|Anthony Romero, ACLU|
Ex Dir/Wikipedia photo
The ACLU, the same folks who said last month that Citizens United is good, now think we should pardon the torturers.
And torturers they are.
And, if not torturers, orderers of torture, which, by law, means they were torturers too.
And, that's not all from an executive summary of the Senate report on the CIA's torture.
We killed one person (that we know of) from hypothermia. Waterboarding, aka simulated drowning, almost did the real thing to at least one person.
For all, that, though, most of the details, such as abu-Zubaydah's death and Gul Rahman's near drowning, have been known for years.
They were known to the general public and to President Obama before he made his pseudo-jocular "we tortured some folks" comment.
And, yet, the Dick Cheneys of the world continue to lie about what this achieved, even as the George Bushes of the world talk about "a few bad apples" and the Barack Obamas of the world refuse to prosecute either one.
Arguably, and connected with it due to salvage sale of surplus hardware, this is the flip side of domestic police violence.
While we're not all bad apples, either in foreign intelligence gathering or domestic policing, we're more than "a few."
And, here, as in a lot of places, power corrupts.
Back to the ACLU and Romero's very-pun-intented tortured reasoning.
Folks, if you want to donate to a civil liberties charity, there's one clear choice.
And, it's NOT the American Civil Liberties Union. It's the Center for Constitutional Rights.
A month after the group, in a press release, said Citizens United was good, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero has said we ought to pardon all the torturers for the torture they ordered to be committed.
This is the same Romero who, in conjunction with then-board president Nadine Strossen, engaged in a purge of "dissident" board members several years ago. I've got more on the purge, with links to extended pieces by Wendy Kaminer, on this blog. (Click the "ACLU" tag.)
Do NOT support the ACLU Nationwide. Period.
And, for a lawyer, Romero's reasoning to justify the pardons is incredibly stupid:
I have come to think that President Obama should issue pardons, after all — because it may be the only way to establish, once and for all, that torture is illegal.
What is the difference between this — essentially granting tacit pardons for torture — and formally pardoning those who authorized torture? In both cases, those who tortured avoid accountability.
But with the tacit pardons, the president leaves open the very real possibility that officials will resurrect the torture policies in the future.
Besides, per Ben Emmerson of the United Nations, torture as a crime against humanity falls under international law, not just US law.
The two psychologists behind reversing the military's SERE training made $80 million for their pains. Let's also not forget that the American Psychological Association has never formally renounced or denounced psychologists participating in torture sessions. (The American Psychiatric Association, on the other hand, has been against it from the start.
That said, this too is nothing new; basic information about this, like most of the rest of the stuff in the Senate's executive summary, came out in 2009. Read this NYT piece.
And, as far as Folks Torturer? He named one of those unapologetic psychologists — the head one at Gitmo — to head up a task force on the health of military families.
Finally, let's not forget that I don't recall the racist, ultra-Zionist New Republic, now thankfully half-dead, ever criticizing this.