This report is bi-partisan, unequivocal, and damning. Bush knew about torture, and actively authorized it. John McCain's signature is on the report, as is every other Republican member of that committee. This is not a matter of a Democratic-controlled Senate taking potshots at an outgoing Republican president. This is a universal condemnation by leaders of BOTH parties. Andrew Sullivan's take is here. And I agree with every single word:
"Let's be absolutely clear what this means: When we saw an image of Lynndie England pulling a naked prisoner around on a leash, we assumed at the time that she improvised this, or was some kind of "bad apple." This is and was a conscious lie to the Congress, and to the American people, and to the world. The person who authorized the use of nudity and leashes on prisoners was not Lynndie England or any of the other grunts thrown to the wolves. The man who authorized the technique shown below is the president of the United States:"Me again: I want to make a few things about this post abundantly clear. First, yes, I'm a passionate hater of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. I hate them so much I cannot stand to look at them. They are disgusting plutocrats who care for nothing but absolute power (Cheney maintained his stock holdings in Haliburton while they were being awarded non-competitive bids to rebuild Iraq, which made him even more obscenely wealthy than he already was. Add "war profiteer" to his list of crimes). I detest them in the same way I detest all of their lot throughout history. But I have reasons to hate them. They have disgraced our country in a way we have seldom seen. They have authorized TORTURE, a clear violation of American law, the Geneva conventions, common decency, and CHRISTIAN VIRTUE. Not that such virtue matters to me, per se, but I'm throwing that out there for the sake of certain people in my life who have chided me (if not reamed me out) for my hatred of Bush/Cheney as being "unChristian."
You're assuming they're true Christians in the first place. And you're assuming that hatred and Christianity are mutually incompatible.
But I digress...the facts are this: Bush and Cheney are criminals. They should be in prison. They have disgraced a country I love (however much I may bitch about it and however angry and disgusted it makes me at times). They deserve to be punished, shamed, and degraded for all time. They divided us for the sake of political divide-and-conquer tactics at a time when they could have made the most of the unity brought about by the 9/11 attacks. Bush said, "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists." To which I say, sir, that true patriotism is the ability to criticize your country when it is in the wrong. It's like a marriage: you tell your spouse they're embarrassing you because you love them, not despite that. And fuck you for calling us un-American, sir, when you crapped on the Bill of Rights and spied on Americans unlawfully.
And before you accuse me of shitting on "the troops," I say this: There have been plenty of honorable, brave people conducting themselves in this war in the finest tradition of the American military. But my admiration stops when certain people stoop to this kind of conduct. You are at that instant the perpetrator of atrocity, not a soldier doing your duty. And there are numerous accounts of people refusing, most notably JAG lawyers who resigned rather than prosecute Guantanamo inmates whose confessions had been tortured out of them.
I have other friends who say that we need time to let history judge Bush. To which I retort: William Shirer met the same resistance to his book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. There are some instances in which the facts are so clear, so unequivocal, and so shameful that we need to confront them immediately (which is more than I can say for most of the mainstream media and the White House press corps collectively). This is a blight on our nation's history that needs to be dealt with right now, not after we know whether or not the intel for going into Iraq was valid at the time (that's another blog post). It's how we conducted ourselves afterward that showed that we were led by the same type of monsters that al-Qaeda recruits were taught to believe we were run by.
And you will never, ever, change my mind about any of this, so don't even try.