Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Banner Day: New Stuff From Naomi Wolf and Max Blumenthal

Max, the indefatigable, first, on the disproportionate influence of Israeli "settlers" on Israeli national and international policy.

You/we should know, by now, that Israel is NOT interested in a 'two-state solution.' Settlers are the thin end of the 'ethnic-cleansing' wedge. Israel cannot tolerate a competing, independent state within its borders, unless they are (in effect) Bantustans such as the Boers set up for the South African Blacks, to keep them isolated and segregated; or establish reservations on which nominally coherent "nations" preserve a useful fiction of autonomy, as is the case with indigenous peoples in the US and Canada.

Meanwhile, Naomi Wolf asks the (musical? rhetorical?) question, viz the withheld torture/abuse fotos from Iraq: Why No Investigation?
Last week, I blogged here on The Huffington Post with evidence rebutting the Pentagon's denials of Taguba's confirmation to the British newspaper the Telegraph that male-on-male rape and male-on-female rape are pictured in the detainee abuse photos that Obama has suddenly decided to suppress. All weekend, though, I had an uneasy feeling -- that feeling you have when you've had a nightmare while you were sleeping that you can't quite recall.

As I was researching this story today, I remembered what it was: think back to 2005. We were still in shock after the Abu Ghraib photos came out. The Bush White House -- oddly, it seemed to me at the time -- invited scores of lawmakers from both parties to a private screening of the abuse photos and even four videos that did not get released at that time. They emerged, to a man and a woman, shocked. They spoke in public, on the record, by name, of having witnessed scenes of rape, sodomy, and violent sexual assault against children.

I even wrote about this screening in The End of America; I had interpreted the motivation for showing these scenes as being one of intimidation.

Now I am not so sure -- now I think the motive was to implicate any potential opposition. If Bush et al showed these images, and the Congresspeople did nothing -- a damn good bet -- well, the Bush team would have taken the wind out of any prosecutorial impulses.

Why are the Congressional leadership of both parties bizarrely silent now, when the American people are demanding an investigation and prosecution of the crimes represented in just two of 87 of those scenes?

Because they were there then -- saw it -- all of it -- at a weirdly perverse, practically red-carpet, private snuff-film screening -- and they evidently went along with it. Read this quote, which appears again below, carefully:
The military later screened some of the images for lawmakers, who said they showed, among other things, attack dogs snarling at cowed prisoners, Iraqi women forced to expose their breasts, and naked prisoners forced to have sex with each other.
It would seem that the lawmakers, having personally witnessed these same images, did nothing. Pursued nothing. Investigated nothing. Accepted a whitewash. Called to prosecute nothing.
Wolf's outrage is, if anything, too modest. However, I've maintained since the very beginning that the Obamanistae would do absolutely NOTHING to hold the Busheviks to account for their crimes, mal- and misfeasances. I stand by that prediction. There are no 'innocents' in this. The whole government conspired, collaborated, contributed to commit the wholesale violations of human rights, international and national law, and the 'best' USer (mythological) traditions. THAT'S why there will never be ANY investigations, tribunals, commissions, or anything else: Everybody is covered in shit.


kelley b. said...

I find it interesting the new head of the Afghan theater is implicated in both torture and assasination in Iraq.

Nobody will ever get prosecuted, because the prosecutors would likely get a very short ride in a small airplane.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Sy Hersch claims he supervised Cheney's 'death squad.'

I think we should just avoid airplanes as a matter of principle...