Tag Archives: Dick Cheney

An entertaining night at the Golden Globes, with some surprise winners. And NFL wild-card weekend was boring until the end, as the Eagles survive a thriller

Every year the Golden Globe awards kind of sneak up on me. I know they’re in early January, I’m aware the calendar has turned, and then a day or two before they’re held I read something and I’m like “Oh yeah, the Globes are this Sunday!”

You know I love awards shows, even when they’re bad, so of course I have many thoughts on Sunday night’s long telecast, which I mostly enjoyed.

— OK, gotta start with the major award winners. Can someone please explain to me how a movie about Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” wins the best picture award for drama, and not musical or comedy, and “Green Book,” which I loved, wins best musical or comedy when it’s really pretty much a drama?
I know the Globes are weird, like the crazy uncle at everyone’s Thanksgiving, but that’s really, really weird.

— OK, got that off my chest. On to other stuff; I surprisingly enjoyed the hosts, Andy Sanberg and Sandra Oh. I’m not a Sanberg fan at all, but he and Oh were funny. The monologue curveball of telling the famous actors and actresses in the audience how great they were was good, as was Oh’s declaration to all the people of color in the crowd that this moment, when so much of their work was being recognized, was real.

— My favorite thing from the hosts was the skit where they gave free flu shots to all the celebs. The fact that they kept inexplicably showing Jim Carrey all night made me wonder; He’s an anti-vaxxer, do you think he refused the flu shot? I also laughed hard at the “Inspiring Globe moments” montage featuring just clips of Oh and Sanberg winning.

— Still, as I say every year, why can’t Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host everything? They’re amazing.

— Winners I was thrilled about: Of course the highlight of the night for me was seeing “The Americans” finally get rewarded, as it is one of the five best shows of all time. I also very much enjoyed “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” winning for best actress for Rachel Brosnahan (I’m not loving Season 2 as much as Season 1, but much more on that in a post once I’m finished with Season 2), loved that “Green Book” got showered with love, and was very pleased to see Regina King win, because she’s great in everything.

I was shocked “Black Panther” and “A Star is Born” got shut out, just because they were so huge this year.

— Great speeches: Glenn Close (above) had the speech of the night, about empowering women, while Regina King’s was great, and oh yes Miss Carol Burnett, the amazing Carol Burnett, gave a heartfelt and sweet speech after getting a lifetime achievement award.

— I always find it interesting that even with so much amazing work being done on TV, at the Globes it always feels like TV shows and actors get second-class billing, that the movies get the last awards, and are treated with so much more prestige.

— Best dressed: Idris Elba, as always, is crazy handsome; my wife literally gasped when he walked out on stage and then started speaking (sure, he’s got lots of things I don’t, but does he know exactly how to get my wife’s coffee and bagel? I didn’t think so. I don’t feel threatened!) Allison Janney was stunning, as was Taraji P. Henson and Julianne Moore, who I adore.

— Worst-dressed: The wife says Darren Criss looked silly, while I want to know what was living under Rachel Weisz’ dress.

— Finally, the line of the night definitely goes to Christian Bale, who won for playing Dick Cheney in “Vice.”: Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration to play this role.”

Even Satan be like “Nah, Dick Cheney is way worse than me.”

**And now to the NFL, where wild-card weekend, as sometimes happens, was fairly boring until the end of the two Sunday games, and suddenly things got pretty darn exciting.

The final game of the weekend was the most dramatic, and I must say that that horseshoe that’s been planted up the Philadelphia Eagles’ rear end for the past two playoffs is clearly still up there. After scoring a dramatic, fourth-down go-ahead touchdown in the final minute, the Eagles allowed the Chicago Bears to drive down the field, setting up a final play 43-yard field goal attempt from Cody Parkey.

Improbably, impossibly, Parkey’s field goal hit the upright, THEN hit the crossbar, and instead of bouncing over the bar for a successful kick, it bounced back toward the field. And the Eagles, somehow, had survived again.

Poor Parkey. Guy has been getting destroyed, predictably, on social media over the miss, but he’s a human being and people should not take sports so seriously. No one player in football is ever totally responsible for a loss; the great Bears D allowed Philly a TD drive in the final minutes, they get some blame, too.

— Meanwhile,  Nick Foles, two years in a row, as a backup QB has come on and led the Eagles to a playoff win. Methinks maybe that guy gets a starting gig somewhere soon.

— I am all aboard the Los Angeles Chargers (still feels really strange to write that “Los Angeles” part) bandwagon! I love, love, love their defense, they ran the ball just well enough to win Sunday at Baltimore, and Philip Rivers is a playoff-tested, bad-ass QB who is fun to root for. It also kills me that their head coach, Anthony Lynn, is so good, since he was a Jets assistant for years and they never seriously considered making him the head coach.

I am absolutely picking the Chargers to beat New England next week. But maybe that’s my heart talking.

— It’s been a long, long time since the Dallas Cowboys have been really good. That was a solid win over the Seahawks Saturday night but for all the hype about Dak Prescott a few years back when he burst onto the scene, I just don’t know if he’s really all that elite. Guy makes a lot of bad throws.

— Andrew Luck vs. Pat Mahomes next week? Yes please. Luck is a really easy guy to root for; I’m really happy he’s healthy again and playing well. I think the game of next weekend is Chargers-Pats, but Cowboys-Rams could be entertaining as well.

 

The CIA torture report is shameful and disgusting. A restaurant in Canada offers a new way to take orders. And the pacifier that’s wired from your baby to you

CIA.Torturereport

The bile started rising at the very beginning, the sick feeling in the pit of my  stomach as I read the opening paragraphs.
Then it got thicker and thicker until I almost wanted to throw up, and my nausea turned to rage at the unbelievable details.

Yes, most of us who follow politics expected Tuesday’s release of the Senate’s report on the CIA’s use of torture during the Bush/Cheney years to be bad. We knew prisoners had been beaten and waterboarded at secret prisons (like the one above); we knew the Geneva Conventions had been violated and ignored.

But Jesus, it was so much worse than we thought. I almost don’t even know where to start, there are so many hideous excerpts from the 600-page report that were all over the Internet news sites Tuesday.
And remember, as you read some of this, this is just the heavily redacted, edited version that released; reading this, I can’t imagine how disgusting what we didn’t see is:

— All throughout the report are tales of innocent suspects tortured, waterboarded and put through unspeakable horrors. The report even has CIA agents admitting they knew that the torture wasn’t working, yet it kept going. Hell, in 2013 , the CIA admitted that it was simply incapable of evaluating the effectiveness of its covert activity.
But hey, let’s keep doing it. Screw the Geneva Convention.

— Once again, over and over throughout the report, this blaring fact is repeated: TORTURE DOES NOT WORK. It didn’t help get Osama bin Laden. It didn’t help against any other major target like Khalid Muhammad. It does not, in any way, lead to useful intelligence that stops terrorism. (A CIA interrogator said in the report that “torture led us away from bin Laden.”
There are those who will argue, like my father in a conversation with me Tuesday, that all U.S. and CIA actions are justified in the names of preventing future terrorism.

Except, torture does not work, ever. Which just makes America as bad as Iran, China or any other nation we look down our noses at.

— The CIA used “rectal feeding” on some prisoners, which is basically anal rape.
— The CIA tortured innocent relatives of potential suspects, just to try to get the relatives to talk. Also they tortured mentally retarded suspects as well. As my mother-in-law said, these agents made Carrie Matheson from “Homeland” look stable.

— The CIA constantly lied to both the Bush and Obama White Houses about what they were doing in the secret prisons and detention centers, and there was zero oversight, apparently.

— Barack Obama comes off pretty awfully in this report too, for his ultimate refusal to coperate with the investigation, and to hold anyone accountable for the torture. His B.S. about “let’s look forward, not backward,” while he knew America had lost all moral authority in the world because of what happened, and his refusal to go forward with prosecutions against war criminals, is a stain on his Presidency for all time.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. I highly urge you to check out Andrew Sullivan’s thorough breakdown of the report, as well as this fantastic New York Times story that breaks down, case by case, the numerous lies of the Bush-Cheney CIA era and how torture got us nowhere.

There should be prosecutions, there should be trials, and there should be prison time for Bush, Cheney and ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden. If there are not, I believe we have lost all moral authority with the world.

What an absolute disgrace.

**OK, time for a palatte cleanser: This is a terrific and interesting new idea; a restaurant in Toronto called “Signs” has opened, and all its waiters and waitresses are deaf. Customers order in sign language (instructions on signs are printed in on the menu) and it’s a whole different kind of restaurant experience.
Very cool.

pacifiers-with-iphone

**And finally, a new product that totally appeals to me, and creeps me out as a new father. A company called Blue Maestro has just invented a new app called Pacifi, which is a Bluetooth-enabled pacifier that sends your baby’s temperature directly to your Smartphone.

Pacifi works by using a built-in temperature sensor that is nestled in its silicon teat. The gathered temperature data is then transmitted to an app found in an iOS or Android device through Bluetooth. Afterwards, the app determines the time when a temperature data is most accurate, time-stamps it, and plots it in a graph.

Do I want this? No. Seems a little too “overbearing parent” to me. But hey, if your kid is sick, I guess it could be useful.
Now, when will they invent an app that makes your baby stop crying? Because I’ll pay a million bucks for that one.

 

Bush/Cheney lies about torture exposed yet again. Craig Ferguson with a moving monologue on Boston. And a beautiful cartoon from The “New Yorker”

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A picture of a vigil in downtown Boston Tuesday night. There’s been some amazing stuff written in the wake of this tragedy in the last 24 hours; I can’t link to all of it here, but if you’re on Twitter, check out my feed @michaeljlewis75, I’ve been re-tweeting great video, stories and photos all day.

Since the United States Congress, the current Attorney General Eric Holder, and Barack Obama himself refuse to look at the past actions of the previous administration and find any fault whatsoever, it’s left to others to say what everyone in America already knows:

Under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, America tortured people. We were no better than Iran, Syria, or any other of a hundred awful nations that have engaged in this practice for centuries. After 9/11, after a stupidly ill-fated invasion of Iraq, the U.S. government engaged in torture to try to get suspects to tell us things.

The latest condemnation of our own war criminals came this week from a non-partisan group called the Constitution Project; they’ve released a 576 page report declaring that unequivocally, all evidence shows that we were torturers.

From the blog of Andrew Sullivan: “Those findings, to put it bluntly, are that for several years, the United States government systematically committed war crimes against prisoners in its custody, violating the Geneva Conventions, U.S. domestic law, and international law. Many of these war crimes were acts of torture; many more were acts of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. All are federal crimes. None of those who authorized the war crimes has been prosecuted.”

And disgustingly, it doesn’t appear that anyone involved at the highest levels will ever be prosecuted.
Because yeah, the guards at Abu Ghraib were surely the only Americans who ever behaved in a torturous manner during those eight years.

Check out this report that summarizes the findings of the committee, and then try to tell me why George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are currently free.

**Craig Ferguson isn’t someone I pay much attention to normally; I don’t watch his show, and only once in a while do I see a clip of his that’s worth watching.

But I thought he was spot-on with this commentary about the Boston tragedies on his Monday night show. Really genuine, honest emotion from a man who wasn’t born here but has grown to love this country.

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**Finally today, a beautiful image is worth more than a thousand words. Check out this cartoon from The New Yorker; similar to how those around the nation felt about New York after 9/11, Boston is now a symbol of love for so many.

Another despicable act by the Cheney family. A creepy new Microsoft invention. And remembering Merlin Olsen

More proof that Dick Cheney isn’t the only insane one in the family…

You may have heard about this story by now, but if not, a group called Keep America Safe, a right-wing lobbying group, has launched a line of attack against seven Department of Justice lawyers.

What did these lawyers do, you may ask? Well, they had the temerity, the gall, the absolute chutzpah, to previously do work on behalf of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

So, in the twisted and warped logic of Dick Cheney’s offspring and her fellow moronic brethren, doing work on behalf of Guantanamo Bay detainee makes you an Al-Qaeda sympathizer. Seriously, check out this video they put out, and be frightened:

Look, even conservatives are calling Cheney out on this one. People like Kenneth Starr and Larry D. Thompson (a Bush solicitor general) are saying this is ridiculous, that lawyers defend unpopular defendants all the time, that calling these lawyers “The Al-Qaida Seven” is crazy.

Disgusting. But what I’ve come to expect from a scared, idea-free Republican party, that only knows how to scare people and tries desperately to call anyone it doesn’t like a terrorist sympathizer.

Now, for a truly hilarious take on Cheney’s attack, I turn to the wonderful Rachel Maddow:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**So this is creepy. Microsoft is developing a new product called “Skinput,” which will actually allow you to turn your body into a touch-screen.

As in, you could listen to your iPod on your arm, or surf the Internet on your inner thigh. I won’t even go anywhere near the 100 jokes I can make about touch-screen fun you can have on other parts of your body.

But this is kind of gross. Check out the demo and the details here.

**And now, a few minutes with the late great Merlin Olsen, aka Father Murphy on one of the best shows ever, “Little House on the Prairie.”

A tiny glimpse of justice at Guantanamo. And a cool Bon Jovi concert.

Guantanamo-Bay

Sometimes it’s the smallest news, the kind that gets buried under the celebrity headlines and the political shouting and the sports scores, that really makes a difference.

Especially when it comes to how our country is viewed by the rest of the world.

This story got pretty much lost in the shuffle this week, but I think it’s a very big deal. Tuesday night, very quietly, the U.S. Senate passed a measure allowing Guantanamo Bay detainees to enter the United States to stand trial.

Apparently, the Supreme Court, over and over again, ruling that the United States simply cannot hold people indefinitely for no reason and with no trial scheduled (suspending habeas corpus, too) finally had an effect on people.

This is the beginning of the way back from the nightmare of Bush-Cheney. It’s a long, slow road. It can’t be zoomed past at 90 miles per hour, like so much of us would like.

But now, the United States of America is going to try alleged “enemy combatants” in a court of law, in a civilized matter. With lawyers on both sides, evidence presented, and witnesses.

It’s stunning that it’s taken this long. But thank God, finally, the rule of law in this “war on terror” is regaining the upper hand over torture and guilt by suspicion.

*** On a slightly different note, I’m still a Bon Jovi fan. I loved them when I was a kid; “Slippery When Wet” was worn out by your humble correspondent during the late 1980s, as I truly identified with the music of a bunch of guys from New Jersey who lived to rock (Yeah, that sounded like a VH-1 “Behind The Music” intro, I know.)

Anway, the boys did something very cool recently. They invited 5,000 fans to the Meadowlands parking lot in East Rutherford, N.J. and held a private concert there.

Here’s a clip of it, with Jon and Richie singing “Wanted Dead or Alive.” For the record, my 3 favorite Bon Jovi songs of all-time are “Runaway” (the song that launched it all), “Livin’ On a Prayer” (duh, the greatest karaoke song ever), and “Never Say Goodbye” (such a good love ballad).

Fired by Google Alert, and hired from a crazy question: 2 employment stories

Economy Jobless

***Big, exciting news here on the blog before I begin today: I seem to have finally figured out a way to let readers subscribe to the blog, through the fancy-pants little RSS feed icon, down on the right side of the screen (under the search bar).

I’m not 100 percent sure how it works, but I think it’s like other RSS feeds, in that you can get each post emailed to you when I post it here.

OK, maybe it’s not that exciting for you; I have no idea of the excitement level of your day so far. Maybe you found 20 bucks in your pants pocket, or somebody smiled at you at work. But dammit, it’s exciting for me!

We live in crazy times. And in this economy, with unemployment at huge numbers, you wouldn’t think a story about someone being fired, or someone else being hired, would be that interesting.

But wait. I’ve got two stories that may make your head dizzy, like they did mine. (By the way, totally underrated fact about being a kid? Spinning round and round and making yourself get dizzy is considered a legitimate fun activity? As an adult? Not so much.)

Our first story comes from (drum roll please) the fine folks at Fox News, where truth never gets in the way of a good conspiracy theory. Fox had hired a liberal political analyst named Marc Lamont Hill, apparently so they’d have a punching bag lying around the set.

Well, Hill was fired last Friday. And he found out … thanks to a Google Alert email he got that’s tagged to his name.

Here’s Hill’s quote, according to ThinkProgress.org:

Yeah I eventually – I got a Google alert at 11 o’clock [a.m.] that it had been announced that I’d been fired. After that, I guess someone followed up later in the day, you know because I was sort of trying to figure out what was going on. … I found out that it was true but other than that I don’t have any other information. … I haven’t had any thorough conversation with anyone.

Yep, fired by Google Alert. That’s a new one on me. I’ve heard of fired by text, by email, by voicemail … but not this one.

Thing Sergei and Larry, while they were dreaming about starting Google, ever thought one day their invention would be used for this?

Then there’s this, um, slightly less strange story. A trucking company in Indiana was looking to fill a $13 an hour administrative assistant job. After going through candidate after candidate, winnowing it down to two, the interviewer asked the two women the same question, one we all get on job interviews: If she were in the stands at a baseball game and a foul ball came her way, would she stand up to try to catch it, or wait in her seat and hope it fell her way?

One candidate said she’d wait. The other said she’d go for it. The aggressive one got the job.

Hilarious. I give the employer credit for trying something different, but it’s still kinda weird. The whole story can be read here.

**OK, so this annoyed me Thursday night, and always annoys me when I watch a baseball game. Major League teams, because they’re always looking to squeeze another dollar out of fans, has decided in recent years to let some organizations sell seats in this newly-created area right behind home plate, basically at field level.

And every time, like Thursday night, you see those fans behind the plate, they’re not paying attention to the game and/or look completely disinterested. Thursday night every one of the people behind the plate was either looking away, playing with their phone/Blackberry, or doing anything but cheering.

And it was a great game! Can’t wait for Game 6.

Just pisses me off.

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***And speaking of things that piss me off: Dick Cheney, shut the hell up already.

R.I.P., Teddy Kennedy, last of the great liberals

 

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Whatever else you see or read today or in the next few days about the late Edward Kennedy, let me assure you of this:

The man did not get cheated by life. He lived four or five lifetimes in his 77 years: a young kid just hoping to carry the mantle of his slain brothers; a senator who many thought was a lightweight but grew into a powerful advocate, an incredibly wealthy man who cared deeply about people who had so little money.

He was also shamed and disgraced after being responsible for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick in 1969, pathetically leaving the scene of the crime, then not reporting it for hours while Kopechne drowned; and finally, after the drinking and carousing and womanizing was finished, he became a fantastic and distinguished voice of experience in the Senate, raging against big-company greed and fighting so hard for things like aid to the poor, civil rights, and immigration.

Really, the guy lived enough for three or four movies about him.

One of the things I said in a post last month about Kennedy is that he was such a tragically flawed hero, and was such a lightning rod, that most people either loved him or hated him.  I mean really, have you ever met anyone with no opinion on Teddy?

Just as so many of us on the left were thrilled he was championing causes few believed him, he was mocked viciously on the right, for his excessive alcohol intake (a woman in my office has a bumper sticker that reads: “I’d still rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than drinking with Ted Kennedy.”)

Much like with Bill Clinton, I think that if Teddy could’ve eliminated some of the more noxious elements of his personal life, he could’ve accomplished so much more.

As much as he did accomplish (helping pass the Voting Rights Act, helping found OHSA, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, getting the minimum wage raised, starting the wildly successful SCHIP program for kids’ health), I feel that he could’ve had an even bigger impact, perhaps as President, if his wildly reckless behavior had been curtailed before the 1990s.

There are some people that I’ve read today who think Kennedy’s death from a brain tumor will spur change and action on the health-care debate, that now there will be some kind of symbolic unity and America will finally get a strong universal health-care plan.

Yeah, I’m not seeing that; Republicans and special interests are too dug in and this goes way beyond Teddy Kennedy’s legacy. 

What I keep thinking about today is, who’s going to fill his shoes? I don’t mean, literally, who’ll take his Senate seat.

I’m talking about, who’ll be the charismatic liberal voice in the Senate? We lost the great Paul Wellstone in a plane crash in 2002, and now Kennedy has died.

There are other liberal Senators fighting for our causes, men like Russ Feingold and Dick Durbin, but they lack the national profile and, quite frankly, the charisma of other past standout Senators.

I just fear that with Barack Obama turning out to be more of a centrist than I hoped, that with Kennedy’s death the era of the mad as hell, fire-breathing liberal championing those who don’t have anyone else to champion them is officially dead, too.

Who will speak for those without a voice? Who will argue on behalf of the single mother working two jobs and still being unable to pay the mortgage, or the minimum-wage-earning man trying to earn a living and break a cycle of abject poverty in his life, or in his surroundings? Hardly anybody speaks for those people now above a whisper, and now poor people lost one of the few megaphones they had left.

I thought John Edwards could be that voice once, but, well, we know what happened to him.

I think historians decades from now will see Kennedy in a mostly positive light; the alcohol and indiscretions will be glossed over, and his legacy will be that of the only Kennedy brother who lived a long life, and packed as much into it as it could.

Adam Clymer maybe summed up Kennedy best in his 1999 biography:

“The deaths and tragedies around him would have led others to withdraw. He never quits, but sails against the wind.”

Farewell, Senator Kennedy. You lived one hell of a life.

And say hi to Jack and Bobby for us, too.

 

 

Who’s more evil: Cheney, or Rove?

Rove.Cheney

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So I was reading today the wholly un-shocking news that Karl Rove was behind the firing of one of the U.S. attorneys in New Mexico, the scandal that just sort of faded away a few years ago.

Stunning. Who even knew Karl Rove could be capable of such a thing? Hang on, my tongue has gotten permanently lodged in my cheek.

Anyway, reading that story got me to thinking: Who’s more evil: Dick Cheney or Karl Rove?

Both of them have truly outstanding resumes of evil. Let’s review a few of their career accomplishments, shall we?

Karl Rove:

  •  Completely made up stories about John McCain fathering an illegitimate black baby before the 2000 South Carolina primary.
  • Basically rescued the George W. Bush candidacy in 2000, and ran the most vicious negative and false campaign in Presidential history in 2004, setting the stage for Cheney to do what he does.
  • Helped leak the name of an undercover CIA agent because he was mad her husband criticized the administration in a NY Times op-ed
  • Obstructed a grand jury investigation and refused to testify before Congress.
  • Played on every single racist, homophobic fear of white Americans to win votes.

And in the red corner …

Dick Cheney:

  •  Ran the most divisive, intolerant, arrogant administration of all time.
  • Did his best to destroy the environment, helping set back the fight against global warming 1o years.
  • Also helped leak the name of the CIA undercover agent.
  • Ordered and approved of the torturing of people who had not been convicted or tried on any crime.
  • Repeatedly lied to the media and to the American people about Saddam Hussein being tied in with 9/11, about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and well, most everything.
  • Orchestrated the stealing of the 2000 election in Florida.

As you can see, this is a pretty damn close vote.  If I had to choose one or the other, I’d say Cheney, just for his volume of work and his ability to do SO much damage in so many areas in eight years.

But again, without Rove, there is no Cheney for the last eight years.

So I say Cheney, but I want to hear your thoughts, too. On this one, I’m willing to be convinced I’m wrong

P.S. This Rick Pitino thing … I mean, my head explodes thinking of all the jokes to make about it. What a sleazebag. And what’s worse, it doesn’t look like the University of Louisville is going to do a damn thing about it. Unless you live there, I’m told, you have no idea how crazy people are for basketball in Kentucky.

My favorite part of the story (although there are so many good parts), is that when Pitino arranged a meeting to discuss the woman’s pregnancy, it was at the house of the guy the woman eventually married. Talk about meeting under some special circumstances…

Bush, Cheney, and the U.S. of Torture

waterboarding

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There are people in the Democratic Party who want to forget the last eight years. They want to move on and focus on the future.

They don’t think, despite having overwhelming evidence  that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, David Addington, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the bumbling fools who ran our nation from 2001-2009 should be investigated for the way they tortured often-innocent people.

There is no longer any doubt whatsoever about what these men oversaw; go ahead and check out Jane Mayer’s fantastic and deeply troubling book The Dark Side, or read any of the hundreds of other newspaper and magazine articles detailing just how disgusting and lawless America’s leaders acted after 9/11.

I’m not going to recount all the offensive details here, but go ahead and type Abu Zubaydah, or, even better, Maher Arar, into Google and see what you come up with. Under the last administration, the Constitution was treated like a suggestion manual and all previous knowledge of the Geneva Conventions agreement was throw into the fireplace.

Now, finally, after eight years of complete unaccountability, of low-level soldiers and CIA and FBI agents taking the fall for what was done, the U.S. government is finally in a position to investigate the awful and despicable practices that were performed in the name of “protecting America.”

And yet … President Obama doesn’t seem to want to do it. Democrats in the Senate, with the courageous exception of Sen. Patrick Leahy, seem focused on not riling up the public, and the Republicans, by dredging up waterboarding and illegal and mistaken imprisonment.

I am disgusted and nauseated that members of my party don’t think this is worth investigating. We tortured and imprisoned hundreds of people in the last eight years, rounding them up, throwing them in jail, then asking later (or sometimes not even asking at all) what they were accused of doing.

Cheney and Co. put American lives in the present and future on the line with their blatant disregard for laws. You don’t think the soldier from Idaho who was just captured wished the United States had followed the international laws regarding prisoners of war?

As so many commentators and writers have already said, boil down all the arguments and excuses for torture and you still come up with this:

This is not who we are as a country. This is not what we stand for.

And yet, without a complete investigation into what happened, we will always appear like we condoned it. That while a few drunk-with-power politicians and devious lawyers like John Yoo put a blowtorch to America’s reputation, we stood and watched and kept our heads down.

Thankfully, not every Democrat has his or her head down. It looks like Attorney General Eric Holder is going to push for a prosecutor to investigate Bush-Cheney’s practices, and I sure as hell hope he gets his way on this.

As we try to repair our reputation in the world, it’s imperative we discover how bad the damage is. Think of it like this: Would you start fixing a broken-down car before fully looking into all its possible malfunctions?

Investigate. Torture. Now. No excuses whatsoever, Democrats.

This must be done, or the stain on the United States will grow larger and larger until it covers everything we hold sacred.