Monday, April 20, 2009

Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes

Today Obama visited the CIA. He gave a little talk, standing in front of the wall commemorating the spooks who died in our many, many secret wars.

WELL, IT’S BETTER THAN EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION: “Well, thank you for the extraordinary welcome.”

And why not an extraordinary welcome? He gave them nothing but praise. They’re doing God’s work, they’re “fundamental to America’s national security,” they’re “the tip of the spear,” but not in a gay way. Basically he went to reassure them that just because he released those memos about their having tortured people doesn’t mean he doesn’t love and appreciate them.

WHICH IS TOO BAD, BECAUSE THAT’S KIND OF WHO YOU HAVE TO PROTECT AGAINST: “I understand that it’s hard when you are asked to protect the American people against people who have no scruples and would willingly and gladly kill innocents.”

UNLIKE THE CIA??? “Al Qaeda is not constrained by a constitution.”

WELL ISN’T THAT SPECIAL? “What makes the United States special, and what makes you special, is precisely the fact that we are willing to uphold our values and our ideals even when it’s hard, not just when it’s easy; even when we are afraid and under threat, not just when it’s expedient to do so.” This as he reassures torturers etc etc.

POTENTIALLY: “So don’t be discouraged by what’s happened in the last few weeks. Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes.” Mistakes? Or, rather, some potential mistakes? Okay, I could see how you could accidentally waterboard somebody thirty or forty times, but I’m pretty sure if you do it 183 times, you’re doing it on purpose.

He continued, “That’s how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be president of the United States, and that’s why you should be proud to be members of the CIA.” So he’s proud because we’re willing to acknowledge torturing people, so long as there are no consequences for the torturers, and then we “move forward.” That’s how we learn.

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