The recognition that the Bush administration, especially Cheney and Rumsfeld, authorized and directed the torture of prisoners is now taken for granted by Newsweek. What’s that say about the state of the nation? In the linked article, it wasn’t so much the information — which has been widely known for a long time — but the tone that struck me. I don’t think they should hang, but not because they don’t deserve it — because we’d be better off being merciful. Of course, we’ll be lucky, as a country, if we get a public apology. More likely, Bush will give everyone, including himself, a pardon & we’ll be told that it’s better for the nation of we just let bygones be bygones.