The black hole that is the Beltway is getting deeper and deeper. The slow turn of its vortex is sucking in the decency that has been struggling to emerge over the 233 years of our country’s existence. Black holes are formed when a star collapses, and their gravitational pull is so great no matter can resist it. The star that collapsed in America was democracy, and the void left by its destruction is pulling all that once was into its darkness.
The change we were supposed to believe in was the resurrection of the star to its former glory. Alas, the suction of the black hole has proven too powerful for the pathetic efforts to change that we have seen thus far.
In the end it’s all spin. The lips mouth decency while the heart sinks deeper and deeper into the void.
Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into CIA interrogation techniques in the wake of 9/11. It was a breath of fresh air that quickly turned stale.
Now, The New York Times tells us that seven former CIA directors have signed a letter urging that the inquiry be dropped. Their arguments for doing so are arguments that could only come from the belly of the black hole.
Our torture was reviewed by “career prosecutors,” they reassure us, who determined that torture wasn’t torture. Case closed, even though the prosecutors in question were DOJ hacks appointed by Karl Rove.
“These men and women who undertake difficult intelligence assignments in the aftermath of an attack such as September 11 must believe there is permanence in the legal rules that govern their action,” the men said in their letter.
It’s a simply philosophy: a law once broken remains broken.
The Magnificent Seven could have spared themselves the effort, though. Nothing is going to come of the investigation. The Times article informs us that:
Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said the department “will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Council regarding the interrogation of detainees.
A broken law is like an exploded star—both, once gone, are gone forever. But I forget, we are no longer a nation of laws; we are a nation of corporate policies. While the law is bounded by precedent, corporate policy can do a one-eighty on a dime.
Such is the arrogance of those who live in our black hole that they no longer feel compelled to put together a decent argument to justify their immorality. But why should they: nobody’s paying attention.