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This month Washington Monthly offers a special, theme-oriented issue. The editors write:
In most issues of the Washington Monthly, we favor articles that we hope will launch a debate. In this issue we seek to end one. The unifying message of the articles that follow is, simply, Stop. In the wake of September 11, the United States became a nation that practiced torture. Astonishingly—despite the repudiation of torture by experts and the revelations of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib—we remain one. As we go to press, President George W. Bush stands poised to veto a measure that would end all use of torture by the United States. His move, we suspect, will provoke only limited outcry. What once was shocking is now ordinary.
Or perhaps we can call it, as the New York Times does, Bush’s “legacy.” They seem to think that it points to the “legacy” of a “powerful president.” I suspect history will see it differently. It points to a man who disrespects the rule of law, his nation’s most fundamental traditions, and is drunk with power. It points to a man who will be known to posterity as the “Torture-President.”
Contributors to this issue include: Bob Barr, Rand Beers, Peter Bergen, Jimmy Carter,
Steve Cheney, Amy Chua, Richard Cizik, Wesley K. Clark, Jack Cloonan, Chris Dodd,
Kenneth M. Duberstein & Richard Armitage, Eric Fair, Carl Ford, Lee F. Gunn, Chuck Hagel, Lee H. Hamilton & Thomas H. Kean, Gary Hart, John Hutson, Claudia Kennedy,
John Kerry, Harold Hongju Koh, Carl Levin, Richard Lugar, Leon E. Panetta, Nancy Pelosi, William J. Perry, Paul R. Pillar, Tim Roemer. John Shattuck, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Theodore C. Sorensen, William H. Taft IV, Thomas G. Wenski, Lawrence B. Wilkerson and Steve Xenakis. Every piece in it is worth reading, and the whole product is a treasure – and another measure of how low the country has sunk.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Minimum number of cats fitted with high-tech listening equipment in a 1967 CIA project:
Zoologists suggested that apes and humans share an ancestor who laughed.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”