Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's not "Torture without excuses", it's torture without justice

The Chicago Tribune's chief political pundit Steve Chapman is to be commended for his important and stark recital of the Bush-Cheney torture regime in his April 21 column, "Torture without excuses".

But he is also to be condemned for two astounding conclusions which go to the core of Chapman and the Trib Editorial Board's unwillingness to take the next step in the process and demand that President Bush and Vice President Cheney be brought to justice.

First, after reciting the likely torture death of a 52 year old Iraqi who died in US custody from blunt force injuries to torso and legs, abrasions indicating being shackled, a fractured neck bone, and death...due to strangulation, Chapman claims "its too much to hope for justice in this case...because the homicide came at the hands of the administration of George W. Bush".  Since when is a former President immune from prosecution for launching a criminal war and practicing torture during its execution? Apparently, its when that criminal war and torture were enabled and condoned by the mainstream media, including the Trib, which supported the re-election of President Bush long after his criminality was apparent to anyone who investigated the Iraq war with an open mind, free from a self serving agenda.

Second, Chapman concludes his piece with the ludicrous claim that the Bush-Cheney decision to ignore international law and treaties prohibiting torture honored by every other presidential administration will result in their "lasting disgrace". Considering that both have bragged about their use of torture and said they'd do it again if necessary because it gets results, neither feels the least bit of disgrace and couldn't care less with their critics think. Bush and Cheney will live out their lives cushioned by fabulous wealth and supportive family and friends. The only worry they might have is if current government leaders, the citizenry, and the Fourth Estate, exemplified by the Trib Editorial Board, demand justice.

How 'bout a follow up column Mr. Chapman?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A More Appropriate Number Nickname

 Today, '43' will open his Presidential Library and '41' will be on hand to honor him. '43', of course is former 43rd President George W. Bush and '41' is his predecessor and father, 41st President George H.W. Bush.

While very clever father and son nicknames, a better one for Bush the Younger is '4488' which reflects the 4,488 American soldiers he got kille...d unnecessarily in his pre-emptive and criminal war in Iraq.

We don't need to be reminded that he was the 43st President as we're still trying to forget that unfortunate twist of history. We do need to reminded, every time we refer to him, about the 4,488 American families that lost a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, a son, a daughter due to mendacity and evil unprecedented in an American president. We also need to be reminded that he was never even investigated, must less charged or convicted for his crimes.

On second thought, if we want to remember all the Iraqi victims of his mis-deeds, his nickname would be '1,000,000'.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bush Presidential Library Bans War Crime, Torture Material

This Thursday, former President George W. Bush will dedicate his $500 million, 226,000 square foot Presidential Library at SMU in Dallas. For a man who should be confined to a prison cell for pre-emptively and criminally launching the Iraq War ten years ago, Bush the Younger is living pretty high. Already comforted by millions of Bush family wealth, Bush is paid up to $200,000 per speech, as long as its not in a country that would arrest him for war crimes, and collects an annual pension worth over another $200,000, including travel expenses and mailing privileges. Bush found that criminal war and torture, the two most grievous hallmarks of his presidency, most certainly do pay. His library will air brush out his criminality and mendacity for getting millions killed, injured or made homeless in a senseless bit of empire building in the Middle East; empire building that in fact failed. It will not include the recent bi-partisan report that found it "indisputable" that the Bush Administration, at its highest levels, instituted a world wide regime of long term torture.

Nor will you find a shred of guilt in Bush's pronouncements leading up to the Grand Opening, April 25. “I’m comfortable with what I did... “I’m comfortable with who I am,” Bush offered a NY Times interviewer. “Much of my presidency was defined by things that you didn’t necessarily want to have happened.” Maybe there were some things President Bush didn't want to have happened - Hurricane Katrina comes to mind. But criminal war and torture? They are most appropriately defined by one of Bush's most infamous quotes, disgracefully used in taunting the Iraqi insurgents who were daily blowing up our canon fodder with improvised explosive devices: "Bring it on".

Also published at Glen Ellyn Patch, April 22, 2013