Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just Another Fart In The Outhouse


I just can’t get outraged over stories like this anymore. So the Bush administration may have allowed Chinese agents to interrogate the Uighurs at Guantanamo Bay, and now the Pentagon won’t publicly comment on the matter. Congress, like the little chicken hawk in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons, is getting really, really mad, darn it! They’re threatening to de-fund the Pentagon office in charge of detainee policy.

I’m sure the Pentagon is terrified. If that office is de-funded, wherever will they find the money to continue? I just can’t imagine. Nevertheless, they’ve agreed to answer Congress’s questions in a “closed, classified session.”

A closed, classified session. I think gangsters call this “being sent for.” Congress will be reminded, once again, who’s really boss, and then they’ll mysteriously come around to the Pentagon’s point of view. Afterwards, a few representatives will stand outside the Capital trying their hardest to look like real human beings, and not the rickety marionettes they are, and gravely inform us that revealing any evidence from the hearings would jeopardize national security.

Ah, yes — national security, the catch-all excuse that works every time, like a shot of novocaine straight to the frontal lobe.

The heart of the issue, or I should say the plot of the farce, is that members of Congress were forbidden access to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Apparently, this is a violation of federal law. (Sorry. I’ll start writing again after I stop laughing. A politician insisting on the rule of law is like a child rapist lobbying in defense of the school lunch program). To add insult to injury, even though congressmen were denied their legal right to see prisoners at Gitmo, Chinese agents were given access. This outrage, according to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, is an infringement of the “constitutional balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government.”

Well, we all know how important that is to Congress. Just ask George W. Bush.

This whole dim spectacle is just another footnote in the sordid chapter of American history entitled, The Bush/Cheney Era. Its conclusion will be the same: All the most dangerous and radical precedents will remain quietly embedded in American policy (in this case, teaming up with Chinese interrogators, hiding it from Congress, etc.), the perpetrators will go unpunished, and the whole episode will get flushed down the memory hole. It just doesn’t shock or outrage anymore. The overall effect is one of dispirited resignation.

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