By Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law
We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
Took my 88 year old mother down to the MLK Monument in DC. This was the second trip in two years. The first time she did not want to get out of the car – it was too cold. So got her commitment before we left Jersey that she would get out of the car this time. Happy to report that she did.
It was also a chance to see an old work friend from France who now lives in Israel and her daughter. By some miracle we all managed to be in the right place at the right time to see each other. Just a wonderful moment.
So I rolled my mother around the monument and she got her fill before we got back in the car and headed back. I really thought this trip was about making sure my mother got to see what she wanted to see and seeing a dear old friend.
Then, as I looked over the pictures I had taken I saw MLK’s stern visage. I have not been able to upload the photo I took on that gray day. Just was able to find the one above on the internet somewhere.
It captures the feeling of MLK looking down at us. And, it struck me that I remember a great deal of talk in the 2008 campaign about the Civil Rights Generation and the Joshua Generation being bandied about by then candidate Barack Obama.
And I see the mendacity of the Executive branch right now in trying to redact away the truth of the short version of the Senate Intelligence Committee Torture Report. The report went back to the Senate Intelligence Committee that objected to the attempted redactions (eliminate the nouns, and leave verbs and articles so that no one can understand is the way Senator Udall described it last night on the Rachel Maddow Show).
So we now get into a separation of powers battle between the Senate and the Executive about what is being released to the American people about the torture.
All the actors in this kabuki theater (including the ordinary citizen torture ringleaders that Brennan allowed to get an advance view) know what the full report has in it, let alone the shorter version that was attempted to be redacted to meaninglessness by the same intelligence entities that did the torture.
The only one who does not know what is in the full or short report is the ordinary citizen who pays the salaries of all these people. These folks in our government are fighting back and forth about what I as the ordinary citizen am going to be allowed to know about what they did in my name. Talk about chutzpah in government!
Enough of this mendacity. Let us have the full 6300 page report unredacted – warts and all.
Those who struggled before us did not do that so that when we got into positions of power we would condone torture, make excuses for torture, and do torture. It demeans SO SO many things for this continued protection racket for the torture ringleaders.
It is just a sick pantomime by people who have lost their moral and legal compass in the name of some idea that when examined turns out to just be about inconvenience for some egos – not American values.
They are all sickening me. Enough is enough.