In the U.S.eh? nothing has changed in terms of government attitude concerning authoritarianism.
In fact the attitude of U.S. officials may be worse, since public officials like Dick Cheney go around bragging in public about their waterboarding episodes during the Bush II regime.
But, as Dredd Blog has pointed out, things are changing with regard to torture in other places around the globe:
For the past decade, South Africa has been the preferred vacation spot, shopping destination and international transit hub for members of the tyrannical and murderous government ruling its northern neighbor, Zimbabwe — a government that has rigged elections, beaten and killed opposition activists and ruined a once thriving economy. All of this could now change because of a landmark legal decision.(NY Times). The decision faces appeal, yet it does show that there are countries that still may bring prosecutions against U.S. officials who did war crimes, seeing as how no administration here will do so.
Last week, the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital, handed down a historic judgment. It ordered South African authorities to investigate and prosecute members of Robert Mugabe’s government who had tortured their political opponents. Under South African law, the police are obliged to investigate evidence of a crime against humanity, wherever it occurs, if the rule of law does not exist there, as is the case in Zimbabwe.
The ruling has profound implications. It could cement South Africa’s commitment to protecting human rights and broaden the application of universal jurisdiction, which is the ability of countries to prosecute people who committed certain egregious crimes outside its borders.
Previous Dredd Blog posts Democracy School & Too-Big-To-Jail, and The Tortured Past also dealt with this subject.
Here is the text of that 2009 post:
The Bush II regime is "proud to have water boarded" according to Dick Cheney.
I wonder if that goes for a famous captive at GITMO of whom it is said:
"He was deemed innocent of all charges relating to the participation in eventual terrorist activities by judicial decisions in several countries, including the United States," Chevallier said. "Now that he is free, we hope that Lakhdar Boumediene can resume a normal life." ... said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier ...(HuffPo, emphasis added). An innocent man tortured to elicit lies to cover up the despicable crimes of a mad, corrupt, and despicable Bush II regime.
The Supreme Court had ruled in Boumediene's favor in the past. The courts seem to be getting it that the Bush II regime was a pathological liar.
But is the Bush II regime now being protected by an Obama Administration gone awry?
I hope not. Good for the Obama Administration for releasing an innocent person!!!
This is also a microcosm for the condition the United States was left in by the Bush II regime; the U.S. on a stretcher asking the rest of the world for help ... e.g. money from China.
The Obama administration will not be able to change most of the chronic sickness of the society by becoming Ferengi on steroids.