The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.
All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity;
All the invocations of World War Three, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists…
All of it is now — after one revelation last week — transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the re-focusing of our entire nation, towards keeping this mock president, and this unstable vice president, and this departed wildly self-over-rating Attorney General — and the others — from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country.
“Waterboarding is torture,” Daniel Levin was to write.
Daniel Levin was no theorist and no protestor.
He was no troublemaking politician.
He was no table-pounding commentator.
Daniel Levin was an astonishingly patriotic American, and a brave man.
Brave not just with words or with stances — even in a dark time when that kind of bravery can usually be scared — or bought — off.
Charged — as you heard in the story from ABC News last Friday — with assessing the relative legality of the various nightmares in the Pandora’s box that is the Orwell-worthy euphemism “Enhanced Interrogation,” Mr. Levin decided that the simplest, and the most honest, way to evaluate them… was to have them enacted upon himself.
Daniel Levin took himself to a military base and let himself be water-boarded.
Mr. Bush — ever done anything that personally courageous?
Perhaps when you’ve gone to Walter Reed and teared up over the maimed servicemen? And then gone back to the White House and determined that there would be more maimed servicemen?
Has it been that kind of personal courage, Mr. Bush, when you’ve spoken of American victims and the triumph of freedom and the sacrifice of your own popularity for the sake of our safety? And then permitted others to fire or discredit or destroy anybody who disagreed with you — whether they were your own Generals, or… Max Cleland, or… Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame… or Daniel Levin?
Daniel Levin should have a statue in his honor in Washington right now.
Instead, he was forced out as Acting Assistant Attorney General, nearly three years ago, because he had the guts to do what George Bush couldn’t do in a million years: actually put himself at risk for the sake of his country, for the sake of what is right.
And they water-boarded him and he wrote that even though he knew those doing it meant him no harm, and he knew they would rescue him at the instant of the slightest distress, and he knew he would not die — still, with all that reassurance, he could not stop the terror screaming from inside of him, could not quell the horror, could not convince that which is at the core of each of us — the entity who exists behind all the embellishments we strap to ourselves, like purpose and name and family and love — he could not convince his being… that he wasn’t drowning.
Water-boarding, he said, is torture.
Sadly however, such propaganda from this President is par for the course.