The map to the left shows the trend.
Any challenges to the trend will be handled in the First Interstate Starchamber of Amurka, previously designated as the FISA court.
One thing that the new right-wing star chamber will not do is the required prosecution for torture, even though it is in our law so clearly that once upon a time even police officers were indicted and prosecuted for doing water boarding (President Reagan Puts Cheney In Jail).
But now, we have devolved from that kinder and gentler place to the far right, where now the police can murder in open public and not even be charged by state officials.
A place where international treaties and US laws against torture are systematically ignored:
Readers don't have to go far into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report before their stomachs start to turn. Detainees pushed to the edge of death, threatened with sexual assault, made to wear diapers and force-fed by way of a rectal tube -- and that’s just in the first few pages.(No Torture Prosecutions, cf. Torture is a Crime). Officials in the agencies that did the torture lie about it in public, on camera, without accountability.
But despite the gruesome details, nobody at the CIA or in the military has been prosecuted for any wrongdoing related to the brutal interrogations. And it doesn't appear that's about to change.
It's up to the Justice Department to decide if legal charges should be brought. Beginning in 2009, John Durham, a special prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder, looked into allegations of people being mistreated while in the custody of the U.S. government after the 9/11 attacks and ended up conducting two criminal investigations. But the Justice Department declined to prosecute in either case on the grounds that the admissible evidence wasn't sufficient "to obtain and sustain convictions beyond a reasonable doubt," according to a department spokesman.
Public figures such as Cheney and Bush II are in denial about there being anything wrong with them torturing people.
Meanwhile, drones that are piloted and navigated from Nevada kill innocent people (and perhaps some guilty people too) even as the current Obama administration sees nothing wrong with that (we don't know if those victims are innocent or guilty because they are not charged and tried as our constitution requires, rather, they are blown to bits).
All this is a stain upon the reputation of the U.S. and its people, which makes foreign policy much more difficult.
The loss of reputation comes at a time when we are clearly in decline in other areas (Phases Of An Empire Freezing To Death - 2, Economic War Of The Pacific - 4, Another Sign of Another Layer in the Oil Wars? - 2).
The elephant in the room is that the Senate Torture Report is written history posing as oversight, yet we know that true oversight must be at least done in real time, but it's even better when there is foresight in the oversight.
Otherwise, it is as if the ship of state is being steered by looking in the rear view mirror to see where we have been, instead of steering by looking out the front wind-shield to see where we are headed (Titanic Mistakes Using The W Compass).
This kind of psychotic official thinking is what destroys the fabric of once-healthy societies, because good governing requires vision and good morals.
The world is quite aware of the situation and has spoken out in public demanding a prosecution of those who did torture or aided and abetted it:
The summary of the Feinstein report which was released this afternoon confirms what the international community has long believed – that there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law.(UN Official: Prosecute “Systematic Crimes and Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law”, emphasis added). Some Americans who have followed the situation are more harsh than the U.N. official:
The identities of the perpetrators, and many other details, have been redacted in the published summary report but are known to the Select Committee and to those who provided the Committee with information on the programme.
It is now time to take action. The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today’s report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes.
The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorised at a high level within the US Government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability.
It is no defence for a public official to claim that they were acting on superior orders. CIA officers who physically committed acts of torture therefore bear individual criminal responsibility for their conduct, and cannot hide behind the authorisation they were given by their superiors.
However, the heaviest penalties should be reserved for those most seriously implicated in the planning and purported authorisation of these crimes. Former Bush Administration officials who have admitted their involvement in the programme should also face criminal prosecution for their acts.
President Obama made it clear more than five years ago that the US Government recognises the use of waterboarding as torture. There is therefore no excuse for shielding the perpetrators from justice any longer. The US Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible.
Torture is a crime of universal jurisdiction. The perpetrators may be prosecuted by any other country they may travel to. However, the primary responsibility for bringing them to justice rests with the US Department of Justice and the Attorney General.
From now on, the US is a human rights violator of the first order under international law, a rogue state that has explicitly tortured innocent people and never held anyone legally responsible. I know that sounds terribly harsh. But how is it untrue? And to refuse to prosecute war crimes is to condone war crimes. Not burglary or robbery – but the gravest crimes against humanity that we can imagine. The perpetrators walk among us, many still in the CIA, and some holding presidential Medals of Freedom. Whatever absurd self-congratulations about this report, we should be in no doubt that this makes us no better in this respect than some South American junta before the transition to democracy.(How Obama Backed Impunity For War Crimes, emphasis added). Has the U.S. now evolved so far to the right that it is now a refuge for war criminals and the MOMCOM of ISIS (Isis: the inside story, How Neocons led US to war in Iraq)?
The previous post in this series is here.
"Revolution", The Beatles (lyrics)