I pity President Obama. He didn't inherit just one shit sandwich, but two: a deeply broken economy and the legacy of the Bush Administration's disastrous war policies. I have some sympathy with his desire to "put the past behind us", but as Frank Rich argues persuasively today that's impossible.
Until there is true transparency and true accountability, revelations of that unresolved eight-year nightmare will keep raining down drip by drip, disrupting the new administration's high ambitions.What's new this week? It looks like in 2003 Cheney ordered cooperating prisoners to be tortured to help support the fabricated Iraq/Al Qaeda connection. Meanwhile Rumsfeld was distributing war briefings with Bible quotes about America's Crusade. The Pentagon now admits the truth of the story that they used retired generals to manipulate the media. Nancy Pelosi is either lying about her approval of CIA torture or else revealing just how useless she and the rest of Congress are in the face of an abusive executive. And now Obama is helping hide the photographic evidence of prisoner abuse.
There's no ignoring this stuff. The Bush Administration conducted some very dangerous, ill considered business to get its war in Iraq. And it illegally tortured people. There has to be accountability for that. The truth needs to come out and the people responsible for criminal acts need to be jailed. I know the economy is a disaster and the Obama administration has another agenda, but we have to start from a firm moral foundation.