Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 27, 2009

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... The right sentiment for a U.S. president to express when it comes to government-sanctioned, government-directed torture policies:

"It's important for people to understand that in a democracy, there will be a full investigation. In other words, we want to know the truth. In our country, when there's an allegation of abuse ... there will be a full investigation, and justice will be delivered. ... It's very important for people and your listeners to understand that in our country, when an issue is brought to our attention on this magnitude, we act. And we act in a way in which leaders are willing to discuss it with the media. ... In other words, people want to know the truth.

"That stands in contrast to dictatorships. A dictator wouldn't be answering questions about this. A dictator wouldn't be saying that the system will be investigated and the world will see the results of the investigation."

You could probably guess by the frequent reference to "in other words" that this wasn't Obama, but rather, was George W. Bush, speaking to al Arabiya after the Abu Ghraib scandal erupted.

"Full investigation." We want to know "the truth." We believe in "justice." "We act" in response to allegations of torture. We're transparent and discuss developments "with the media." To fail to answer questions is to act like a "dictatorship."

It seems to me if Democrats are looking for an excuse to do the right thing, they don't have to say much more than, "We're doing what Bush told us to do."

Steve Benen 4:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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George W. Bush, speaking to al Arabiya after the Abu Ghraib scandal erupted.

And he conducted an investigation worthy of a dictatorship.

Posted by: Danp on April 27, 2009 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

He liked to joke about dictatorship not being a bad idea, so long as he could be dictator. However did the lunatic base of the rightwing party take that? They must have been up in arms ...

Heh. Indeed.

Posted by: Scientific Wild Ass Guess on April 27, 2009 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Neither Administration nor congressional Democrats seem eager to be looking for an excuse to do the right thing. I appreciate the hopeful sentiment, though.

Posted by: scott on April 27, 2009 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

If you give a speech and say the right thing, then you don't have to actually do the right thing.

Posted by: jen f on April 27, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

"It's important for people to understand that in a democracy, there will be a full investigation. In other words, we want to know the truth." - George W. Bush

Of course, as was often the case when Bush said he would do something in an honorable way, he didn't really mean it.

Posted by: SteveT on April 27, 2009 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's not clear whether Bush was proud of being the leadership a democracy, or whether he was sad that he was not a dictator.

Andrew Sullivan also reminds us that it's not just that torture is illegal (UNCAT), it's that cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners is illegal (Geneva).

If anyone says waterboarding is not torture, one can say 'It is, but even if you think it is not, you have to agree that it is at least 'inhuman' treatment.'

Posted by: Ohioan on April 27, 2009 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

The apoplectic far-right tends to forget the history of its own spokespeople, especially if such memories prove to be inconvenient to the rants and rage such ilk seem to need to display on an hourly basis. And the likes of Gingrich and Limbaugh are left wondering why their currency of bigotry and hate is now not worth the lips it spews from! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 27, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

I had to read this several times and I also check to make sure it wasn't George H Bush.

How in the hell did GWB put a paragraph together like that ? No made up words, no repeating the same thing 3 times, no straw man, WTF ?. They must have had a stand in for when he traveled.

Just another reason for the right to claim Bush wasn't a real conservative.

Posted by: ScottW on April 27, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

If you want an illustration of how Republican politics is about keeping the status-quo disguised within cheap talking points, look no farther than the vast contradictions and hypocrisy vomited out of their mouths. Damn, technology makes it harder for their bullshit to get lost in the fray like it used to.

Posted by: oh my on April 27, 2009 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

We always knew that Bush was a hypocrite, but this quote shows exactly how calculating he was. Remember how much Dubya enjoyed being "misunderestimated?" He played the pickup driving, brush-cutting, swaggering, inarticulate cowboy very well. But as the legacy of the Bush dynasty, and son of a former president and former head of the CIA, Bush 43 sure knew how to corrupt our system to promote his own ideaological agenda and protect his hide. We should be patient to allow more information to come out before a special prosecutor is named, and everyone clams up. Let the rats begin to scurry in panic and the frightened canaries sing!

Posted by: Carol A on April 27, 2009 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

the Joke's on us.
He had his fingers crossed.

Posted by: apeman on April 27, 2009 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Like Bush us to do, you mean railroad a couple dumb hicks?

Posted by: pantywaists on April 27, 2009 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think the King of Jordan put it well. People though out the Middle East are looking to see if the rule of law is real or not in America. Just like many of our closet friends, that stopped working with us on intelligence issues, are wondering if America has turned a corner or not. McCain is a good example of someone saying they are against torture, but do not want anyone held accountable nor want talk about it.

Amazing and real.

Let's see... I read that there had been over 400 Armed Services cases against military personnel... and 4000 dead US people overseas, 100,000 dead Iraqis, and 2,000,000 refuges

Nothing like torture to try and get a link to justify the Iraq war!!!! Sure torture works...

Posted by: john on April 27, 2009 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

And the poor U.S. soldiers who were scapegoated by the Bush/Cheney administration and sent to jail over the Abu Ghraib scandal were reportedly just "softening up" detainees before they were questioned by the interrogators, whether CIA or private contract torturers-for-hire, who used "enhanced interrogation techniques" (i.e. torture) as approved by top Bush/Cheney administration officials.

Posted by: The Oracle on April 28, 2009 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK



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