Not Getting It Department
Andrew Sullivan writes:
Emails are running overwhelmingly in favor of the "abusive and degrading" treatment of detainees, as cited in the Schmidt report. And they are in favor of narrowing the definition of torture to the extremes that the Bush administration has done.
Sully goes on to quote (in toto, it appears) one of those in-favor-of emails. Want to read it? Click on over and read Sully's post - no need to republish it here. It speaks well of Sully that the email he chose was well-reasoned and well-written.
The moral of the story:
I fear this [support for Gitmo "torture"] is the popular view. America is not the America it once was. But a couple of points: much of this is against the law, unless you believe that the president can change the law as he sees fit in wartime. Most do. As another emailer put it, "The Bush Administration will not be harmed by these reports of torture. The country has spoken and it does not mind. The pictures and actions are very American."
I read earlier this week that, at 42, Andrew has now spent exactly half of his life in America. Maybe by the time he's 63, he'll get it. What I mean is, this is how America once was, and how America is, and how - I hope - America will always be. Let me quote from Walter Russell Mead's "The Jacksonian Tradition":
Indeed, of all the major currents in American society, Jacksonians have the least regard for international law and international institutions. They prefer the rule of custom to the written law, and that is as true in the international sphere as it is in personal relations at home. Jacksonians believe that there is an honor code in international life