Tuesday, December 16, 2014


“I would do it again in a minute”

There are more than a few people in Washington who think like Dick Cheney. What would they not do “again in a minute” if they could?

Torture? No hesitation.

More wars? Of course.

Pulling the nuclear trigger? At least “moral” questions wouldn’t get in the way.

What’s even scarier than the torture revelations? The CIA, the NSA and their ubiquitous contractors drive US operations all over the globe.   Their network of interventions, subterfuge and surveillance is unlimited, secret and unaccountable. The Senate’s “torture report”, still mostly “classified”, lights partially one corner of a labyrinth.

But that little light puts big questions in focus. These are the people — this is the morality — we are asked to trust with the largest Big Brother surveillance system ever fashioned? ‘Don’t worry. It’s only meta-data. Trust us.’

The news of the last few weeks exposes a deep crisis of failed justice. Torturers and assassins remain unpunished in Washington. No one accounts for taking Black lives.

Still, some blindly repeat the mantras of American exceptionalism. ‘Only in America’ would the truth be acknowledged. What about Argentina and Chile? South Africa? Russia?

Yes, it’s good to know that on matters of torture most Americans are not like Cheney. On this, a salute goes to John McCain. But it’s worth being reminded that there are Cheneys and Pinochets under all flags.

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