It Hurts Just as Much
Posted by Heather Hurlburt
I haven't posted lately because of a painful nerve problem in one arm. Even with Vicodin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxants and the occasional naughty glass of wine in my system, the Bush national security policy, progressive infighting, and the decline of our global standing hurt just as much, I'm sorry to say. And so does the darn arm!
Herewith a themed post of links, "Things that Make Me Wince (more)"
In 2001, the Bush NSA went to telecoms company Qwest and asked them to build a private version of Echelon, the super-secret government system of international computer surveillance, and report back. (From National Journal via Steve Clemons, who also uses the piece to salute my sometime boss Rep. Jane Harman's lonely stand on FISA protections.)
The US has told the International Commission on Torture that " Every act of torture within the meaning of the Convention is illegal under existing federal and state law,"and passed laws in 1996 and 2000 (nb. Repbulican Congresses) providing for the trial and punishment of Americans who commit torture. The State Department 2003 Human Rights Report condemned Brazil and Tunisia for waterboarding. The US has prosecuted people for committing torture by waterboarding. Now, I didn't go to law school, but how hard can this be? OF COURSE WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE, MICHAEL MUKASEY, CHUCK SCHUMER, AND ALL THE REST OF YOU.
Ilan's Will Marshall quote makes me wince, too, but for a different reason: define "broad support in the Islamic world," Will. Public opinion surveys from the last two years actually show declining and minority support for Bin Laden and Al Qaeda across the Arab world, including Iran and Iraq. Progressives' job, whatever stripe of progressive you are, is to offer Americans a vision of the world that is fact-based, particularly the fact that we are interconnected with the rest of the world. Reinforcing the "let's pull up the drawbridge before they arrive" meme is tempting and fun, but it's not gonna get us where we need to go.