There has been a flood of new information lately on “The Program” of warrantless wiretapping and torture conducted by the Bush administration (see The Torture Document Dump Timeline, by: emptywheel, Saturday April 25, 2009)
Lost in this blizzard of news has been the role played by our own Sen. Inouye. But his role has not escaped the notice of the intrepid Marcy Wheeler (aka “Emptywheel”) in one of her recent diaries, on Pelosi: Of Hidden Memos and Covert Ops Hidden in Supplementals
We know that BushCo briefed Toobz Stevens and Daniel Inouye on the warrantless wiretap program in December 2001. â€¦ I wonder if they got more substantive briefings than the Gang of Four?
â€¦And finally, a point klynn and Sara have been making–the guys who did this torture were contractors, not CIA officers. Which means they only had to get Uncle Toobz and his buddy Inouye to approve a contract in an emergency supplemental. And voila! We’ve got state-sanctioned torture!
We need to find out what Sen. Inouye knows about these matters. Did he aid and abet the Bush Administration in what may be war crimes? What was his role?
(Blogger Emptywheel has been on a roll lately, having been cited twice by the New York Times and then by the Washington Post for her work exposing that Khalid Sheik Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times in a month. She has recently been the subject of several online tributes at DailyKos and FireDogLake.)
Perhaps it’s already a lost cause, but the last I heard there might be another try to pull this out of committee for a full senate vote. I finally got off my lazy, procrastinating fanny and sent e-mails to the 6 senators who voted for this last time (thanks and please do it again), 12 who didn’t vote for it last time (please do it this time) and one to Hanabusa, reasonably politely expressing disappointment at a woman with political power voting against equality and suggesting that if she can’t vote for it, at least don’t sabotage it. Anybody’s guess if any of them will pay attention, or have the opportunity to act, but at least I have some satisfaction (and sore fingers) that I expressed an opinion and a request to the people with the power to do something.
This isn’t just to brag about what a good little campaigner I am, since I obviously am not. It’s a plea to others to do the same. This particular issue isn’t the kind of complicated thing Obama’s dealing with, with valid arguments for one side or the other or maybe 17 different sides. It’s a simple question of fairness and equality. The ‘agin’ side hasn’t, as far as I’ve heard, one scintilla of right, logic, common sense or practicality going for it, and some of the nonsense they’re spouting is just plain stomach-turning. Blocking legislation like this is simply codifying discrimination and bigotry and setting the law against people who have done nothing but be born with genetics different from the mainstream. Their orientation and lives in no way harm any of us in the mainstream; why are we so hysterical about this issue?
Women, people of color and many other sections of humanity have made great strides toward equality inÂ American society. It’s long past time that we stop discriminating against sexual orientation, too.
Did any of you read the column in the Star Bulletin last Sunday by the Rev. Bob Nakata ? He used to be in the Hawaii State Senate. Now he is a pastor on the windward side of Oahu. He said some thing you rarely hear any Hawaii pol say. Such as the fact that we pay too LITTLE taxes. He points out that earlier generations paid more, a LOT more. He notes that in hard economic times, the need for social services is often greater. How can the government provide those services without enough money. He makes the suggestion that hard times might be the most appropriate time of all to raise taxes.Â Â Â Â (more…)