David Kirkpatrick

December 17, 2008

Greenwald v. Douthat on torture

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:35 pm

The Atlantic.com’s Ross Douthat contributed a very namby-pamby post to the news a bipartisan Senate report directly implicates a large portion of the Bush 43 administration — including the president himself — in the systematic use of torture and de facto commission of war crimes.

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has been covering the report in detail this week and completely takes Douthat to task in this post.

There is no ambiguity in the report and it’s sad to see the right either just ignore it, try to discredit it or even attempt to justify the criminal acts of the Bush 43 regime.

From the link:

The Atlantic‘s Ross Douthat has a post today — “Thinking About Torture” — which, he acknowledges quite remarkably, is the first time he has “written anything substantial, ever, about America’s treatment of detainees in the War on Terror.”   He’s abstained until today due to what he calls “a desire to avoid taking on a fraught and desperately importantly (sic) subject without feeling extremely confident about my own views on the subject.”

I don’t want to purport to summarize what he’s written.  It’s a somewhat meandering and at times even internally inconsistent statement.  Douthat himself characterizes it as “rambling” — befitting someone who appears to think that his own lack of moral certainty and borderline-disorientation on this subject may somehow be a more intellectually respectable posture than those who simplistically express “straightforward outrage.”  In the midst of what is largely an intellectually honest attempt to describe the causes for his ambiguity, he actually does express some “straightforward outrage” of his own.  About the widespread abuse, he writes:  “it should be considered impermissible as well as immoral” and “should involve disgrace for those responsible, the Cheneys and Rumsfelds as well as the people who actually implemented the techniques that the Vice President’s office promoted and the Secretary of Defense signed off on.”

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