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The Buck Stopped, That's For Sure

Monday, Apr. 20, 2009 3:49 AM

It's the opinion here at the Ministry that President Obama, should he proceed with his 'look to the future' nonsense and ignore not only those who conducted torture, but the architects of policy who condoned it, will have surrendered any moral authority when it comes to leading this nation.

It is not, as Rahm Emanuel suggests, a matter of retribution, of tit-for-tat against the Republicans. It's about enforcing the law and being good to our word when we became signatory to the Geneva Conventions. When our founding fathers set forth the principles of this nation, they didn't draft a bunch of nonsense that would last for a season, or a single term - they wrote to assure 'the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.'

It is therefore your responsibility, Mr. Obama, to make sure that the architects of an illegal and ineffective policy are held accountable - because that is the right thing to do. No spinning, no search for 'moral clarity' necessary.

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote that sovereign must, in order to assure victory, have the Moral Law behind him. This is not only the key to military victory, but can be applied to other battlefields as well.

The rights of journalists held by Iran and North Korea? We have no moral authority to criticize them as to the treatment of their prisoners. Even if they are not signatory to the same laws or treaties, we signed them. We broke them. Our word is devalued, if not completely worthless.

Fix the economy? It's bad enough you appointed an insider who has this creepy habit of looking out of the side of his eyes (Geithner). With your failure to resolve the torture question, a difficult issue and test of character, how can I trust you with something of equal import?

It's not even 100 days since your inauguration, and you've failed, perhaps, the single most important test in my book (FISA was the other one) - a test where the courage of moral convictions meets one's respect for the law. It is not enough, to simply say, "We won't be doing that."

You have to make sure that the theories and practices that made these crimes possible are discredited, and that those responsible are held accountable as the law demands, so that any legislator thinks long and hard before taking the same road.

Where I expect excellence from any president, Democrat or Republican, when it's one I campaigned for, one I voted for, that bar is ever so much higher.

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