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View Diary: The Evening Blues - 12-13-12 (33 comments)

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  •  The new way (3+ / 0-)

    to sanction too big to fail (or too big of a campaign contributor) companies is by sternly worded statements at Senate committee hearings.  They call them in and scold them, kind of like they did when they had hard evidence of Goldman Sachs defrauding their customers.  Sen. Levin yelled at them, and that was it.  A couple years later the DoJ put out a public statement saying "ollie ollie oxen free!" no prosecution for the squid.  Same with the execs of the other too big to fail criminal banks.  

    The WH and Senate dish out the sternly worded sentences, literally and figuratively.  And that's it. That's the 1% justice.

    I think we are seeing that it applies in other situations of grievous war crimes too.  Today, Sen. McCain issued a sternly worded statement in committee hearing about torture, and said that a declassified version of the torture report should be released and that the honor of our country is on the line, and torture has to be no more (or at least the really bad torture, other forms of it are still allowed in the military code).  Now the people who ordered, designed and carried out that torture were shielded and no prosecutions were done, save the token "bad apple" little guys who went to jail. But people like Rodriguez who was intimately involved with it and who illegally destroyed the evidence tapes?  Scot free.  Even got to write a book and appear on 60 Minutes.  

    So I think this sternly worded statement by McCain and stern statements by others is it -- this is their idea of justice.  Oh, and the advice to never, never do that again!  And pay no attention to those black sites that still exist or the still allowed psychological torture still allowed, or the Bradley Manning treatment, or information about the CIA annex in Libya being used to detain and interrogate militia members. Nothing to see there (until a decade from now, information comes out about what happened during this admin too, possibly, at which time another sternly worded statement from a Senator will be in order).  

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:53:59 PM PST

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    •  sad but true... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, ek hornbeck

      and most of the crooks will never even get a tongue lashing.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:04:28 PM PST

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    •  McCain was right about one thing... (4+ / 0-)

      ...they should release a declassified version. Such documents are frustrating for what we don't know has been excised in the public version, but they do provide a window for people like Marcy Wheeler and others to dig out some valuable information that sometimes produces more of the same.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:27:32 PM PST

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      •  Agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack, ek hornbeck

        I was over there commenting earlier about the same thing and some other thoughts.

        I am very glad that the senators are speaking out about the efficicacy of torture, or rather the lack of, and pushing back against the (what I consider) deceitful way that torture was depicted as a key factor in finding bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty. But I really wish they would make a declassified version of that report available before the movie comes out in wider theater release and before Oscar nominations are decided upon.  And I don't really understand how the senators can issue statements about the broad conclusions of a classified report without that being problematic in terms of disclosing classified information, but that is what they are doing, and again I am glad they are.

        Some commenters believe that a declassified version will never be made public.  I tend to disagree. I think this conviction in European Human Rights court is a big deal to this administration and members of Congress and military brass.  I think the president especially wants to have something in hand that he can refer to when the tough questions come, and when he has to speak with other world leaders.  He wants to be able to say that it was investigated, analyzed, and denounced, and that he has solid evidence for current and future military decision makers, policy makers who might argue for continued torture policies.  I think other prominent leaders like McCain and Feinstein want cover for themselves too. And I think it will be used as some kind of substitute or way to distract from the fact that they never held anyone accountable for these programs.

        I do wonder if a scapegoat or two will be offered up too, but I tend to doubt that. Can't open Pandora's box by going after anyone with any clout who could implicate a lot of others and reveal more and more.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:55:32 PM PST

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        •  I am concerned about the current situation... (4+ / 0-)

          ...but I am certain it is not nearly as bad as it was. What infuriates me is that the guys who ordered torture so blatantly are still making money off there lectures and book tours, walking free instead of sitting somewhere in chains. If they were treated as Bradley Manning has been, you can better their apologists would have a different point of view.

          That, of course, is never going to happen, something we pretty knew by the second week of the Obama administration.

          So be it.  Having had to swallow the fact that these war crimes would never be punished unless you were some sad sack bottom-tier soldier who took photos of the behavior you were given free rein to engage in, the least we should expect now is that we at least get told what happened in detail. That's the last bulwark, weak as it is, against its happening again.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:17:11 PM PST

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