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June 27, 2005
Our Mess

Rumsfeld Rejects Outside Panel on Gitmo I've been seeing that headline for the last 24 hours. All I can say is that if they're not doing anything they don't want to the world to know about, there's no reason to resist an independent investigation.

The ballooning number of detainees they're going to want to torture interrogate may have something to do with their reluctance. They don't want investigators showing up unexpectedly, or on-site all the time. It's better to have a chance to clean things up before visitors appear.

So, the "insurgency" could last for as long as 12 more years? That's what's all over the news. Some suggest that the USofA's plan to build 14 permanent military bases in Iraq may be part of the problem.

The Progress Report asks, "Why Is Rumsfeld Still Around?" The simple answer is, because he's doing what 'they' want him to do. Face it, people, ditching Rumsfeld and putting in someone else won't make any difference. It's the policies that are wrong and while Rumsfeld is one of the 'architects' of the policies, he's not a one-man show. The entire Administration will have to go before we can clean up Iraq.

I think it's pretty clear that they intend to leave that little problem for the next Administration. Cleaning up our mess, I mean. By saying it could take twelve more years to quell the violence, Rumsfeld not only absolves the Bush Administration of any expectations of success, but potentially another neocon Administration, if this group can pull that off again.

I should address this but it makes me tired to think about going through all of that again.

I wanted to point you to this. Where is the public outcry, the pressure on Bush to say, clearly and simply, that torture is unacceptable and must stop? (That isn't really what he said here, is it?) Durbin should not have apologized.

I know it's not that simple, but if the Bush Administration wasn't a pig-headed mob of warmongers, we might be able to salvage something out of this mess.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:18 AM


I don't think the public outcry is missing. I just think the public outcry doesn't make it into the state-controlled media.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at June 27, 2005 01:43 PM

I'd tend to agree with Elayne: the blogospheric reaction and letters to editors, etc., seem to me to be pretty consistently opposed to the idea of torture (except that small and vocal core who're really, really in favor of it) and us as torturers. The stories keep coming out: even though they contain disclaimers and there isn't any accountability yet (I never really understood the value of divided government until this decade), but the flow continues.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at June 27, 2005 06:19 PM

I know there's outcry that's not making it into the media, but we all have to remember that the media is a business. If there was enough outcry, they'd publish it because they'd know most people were interested. They'll publish whatever they think people will buy papers to read.

Besides...what I'm seeing in most of the MSM is coverage of the story, not outrage. The people I talk to (not on blogs) mostly agree that torture is wrong, but they're so...so offhand about it.

"No, we shouldn't be doing that." "Someone should do something about that."

There's still the sense that Washington and all its doings are something remote, not something that matters in people's "real lives." The sort of people who sign petitions would sign a petition, but every one else just shrugs, even when it makes them angry, and moves on.

Posted by: Anne at June 28, 2005 08:30 AM

We'll see. My very own congressional rep (Case, D-HI) got a dog-and-pony show at Gitmo and announced that everything was fine, no evidence of torture, and everyone there deserved to be there. Dangerous sorts, all.... He's relatively new, but this takes naive and shallow (or grasping and kowtowing, I'm not sure) to new lows.

We'll see if my letter makes the local paper, but at least I cc'd Case on it.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at June 29, 2005 05:27 AM

Of course he did, Jonathan. And I don't doubt that he reported on exactly what he saw.

Given enough notice before such an inspection, how can anyone believe that things weren't going to be peachy-keen?

In the end, what's hurting us the most is the publicity that the USofA is torturing helpless people who have not been convicted, or even charged, with any crime. The only way to solve that is to allow the U.N., Amnesty International, and the Red Cross, reputable international bodies, free and unscheduled access to the entire facility.

If we didn't have anything to hide, there wouldn't be any reason why we couldn't allow unannounced and thorough inspections.

The Bush Administration could give every prisoner a Barca-lounger, an ice-cream soda, and a gold-bound copy of the Koran and it wouldn't help if they wrapped it in this kind of paranoid secrecy.

Posted by: Anne at June 29, 2005 11:17 AM