Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama and the Truth

HuffPo has given some ink space to a poster boy of rendition torture, Mohamed Farag Bashmilah, who claims to have been an innocent victim of the CIA's gulag system. Released in 2006 from a prison in Yemen after rendition, here's his suggested reciprocity:
I believe that acknowledgment is the first step toward accounting for a wrongdoing. The American public needs to face what has happened to those of us who were disappeared and mistreated in the name of their national security, demand accountability for those who committed torture and other crimes, and acknowledge the suffering of those who became victims. Today, a group of concerned Americans called on President Obama to take the first steps to do just that, by demanding that he establish an independent commission of inquiry into the treatment of detainees in the "War on Terror."
Love the scare quotes. But he's not done yet:
It is my hope that the President will not only establish this commission, but that he will also direct the relevant authorities to investigate and prosecute those who broke American laws in ordering the torture and disappearance of people like me. Truth and justice are not in opposition; both are necessary, and both are the right of all Americans and the victims harmed in their name.
So who is this guy? Good luck finding anything. HuffPo didn't provide much background and Google is now bombed with his article. His wiki site doesn't shine much light ether, concentrating mainly on his rendition tale. It would be nice to get an answer from the government on why they grabbed him and, if he was innocent, what they offered him in recompense. We can't just go around snatching innocent people even if in the name of terrorism, so that's a worthy complaint.

But that's not the point of this post. HuffPo is the same rag that immediately stepped up to defend the Iraqi shoe-thrower, so it's doubtful their column space was about pure justice. More likely they are using Mr. Bashmilah to exact some juicy BDS political revenge or else they would have stressed the fact we've been grabbing terrorists in this manner going on 15 years now.

If they get their orgasmic truth commission what are the odds Micheal Scheuer would be called to testify? How about Obama's new terrorism advisor John O. Brennan? Or the second in command at Langley, Stephen Kappes? Or a man associated with the husband of our current Secretary of State? None of course, unless their testimony could somehow be narrowed to only the BushCheneyburton era. And indeed, that's what they are proposing (emphasis added):
Leaders from across the political spectrum, including a former FBI director, an Army general who investigated detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, and a former Under Secretary of State, today called upon President Obama to appoint a non-partisan commission to examine policies related to the detention, treatment, and transfer of detainees following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Chances are Obama will continue to frustrate this mob while he's in the process of figuring out what to do with the Gitmo thugs (or freedom fighters. whichever). He's also got to be careful not to push the right wing too far since he'll soon need to pick their pocket to fund things like universal health care and amnesty for illegal aliens. So later, perhaps.

MORE 2/20/09

Perhaps this is part of why Cheney told Leahy to go do it with himself. The Senator advocates a truth commission to determine 'what went wrong' during the previous administration, then blubbers:
Two years ago, I described the scandals of the Bush-Cheney-Gonzales Justice Department as the worst since Watergate. They were. We are still digging out from the debris. We need to get to the bottom of what went wrong after a dangerous and disastrous diversion from American law and values. The American people have a right to know what their government has done in their names.
Seems to me his verdict is already in. Constitutionally speaking, of course.

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