The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan, who claims “Of No Party or Clique”—is widely regarded as a passionate conservative, although he certainly seems to run with the elitist Left of Center journalists with the perpetually raised eyebrow and expertise in third-world coffees when he weighs in on the decision by POTUS Obama to retain secrecy of alleged US-led torture photos.
The Czar has been entertained by hearing a number of Obama supporters (not necessarily Liberals, but folks who voted for him) openly questioning this decision. This is no surprise, as reported here and here, but it is nevertheless entertaining to hear his supporters asking the same questions most of us have been asking since 2006.
But the Czar is surprised to have heard—twice now—Obama supporters saying, with no hint of sarcasm, that they would have hit the roof had this been Bush. Wow. An acknowledgment of potential self-hypocrisy is often sign that you are not hypocritical, but being open and honest about a double standard.
Not everyone. In Sullivan’s blog, he writes that he can understand hesitation on the subject of military torture “stunningly widespread in the Bush-led military.” Stunningly widespread? And to this, he repeats the claim again later on: “The critical point of releasing the photos is that they will help break through to the American public just how endemic the abuse and torture of prisoners under Bush was. It was everywhere, in every field of combat, committed by every part of the armed services, and in identical fashion: no blood no foul, along the lines of the torture and abuse techniques specifically authorized by Bush. Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld sent a very clear message that spread throughout the entire military and CIA: terrorists are beneath even baseline Geneva protections, any prisoner might be a terrorist, so do to them what you will.”
The Czar must paused and ask what bizarre nonsense could this possibly be. Other than a small enclave of soldiers at Abu Ghraib, how endemic was the abuse? Every part of the armed services was involved? The Czar wonders how the USCG might react to this claim. Identical fashion? Every prisoner or detainee—who was otherwise housed, fed, clothed, chaplained appropriately and respectfully—was tortured? And by tortured, do we mean waterboarded, or do we mean tortured: you know, where we sawed their heads off like Daniel Pearl, or raped and sodomized them like the Jewish rabbi and his wife in India, or burned, shot, kicked and beaten like hundreds of muslims and non-muslims alike by the detainees?
Or is it possible that Andrew Sullivan has no idea what he is talking about?
Abu Ghraib was an aberration, a singular situation that was reported, investigated, and isolated. The individuals responsible, who number in single digits, were identified, prosecuted, and punished. Reports of other abuses were investigated and cleared, and exposed to the general public to show the world that American is Not Like Them. We openly reviewed our policies on the use of torture and declared, possibly for the last time, No More.
There is one horribly itchy truth in all that effort that liberals avoid thinking about with this news story. Was it Mr. Obama who did all that work? No, it was the Demon, George Bush. It was President Bush, and his villified administration, that went to the trouble of slamming the door on this process. Not the angelic Mr. Obama, whom the Czar thinks deserves credit for acknowledging that which his Democratic predecessor rarely could: sometimes, the military is right and does things for good reasons.
How exactly is Andrew Sullivan of No Party and of No Clique, and a savior of the conservatives, when he espouses so much liberal moonbattery? Or maybe he just dug himself into a hole when he wrote his book on the subject.
The Czar is not sure, but he is pretty confident that equating Abu Ghraib and waterboarding with the same level of torture employed by the enemy is a painfully multicultural synonym.