I do believe that once again Olbermann makes some very salient points that require consideration. The Transcript Is Below The Fold.
As promised a special comment now on the presidents revelation of the remainder of this nightmare of Bush administration torture memos. This president has gone where few before him dared. The dirty laundry, the illegal , un-American, self destructive is out for all to see. Mr. Obama deserves our praise and our thanks for that and yet he has gone but halfway and in this case in far too many respects half the distance is worse than standing still.
Today Mr.President in acknowledging these since fiction like documents you said that:
Indeed we must Mr.President and the forces of which you speak are the ones lingering with pervasive stench from the previous administration. Far more than a criminal stench sir, an immoral one. One we cannot let be recreated in this nation. One President Obama it is your responsibility to ensure cannot be recreated. Forgive me for quoting from a comment I authored the night before the inauguration but this goes to the core of the presidents commendable but wholly naive intention here.
This country has never moved forward with confidence without first cleansing itself of its mistaken past. In point of fact every effort to merely draw a line in the sand and declare the past dead has served only to keep the past alive and often to strengthen it. We moved forward with slaver and the declaration of independence and the constitution add four score and nine years later we had buried six hundred thousand of our sons and bothers in a civil war. After that wars ending we moved forward without the social restructuring and without the protection of the rights of minorities and a century later we have not only not resolved anything but black leader were still being assassinated in our southern cities. We moved forward with Germany and the reconstruction of Europe after the end of first world war. Nobody even arrested the German Kaiser, let alone conducted war crimes trials then and nineteen years later there was an indescribably more evil Germany and even more heart rending second world war. We moved forward with the trusts of the early 1900’s and today we are at the mercy of corporation which are too big to fail. We moved forward with the Palmer raids and got McCarthyism. We moved forward with McCarthyism and got Watergate. We moved forward with Watergate and junior members of the Ford administration realized how little was ultimately at risk; they grew up to be Paul Wolfiwitz and Donald Rumsfield and Dick Cheney.
But Mr. President when you say we must come together on our common future, you are entirely correct. We must focus on what we got right in the future as opposed to what we got wrong in the past. That means prosecuting all those involved in the Bush administrations torture of prisoners even if the results are nominal punishments or just results in new law. Your only other option is to let this sit and fester openly because sir someday there will be another Republican president or even a Democrat just as blind as Mr. Bush to ethics and this countries moral force and he will look back at what you did or did not do with Mr.Bush and he will see precedent or as Mr.Cheney saw he will see how not to get caught the next time. Prosecute Mr. President even if you get not one conviction, you will still have accomplished good for generations unborn. Merely by acting you will deny a further wrong that this construction will enter the history books; that torture was legal, it saved the country, the end. This must not be.
Mr.President you are making histories easiest, most often made mistake. You are accepting the defence that somebody was just following orders. At the end of his first year in office Mr.Lincoln tried to contextualize the civil war for those who still wanted to compromise with the of secession and slavery. The struggle of today is not altogether for today it is for a vast future also. Mr. President you have now been handed the beginning of the vast future. Use it to protect our children and our distant descendants from anything like this ever happening again. By showing them that those who did this were neither unfairly scapegoated nor absolved. It is good to say we won’t do it again it is not however enough.