I don’t get it either that these memos surface and no one cares.
I think that with how polarized politics has become, along with that, it is nearly impossible for either Democrats or Republicans to honestly commit to any type of self-evaluation as a party. Debates don’t happen anymore and facts are irrelevant. Just shouting matches.
What makes it worse is that for every Democrat like Howard Dean popping into the media’s attention and saying something really stupid, you have a Karl Rove equivalent for the Republicans. Neither side is willing to really back down, or admit that they are wrong in anyway. Of course, there was that Democratic Senator (I think) that had recently apologized for comparing Gitmo to Nazism and the concept of Gulag in the Soviet Union in the mid 1900s. The Conservatives making it a field day by apologizing “puts our soldiers at risk.” With most of society having an MTV-sized attention span and little sense of history, making such bold comparisons to past events scares me. My understanding of what gulag actually was, in my mind, isn’t even close to what is going on in Gitmo. Maybe we should start teaching history like VH1’s “Where Are They Now?” show templates but instead of rock stars, we should use famous people and historical events.
The reality is that sending people to fight a war puts our soldiers at risk. Having a “Shoot First, ask questions later” approach to diplomacy puts our soldiers at risk. Having made the decision to go to war, even if the facts don’t support it, also puts our soldiers at risk. Detaining prisoners WHILE concealing some from the roles AND playing games with their status so you don’t have to stick to the Geneva Convention also puts our soldiers at risk.
It would be nice to see someone take some responsibility for all of this. When our government puts Dick Cheney in front of a camera to say that the resistance in Iraq is in its ‘death throes’ right after a commander in the thick of the battle tells us otherwise; It makes our country’s leadership appear stupid or stubborn. Pick one. It’s not flattering either way.