It bears repeating. Tonight’s Special Comment was probably his best yet. News Hole already has the transcript up, of course, and I am sure that Crooks and Liars will post the video clip shortly. Go watch it, or read the transcript.
Tonight, Keith talked about how the Bush presidency has been transformed into an operation designed around one purpose: to keep Bush, Cheney, and their minions out of prison for repeated, flagrant violations of our laws and our constitution. He talked about Daniel Levin, the lawyer at DOJ who, when tasked with determining whether waterboarding was torture, went to a military base and had himself waterboarded. The lawyer who, when he concluded that waterboarding was indeed a form of torture, was forced out of his position at the Department of Justice, so Alberto Gonzalez could come up with a memo more favorable to the president’s position without fear of contradiction.
For once, the story apparently did not break on the blogs — at least as far as I know. It broke in the mainstream media, on ABC News, in a rare instance of them getting it right before it became common knowledge in the blogosphere. This is not some minor difference of opinion. This is a major instance of our government doing something appalling and inhumane, something flagrantly illegal, allegedly in the name of keeping us safe.
But Keith correctly points out the darker aspect of all this, which goes back to my concerns about how Terror Management Theory is being used by this administration to manipulate the public. Because ultimately, torture does not produce good intelligence. We have been hearing this repeatedly from military and intelligence experts — most often retired intelligence experts who are safe from retaliation by the administration. What it produces is a lot dubious information which the victim of torture makes up in a desperate attempt to make the torture stop.
But perhaps, as Keith points out, Bush doesn’t really care if he gets good intelligence. Because what he really wants is continued ammunition in his war against the constitution, and that means keeping the American public scared of threats from outside. Because most people will countenance any number of abuses, any expansion of executive authority, if they come in the guise of keeping us safe.
But safe from whom, I wonder? False intelligence certainly won’t protect us from future attacks. Meanwhile, our government is becoming increasingly dangerous to us, to our rights, to the essential liberties guaranteed by our founders.
Which brings me back to what I have said here repeatedly. Bush and Cheney really ought to be impeached. Now. Before it is to late.
Addendum: Crooks and Liars now has the video of tonight’s Special Comment up here.