MSNBC had some great work on the torture issue – because there’s no question now that torture is exactly the right word to use for the whole disgusting ball of wax – by both Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. I’ve collected two video segments for you and if you’ve not already watched them, I highly recommend them.
The first is Keith Olbermann talking to Brig. Gen. Janice Karpinski about Abu Ghraib. You might remember her as the woman who was discharged for the torture mess there when it was leaked by members of the military. Her impassioned speech when she talks about what she and others in the military had to suffer – taking the fall for what is now clearly and factually a policy set by the highest levels of the Bush White House – is magnetic. This poor woman suffered a dishonerable fate for having done her duty with honor. How many more are there like her in and out of the military right now?
Next up is Rachel Maddow doing her typical best at breaking down the story in a way that is concise, clear and easily understandable to most every American. And she does it in her typically creative style while never straying from the seriousness of the issue. There is no doubt left that the horrors we saw at Abu Ghraib are the exact same policies that Dick Cheney keeps going on Fox News to defend. Fine if he wants to defend them, as long as we’re all very clear that crimes were committed and Dick Cheney says it’s OK.
I have not to this point seriously believed that prosecutions over the torture policies of the Bush Administration were possible. No reflection on the Obama Administration, but every White House is resistant to prosecuting previous administrations for fear of the same being turned on them. Precedent is a bitch. But as this story unfolds, two things are becoming clear: that the torture policies of the Bush White House were much, much worse than we feared and that this is an issue which is destined to get out of the hands of the Obama Administration – indeed, it may already have. There is a sense of inevitability in the air, of justice that will not be denied. The question is: how high up the ladder to the charges actually end up going, and will that height be adequate to the crimes committed?