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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