Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Like Diane, I have a lack of sympathy for those who tortured, and now are not wanting to talk about it. If I understand properly, it's good therapy to get out what's troubling you, and in this case, it's the country's trauma that needs to be expunged.

Today at WaPo, Dana Milbank exercises a little irony, wanting to administer a little of the memory enhancement to the administrators. I expect that he will be getting lots of attention for it, and I want to add in my plaudits. Since our troops are now getting to deal with the standards our torturers set up, why not send a little demo their way as well? Milbank gives an account of a little presser from an agitator, Kevin Zeese, who had a suggestion as to how to treat the perpetrators there in D.C. yesterday.

If they are really guilty of war crimes, as Zeese charges, shouldn't the punishment be a bit more severe -- like, say, subjecting them to the same questioning techniques they approved?

That would have an elegant, eye-for-an-eye quality while avoiding years of messy legal proceedings. And, after all, the Bush administration lawyers said these techniques are perfectly legal and do not cause long-term harm.
But Zeese found a flaw in the proposal: "Torture is illegal," he said. "For the same reason you can't do it to al-Qaeda, you can't do it to Justice Department lawyers."

Too bad. That leaves Zeese to rely on a labyrinth of due process -- and, likely, more of the frustrations of recent weeks and months. Zeese, representing the groups Velvet Revolution and Voters for Peace, listed the frustrations as he spoke in the Judiciary Square plaza yesterday.

The workings of our legal system that are being denied to detainees at Gitmo may be a kind of torture. In the end, hopefully, the guilty will be administered humane punishment. They should have had this much regard for our legal system themselves, and saved themselves this amount of just returns.

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