amnesia, 2004-5, 35″ x 28″ x 2″, oil, enamel, and inlay on wood click on image for enlargement

Peggy Noonan; “Oh I have reservations about all this. It’s hard for me to look at a great nation issuing these documents and sending them out to the world and thinking oh much good will come of that. Sometimes in life you wanna’ just keep walkin’. History has changed. It does change. We have a new administration, a new way. Sometimes I think just keep walkin’. Don’t always be issuing papers and reports.” And then adds; “some of life has to be mysterious”.

John McCain; a former POW who was himself tortured in North Vietnam; “Maybe, there’s an element of settling old political scores here,” he said. “We need to put this behind us, we need to move forward. We made a commitment that we will never do this again….we need a united nation, not a divided one.”

Barack Obama; “This is a time for reflection, not retribution. I respect the strong views and emotions that these issues evoke. We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history. But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. Our national greatness is embedded in America’s ability to right its course in concert with our core values, and to move forward with confidence.”

David Broder;
“If ever there were a time for President Obama to trust his instincts and stick to his guns, that time is now, when he is being pressured to change his mind about closing the books on the “torture” policies of the past.

Obama, to his credit, has ended one of the darkest chapters of American history, when certain terrorist suspects were whisked off to secret prisons and subjected to waterboarding and other forms of painful coercion in hopes of extracting information about threats to the United States.

He was right to do this. But he was just as right to declare that there should be no prosecution of those who carried out what had been the policy of the United States government. And he was right when he sent out his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to declare that the same amnesty should apply to the lawyers and bureaucrats who devised and justified the Bush administration practices.

One Response to “amnesia”

  1. thivai Says:

    I disagree…. it is an extreme moral failure on the part of Obama to fear to prosecute those that committed and legitimated evil acts in the name of America… what about the low level soldiers serving time while these top level bureaucrats/administrators escape justice?

    He hasn’t ended this dark chapter, he has simply repressed it, and what we repress will eventually erupt with a vengeance.

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