Friday, May 9, 2008

Immorality Turns to Farce

Not just professional policy makers and academics but anyone with even the most basic sense of decency must be rolling his or her eyes today at the antics of the cabal in charge in Washington. Only in a Monty Python skit could one imagine appointing the head of an outside-the-law prison for torturing Moslems and avoiding letting them come to trial as a representative to a Moslem country. If anything demonstrates conclusively the mindless arrogance and utter amateurishness of the Bush Administration it is the decision to send former Guantanamo prison head Jay Hoodformer to Pakistan as military envoy.

The real question is not why such an inexcusably insulting decision was taken, slapping in the face the new democratically elected Pakistani government; indeed, perhaps that is the reason. (For background on an ominous shift that may be occurring in Washington's attitude toward Pakistan, see the analysis posted by Hassan Abbas.) The real question is why this representative of a U.S. government policy so out-of-line with U.S. constitutional guarantees of right to due process--the cornerstone of democratic freedoms--has not been retired in disgrace and himself brought to trial. But, of course, we all know the answer to that question. Even in an election year, no one--not the candidates, not the American people--has the guts to examine the morality of U.S. behavior since 9/11.

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