When Barack Obama defeated John McCain the 2008 presidential election it was said that the grownups were taking over, that his presidency would heal America’s divisions, and that his administration would be the most competent and ethical ever. None of these promises have been kept.
Democrats persist, despite Mr. Obama’s obvious ambivalence on the subject, to push their incredibly divisive and ill-advised plan to publicly punish Bush administration officials whose crime was to prosecute the War on Terror to the best of their ability. Moreover, they’re doing so while claiming not to be on a partisan witch hunt. But the black hats and broomsticks give them away.
John McCain says that the new administration should not investigate the former’s leaders and he’s right. Whatever happened happened. It’s over and the so-called grownups are in charge now to make sure that it will never happen again. Or so they say.
The torture issue is both a tempest in a teapot and a red herring. Perfect, in other words, for brutalizing the political opposition for doing what had to be done, when it had to be done.
Using classic media double-talk, Frank Rich says that America needs to put the Bush administration on trial for the world to see, claiming that “President Obama can talk all he wants about not looking back, but this grotesque past is bigger than even he is. It won’t vanish into a memory hole any more than Andersonville, World War II internment camps or My Lai.”
Rich’s statement is ridiculous, as is his attempt to link the interrogations to the Iraq invasion. First, the vast majority of Americans agree with John McCain when he says that the railroading of our security apparatus needs to stop where it is. Second, the rough handling of 9/11 conspirator and murderer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a handful of other terrorists, while probably meeting the definition of torture in the minds of the average American, was entirely justified by their bloodthirsty actions and future intentions – see Mumbai for questions. Third, it is imperative that America’s security leadership and field personnel have the latitude to do what they must to protect this country – again, reference Mumbai to resolve doubts.
None of this is pretty or anything to be proud of. Americans know that, just as they know that it’s past time to move on and deal with the world as it exists now, not as it was in the shadow of 9/11. It’s the grownup thing to do and the one thing that Democrats and media pundits eager for political revenge can’t seem to accept the need for. But it’s what’s best for the country and they need to let the issue go – now – and turn their full attention to the moment.
The fact is that no one died as a result of the harsh interrogation tactics Frank Rich and other liberals decry from the safety of their cushy offices – safety in part derived from the Bush administration’s actions. Meanwhile the country is now on red alert because of the very real possibility of a swine flu epidemic, a story that much more important than the non-issue that Rich calls bigger than Barack Obama himself.
Over 80 people have already died from the influenza mutation in Mexico and it is spreading northward. Despite the danger, this deadly situation was not brought to the American public’s attention in a timely manner. One must believe that it would have received more attention and a higher level of priority had our leaders and our media been doing the real work of keeping America safe instead of sharpening the long knives.