Torture 0 Baseball 2 — Congress Moves to Deal with Steroid Abuse While Detainee Abuse Languishes

In the ultimate expression of congressional — and possibly cultural — values, two full hearings have been ordered only a day into the renewed controversy over steroid abuse in baseball. This follows numerous hearings in prior years. Members are falling over themselves to get camera time on the issue. However, with the disclosure of an official program of torture ordered by the President, not a single public hearing has been scheduled other than a recent general hearing on waterboarding in the Senate. It appears that steroid abuse is simply more of a pressing issue that detainee abuse for the nation.

Indeed, Democrats still resist using the “t” word. It is as if there was nothing on the tapes destroyed by the CIA. Members refers obliquely to the destruction of “evidence.” Evidence of what? The tapes were destroyed because they showed acts long ago defined as torture — a crime. Yet, members are demanding answers on whether some over-priced jock took chemical enhancers. It is hard not to see the sharp difference of attention to the two scandals as a sad statement on the moral state of our Republic.

At the moment, Congress has held a secret hearing before the same Senate Intelligence Committee that was told years ago about the torture program. Judiciary held a rather pathetic hearing on waterboarding that continued to foster the idea that there was some doubt about its status as torture and without addressing the serious criminality of ordering such torture of suspects.

Leaders have also promised the standard “investigation” into the matter while moving on to more important matters. If only Abu Zubaydah pitches for the Angels rather than Al Qaida. (Of course, Al Qaida are no angels, but neither are the people who order the torture of suspects.)

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7 thoughts on “Torture 0 Baseball 2 — Congress Moves to Deal with Steroid Abuse While Detainee Abuse Languishes”

  1. Daniel B,

    Well said.

    There is a terrible seduction that has gone since the Iraq incursion. You cannot know, until you have served, or been exposed to the military there on fact-finding missions, just how seductive is membership in the defense/military community if even as a civilian supporter. It has twisted quite a few otherwise sober civilian heads. Actually the ex-military are more resistant to the phenomena than the civilian overseers.

    Something in our primate psychology I suspect, but it has been pernicious in dulling opposition to the so-called “war on terror” that has been conflated with the Iraq occupation.

  2. I suspect the reason Democrats with oversight responsibility shy away from characterizing waterboarding as “torture” is that they at least have some tiny remnant of moral conscience at work, which makes them privately embarrassed that their quiet acquiescence makes them complicit with an act that to any reasonable person would simply be both immoral and illegal. With few exceptions, it appears the majority of Republicans lack the moral conscience to feel much of anything in this regard. In a word, they are “shameless”. In their world, they deem their actions to be “right” simply because they do them.

    As I see it, those who refuse to come to terms with their complicity through silence are no less guilty than those who are the direct perpetrators of immorality and illegality.

  3. The url link I provided above was probably far too long and I am told can set up a problem for the thread.

    Moderator, please go ahead and delete the above message from me.

    The issues being linked were on the Administration’s attempt to control promotion within the JAG and to introduce political metrics– and the revival of a fairly toxic 1930’s era German politico-legal philosophy in, of all places, a 21st century American Republican presidency.

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