Monday, June 25, 2007

Seymour Hersh: Heartbreaker

You want to be horribly depressed? Scared out of your wits? Have your heart broken in tiny little shards?
Just read this prophet of doom's dispatches from the New Yorker. The latest is about the cover up of the scandal of Abu Ghraib. There is nothing we didn't know already. We know that the rank and file paid for the offenses of high ranking officials who were never punished for it. But in this account of General Antonio Taguba's principled investigation and his subsequent demotion and humiliation, what we knew all along is manifestly clear: that Donald Rumsfeld is a lying succubus from hell. Not only that, he is mean spirited, cowardly and revolting, as is the Bush regime.
One of the reasons why I was happy to leave Enchiladaland was because I felt that as a citizen I had no recourse in a land of corruption and impunity. Naively, I thought that here in the US this would not be the case. And it isn't, unless it involves two utterly evil people: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and whoever is beholden to them (which includes, in the case of Cheney, the President of the United States).
It is not only that they do whatever the hell they please, running roughshod over the laws of this country, but that the whole tenor of their government is suffused with nastiness. They are arrogant, contemptuous of the citizenry, and they make a mockery of the office in which they serve. They have completely eroded whatever shred of decency or integrity this country can lay claim to. Maybe they have not been the first and only ones, but they are certainly the most brazen. They have used a national tragedy to subvert the laws and to consolidate power. They have used it to instill fear and to stifle dissent (and to kill our own young in a mistaken war).
After them, how many years will it take to cleanse the scum off words like "freedom" and "liberty" and "democracy"? And I'm not even talking about the real, irreversible damage of their foreign policy.
Some tyrants have a modicum of charm, or likability, of, at the very least, some redeeming quality. Not these miscreants. It is unfathomable to me that we continue to abide them.

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