December 19, 2008 12:01 AM
The Torture Report is out, and it tells the story we've long suspected--that the authorization for extreme interrogation techniques came from the highest levels of government. Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales, in particular, signed off on harsh treatment of detainees, despite warnings that what they were authorizing was, in fact, a violation of the Geneva Convention and of our own laws. They listened, instead, to crackpot legal theories put forth by David Addington, assistant to Vice President Cheney and Gonzales, which assigned to the president unprecedented wartime powers to ignore all standards of human decency this nation has subscribed to in war and peace throughout its history. This is one of the saddest chapters in all of American history. We're supposed to be the good guys. We're the good guys because we don't do what the bad guys do. If we do what the bad guys do, then we're the bad guys. You can argue with that, but I'm not listening. I just hope that Obama has the courage to investigate his predecessors and demand not only accountability, but also justice, even if it means putting our nation's war criminals on trial.