Monday :: Jan 19, 2009

The First Official Act

by Turkana

When Barack Obama becomes president, tomorrow, his first official act should be to ban torture. Nothing else would more clearly delineate the full and final break this nation is making from the legal and moral turpitude that was the Bush Administration. For logistical and practical reasons, Obama cannot immediately end the war or shut down Gitmo- although both must be done as quickly as is possible. He cannot immediately stop our economic free-fall. He cannot immediately begin to repair the possibly irreversible damage done by Bush to the environment. But he can ban torture. He can order all government entities that are in any way involved with torture to stop immediately. He can make clear that any government officials still involved with torture will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and possibly turned over to international officials for possible war crimes violations.

Corporate media and other Beltway types want Obama neither to end torture nor to prosecute the Bush officials who signed off on it. The law necessitates that he do both. And in this ostensible nation of laws, no one should be above the law. If we are, indeed, a nation of laws.

Last Friday, Big Tent Democrat wrote the following:

...the Beltway wants the torture policy of the Bush Administration swept under the rug and forgotten...

With all due respect to one of my favorite bloggers, I don't think he goes far enough. The Beltway doesn't just want Bush's torture regime swept away and forgotten, it wants Obama to be complicit in it. Because the enabling of the Beltway and the corporate media made them complicit in it.

The best thing our newly inaugurated president can do, tomorrow, is to attempt to begin to establish a fundamental sense of moral and legal integrity in this nation. And to stop hurting people for no reason. As of tomorrow, solving and resolving all of Bush's countless messes, crimes, and disasters becomes Barack Obama's responsibility. Barack Obama's first act as president should be to ban torture.

Turkana :: 8:22 AM :: Comments (19) :: Digg It!