All Eyes On Dark Places

Last night I tasted a really nice Montepulciano and read the torture memos. How did you spend YOUR Saturday night?

Stop staring at me.

Anyway, so I come home early last night, trying to get a little rest (no, I don’t have swine flu, thanks for asking) because I’ve been suffering from an allergic eye condition that’s left me a little drained. But can I just shut them and listen to music or something like a normal person? No, I have one recurring, irrepressible thought: “I should read the torture memos.”

“I’ll read them slowly,” I assure myself, “and I will rest my eyes in between pages or paragraphs if necessary.”

Then came the shock.

Absolutely nowhere on the web could I find the memos in either printable form or in a font size that can be anything but, you know, torture, on ailing eyes like mine.I supposed they had to do it this way to prevent people from trying to get at what’s in the classified portions. Why can’t someone come up with a foolproof (and evil-genius-proof) way to redact text? As Seinfeld would have said… “they can put a man on the moon…!”

Maybe it’s in extremely poor taste to be writing so lightheartedly about acts of torture – and whether they were committed by the public servants of this country that I adore especiallybecause it’s the kind of place where things like this are not supposed to happen (and yes, wingnuts, this makes for a better patriot than loving it just because you were born here and shouting about how it’s the greatest nation on earth while doing everything in your power to turn it into your own version of Afghanistan under Taliban rule).

But really, sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh, or you go crazy. Jon Stewart has kept me sane (arguably) for the last eight years.

Lest I sound partisan, I assure you, I’m still holding my breath on this new administration. . . . I applaud them for taking certain steps, but I have my concerns. Besides, it’s relatively easy to do the mea culpa thing on behalf of your predecessors with whom, despite the succession of office, you truly don’t identify yourself (and everyone knows this). But precisely because of the enormously enlarged executive the Cheney Administration has bestowed on its successor, we need to watch Obama with HAWK EYES.We can be lenient on his effectiveness with the economy and such things – he inherited a bigger mess, after all, than is reasonable to expect any government to fix overnight. But we have to be ABSOLUTELY vigilant in holding him to his promise of “conducting our business in the clear light of day” and not “corroding the character of our country.”

We have to demand to shine a light into any activity that starts to become shrouded in darkness as they did so often in the last administration.

Mr. Obama, I don’t just want to hear you say “we won’t torture.” That’s only one letter from what Mr. Bush told us. I want other people, neutral people with top security clearance – judges, members of congress (including Republicans and Independents), and senior military people – to say in public that they are being briefed on what’s going on and they agree with you that: We. Don’t. Torture.

ps, I did manage to get through a couple of the of the memos. And found the others reproduced in enlargeable text. . . I’ll talk substance in another post soon.

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