Friday, February 11, 2005

It Won't Be Long
Since the evidence of American torture practices first surfaced, what has disturbed me the most about torturing terrorist suspects in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib has little to do with Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, awful as the abuses we know about have been in those places. What disturbs me the most is the likelihood--the inevitability--that one day, it won't be happening only in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib; it will be happening here. "If you build it, they will come," says Digby, and if you believe, as many conservative legal scholars do (including, apparently, the new Attorney General of the United States) that the president can order any action he deems necessary for any purpose he deems necessary, there is absolutely nothing to stop him from ordering domestic enemies to be "disappeared" and clapped off to Guantanamo one day, or even to be tortured on American soil. Repeat: Nothing. The rule of law is finished. At first, it will be brown Americans with "foreign-sounding" names--but there's no reason why it couldn't be white Americans with European names, and someday, it probably will be.

The off-the-charts madness of this cannot be understated. It will, however, be under-debated and under-understood--which is what makes Digby's post so important. Go read.

WTF Moment of the Week: The word is pronounced "nuclear," not "nucular," and even an administration that claims to have some special mastery over shaping reality can't change the rules of proper pronunciation. Or can they? On the two most recent episodes of the Fox series 24, characters have used "nucular" instead of "nuclear"--ace terrorist fighter Jack Bauer two episodes back and the show's secretary of defense this past week. Yes, it's Fox, but the entertainment side of the network has generally had little to do with the politics of the news division. Indeed, Fox entertainment shows provide a great deal of the cultural rot many Fox News fans love to decry. But it's mighty weird, and I can't explain it.

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