Skip to main content

    Submitted this of all evenings, from this of all places, with the respect and hope due any President-Elect on the eve of his or her inauguration (but particularly this one), I am agreeing with Mr. Obama when he told George Stephanopoulos: "What we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past."
    That perspective, looking ahead and not back, makes more imperative still the prosecution of those who tortured -- and those who authorized torture -- in your name, in my name, in Barack Obama's name.

    As the spontaneous chants of "Yes We Can" waft in to the cramped MSNBC trailer on the Mall (just morphing now into "Yes We Did") we have a metaphor for what the President-Elect needs to accomplish in this vital area.
    I also defer to the President-Elect when he shows, as he did today and will likely express in his address tomorrow, that while we celebrate our liberation this week, we must simultaneously continue to work -- to work right now -- for what is right. The prosecution of torture might not have to be the first priority; it might not have to be a sweeping event consuming the nation, but we must have a catharsis.
    Most importantly, the great and tragic events of our history have proven that the failure to achieve such a catharsis, the failure to atone, has its own tragic, long-range consequences.
    From tonight's piece:

    In point of fact, every effort to merely 'draw a line in the sand' and declare the past dead, has only served to keep the past alive -- and often to strengthen it.
    We compromised with slavery in the Declaration of Independence --and four score and nine years later we had buried 600,000 of our sons and brothers in a Civil War.
    After that War's ending, we compromised with the social restructuring and protection of the rights of minorities in the South. And a century later, we had not only not resolved anything, but black leaders were still being assassinated in the cities of the South
    We compromised with Germany and the reconstruction of Europe after the First World War -- nobody even arrested the German Kaiser, let alone conducted War Crimes trials, and 19 years later there was an indescribably more evil Germany and a more heart-rending Second World War.
    We compromised with the Trusts of the early 1900's, and today we have corporations too big to let fail.
    We compromised with The Palmer Raids and got McCarthyism, and we compromised with McCarthyism and got Watergate, and we compromised with Watergate and the junior members of the Ford Administration realized how little was ultimately at risk, and grew up to be Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

    We cannot compromise again.
    And of paramount importance, whether the outcome of torture prosecutions is imprisonment or just an asterisk to history, their pursuit alone is the difference between this nation saying "no, our elected leaders were wrong," and it deferring to George W. Bush's vision that torture was legal, and effective, and saved the country.
   

Originally posted to Keith Olbermann on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:00 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, JD SoOR, skybluewater, Sharoney, N in Seattle, RakDaddy, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, buffalo soldier, tgs1952, ROGNM, Jay, Jsea, oofer, Beth, Ray Radlein, filkertom, tankej, mtnbkreric, mbc, jennifer poole, thinkdouble, Rayne, SarahLee, alyosha, Marie, ORDem, cali, Trendar, Ivan, glitterscale, Liberal Thinking, rhfactor, tikkun, Cali Scribe, abarefootboy, Roland X, TKinVT, Gooserock, TrueBlueMajority, Powered Grace, nicolemm, whataboutbob, ScientistMom in NY, mattman, Reino, greenbird, Sprinkles, Emerson, tommurphy, Hummingbird, gracieIN, Shockwave, donna in evanston, meg, baffled, shayera, scottmaui, Charles CurtisStanley, nemoplanetia, eeff, Mnemosyne, dkistner, MakeChessNotWar, Pompatus, catjo, bilge, frisco, enthusiast, blogswarm, windwardguy46, TexasLiberal, RFK Lives, Semblance, object16, mataliandy, HighSticking, Creosote, Heart of the Rockies, kissfan, Morgana, humbucker, question everything, eyeswideopen, rasbobbo, Gustogirl, opinionated, rwsab, bronte17, missLotus, conchita, EricS, Dazy, fugwb, AikidoPilgrim, nyceve, understandinglife, whenwego, ask, Ghidra99, macleme, peace voter, Xapulin, Pithy Cherub, timeflier, boadicea, shock, PBnJ, boilerman10, Patricia Taylor, niterobin, barath, chechecule, Arun, JuliaAnn, Andrea7470, ovals49, javelina, Ignacio Magaloni, sgilman, sberel, L0kI, nargel, drdave, Miss Blue, FeastOr, BruinKid, ceebs, oceanview, jbdigriz, Nate Roberts, thingamabob, Terre, rioduran, enough already, bewert, navajo, high uintas, hopeful, Alohaleezy, OutOfManyOne, Quege, recontext, baad, SneakySnu, trippinsf, dangoch, edrie, hhex65, psnyder, Alizaryn, danthrax, sockpuppet, TexDem, Dallasdoc, weary hobo, Miss Jones, 2laneIA, brainwave, RaulVB, Nina, churchylafemme, niteskolar, Nemagaiq, Oy the Billybumbler, Penny Century, On The Bus, defluxion10, snakelass, Calidrissp, John Driscoll, STOP George, annetteboardman, whyvee, rlharry, arielle, FLDemJax, lcrp, Pohjola, fritzrth, Dave925, walkshills, PerfectStormer, Oaktown Girl, count, mainefem, Donna in Rome, AllisonInSeattle, KateCrashes, zett, jesses, WV Democrat, side pocket, Curt Matlock, randallt, bobnbob, tomjones, JayDean, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, SanDiegoDem, Marianne Benz, Mosquito Pilot, bablhous, zannie, rickeagle, malcontent, Irish Patti, thereisnospoon, Timroff, maggie sarah, gsbadj, Blueiz, TekBoss, guyermo, Limelite, Frank Vyan Walton, vivens fons, demkat620, wolverinethad, cohe, charlesaugust, sawgrass727, ebbinflo, skippythebox, rapala, nailbender, Oleboy, ddp, nehark, davidincleveland, joanneleon, humphrey, ExStr8, historys mysteries, Bluesee, Simian, 3goldens, IamtheReason, Treg, IntotheAbyss, bellevie, PDiddie, UFOH1, enough, blueyedace2, Captain Slack, simca, caul, LarisaW, CTPatriot, klamothe, Alice Marshall, Cook, aerojad, PBen, corvo, offred, KnotIookin, Alice Venturi, Bill Section 147, ccasas, elkhunter, panicbean, frandor55, Robin7459, Valtin, Tod, amRadioHed, david78209, EJP in Maine, Dobber, thefos, reflectionsv37, ratzo, Byrnt, boofdah, eru, ocooper, mojo workin, cfk, teknofyl, snootless, imfunnytoo, CarolynC967, EdlinUser, uato carabau, John DE, GreyHawk, smkngman, lotlizard, Little Lulu, Skid, gerardbellavita, Joy Busey, Yamara, Cyber Kat, exmearden, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Tunk, wbr, ebgill, MajorFlaw, shiobhan, Big Nit Attack, wiscmass, nieman, Lisa Lockwood, sbdenmon, bunsk, USexpat Ukraine, jilikins, Eileen B, rsr, playtonjr, bookwoman, Lindy, doe, Spathiphyllum, JanL, Ekaterin, capt, JanF, hiddengnostic, Astoria Chris, Land of Enchantment, Sister Havana, Asinus Asinum Fricat, noweasels, xaxnar, Jim P, begone, Mehitabel9, forbodyandmind, berko, SoulCatcher, Cletus from Canuckistan, khaavren, martini, meghna, Tin hat mafia, Shirl In Idaho, juliewolf, trashablanca, MissInformation, Thundergod, Uncle Bug, BalanceSeeker, emperor nobody, Do Tell, Compound F, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Pinko Elephant, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, Clytemnestra, edwardssl, testvet6778, tung sol, ferallike, Aliosman, BlueInARedState, emeraldmaiden, cardboardurinal, Malachite, Arclite, G Red, HoundDog, Ellicatt, Gorette, victoria2dc, Prognosticator, buhdydharma, KenBee, compbear, The Wizard, rhetoricus, Im with Rosey, pmorlan, Albatross, mcartri, Stop the planet I want to get off, SarekOfVulcan, ginja, Alexandra Lynch, Irishkorean, Blue Wind, SherriG, NBBooks, Flippant to the Last, triv33, TalkieToaster, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, Lashe, need pr, Ashaman, gooderservice, Libby Shaw, imabluemerkin, DumpDoolittle, real world chick, Terminus, PapaChach, NearlyNormal, armadillo, CTLiberal, Preston S, boatsie, RBG, ER Doc, doinaheckuvanutjob, MBNYC, ilyana, nother lurker, ICtheLight, democracy is coming, Mad 60, profh, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, Lovo, toys, WI Dem, means are the ends, zorthron, zedaker, revgerry, shaharazade, airmarc, DanC, FrankieB, kurious, Eikyu Saha, bstotts, Granny Doc, louavul, duha, Friend of the court, Hedwig, christomento, markthshark, Little, andrewj54, illusionmajik, NonnyO, seabos84, ammasdarling, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, beaukitty, Abraham Running For Congress When I Turn 25, Noor B, out of left field, Polacolor, Julia Rain, ibonewits, asilomar, anotherdemocrat, khereva, dogdad, Tulsonian, FWIW, california keefer, moodyinsavannah, leema, mamabigdog, army193, ColoTim, jetskreemr, gloriana, Positronicus, EdSF, moosely2006, Calvin Revolt USA, mdgarcia, maxalb, drbloodaxe, Wino, Proud Moonbat, FishOutofWater, power2truth, Blue Waters Run Deep, yowsta, david mizner, HeartlandLiberal, Thunder Dreamer, Jimdotz, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, DWG, Ninepatch, twinpeaks, Unbozo, davehouck, Strabo, bnasley, 99 Percent Pure, dconrad, dolphin777, Kentucky Kid, jayden, manwithnoname, jedennis, Heyroot, mauro7inf, cyncynical, quadmom, DemMarineVet, Back In Blue, Junglered1, jnhobbs, PixieThis, millwood, Moderation, Crazed Weasel, Bridge Master, Rumarhazzit, christianlsv, Chico David RN, UneasyOne, electric meatball, skod, ImpeachKingBushII, JML9999, Zydekos, Captain Nimrod, sable, cal in cali, Bikemom, vet, oxon, on the cusp, LynneK, TomP, Empower Ink, bluesweatergirl, gizmo59, trivium, sand805, Winter Rabbit, jwinIL14, Light Emitting Pickle, fayeforcure, rogerdaddy, Shane Hensinger, sk4p, Edger, JeffW, Hippokleides, RickMassimo, Shahryar, Phil N DeBlanc, rontun, ElsieB, scooter in brooklyn, karin x, zerone, Youffraita, 1983sedge, katiebug, Thomas Twinnings, Aureas2, angel65, NewDealer, golconda2, lineatus, MouseOfSuburbia, wagdog, Sharon Wraight, Archangel, adamfromsd, weddedgay, tofumagoo, mayim, Cassandra Waites, thinkbridge, TH Seed, geomoo, icebergslim, daddy4mak, pickandshovel, Quicksilver2723, Jeff Y, ProgMa57, gildareed, mnguy66, mofembot, Tainith, Gemina13, xango715, petulans, winterbanyan, tampamatt, bob zimway, valsagem, luckylizard, mattc129, Parthenia, mary13L, DixieDishrag, BYw, chauie, Tross, allie123, Executive Odor, psilocynic, priceman, dont think, Quilldriver, magicsister, In her own Voice, HoosierDeb, AndrewMC, Simply Agrestic, cactusflinthead, watercarrier4diogenes, gsenski, Diogenes2008, shortgirl, CIndyCasella, ZhenRen, Purple Priestess, forgore, JCAinCLE, legendmn, Celtic Merlin, wv voice of reason, clent, bijoudesigncom, 1BQ, uglor, Bule Betawi, multilee, pileta, Rhysling, Ran3dy, rubyclaire, cybrestrike, MufsMom, Jacob Bartle, Mr Tentacle, No Coast Nate, Searching for Pericles, Texanomaly, George Hier, emboyo, litoralis, Imavehmontah, Overnite, liluli, snackdoodle, BigAlinWashSt, ewmorr, holger smed, Number5, sunhaws, eroded47095, Michael James, Carol in San Antonio, Yerba Buena, Stranded Wind, Field of Dreams, red states blues, Rabbithead, imchange, notrouble, Partisan Progressive, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, velvet blasphemy, StuHunter, butchergirl, Hugo101, earicicle, SciVo, mrchumchum, Patch Adam, mojave sky, Matrix Dweller, zackamac, Fortschreitend, EquationDoc, Mercuriousss, IamTheJudge, followyourbliss, worldly1, elziax, Ivey476, Kaili Joy Gray, borndem, obscuresportsquarterly, sanglug, allep10, kevinpdx, deutschluz, newview88, winkk, IreGyre, notquitedelilah, Losty, CityLightsLover, audiored, Roxy Hope, mdmslle, 57andFemale, romwriter, tote, ArthurPoet, sherijr, Nonconformist, reesespcs, azadmanish, Snowcat, ravenlore, xylem, MizKit, spicecakes69, rbedi100, Leftcandid, ratmach, Super Grover, collardgreens, Cleopatra, catilinus, sophistry makes me tired, Larsstephens, haensgen, Tim D M, Jyrinx, Lazar, BigVegan, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, ppl can fly, kydoc, Mark B, oohdoiloveyou, MariaWr, Liberal Pagan, Alohilani, rb137, marabout40, HKPhooey, winkster, p gorden lippy, flitedocnm, msc, LaughingPlanet, Commoditize This, robertacker13, politik, Observerinvancouver, PurpleMyst, kjoftherock, Interceptor7, on board 47, smlefo, Proud Mom and Grandma, Ann T Bush, klompendanser, chrome327, Crabby Abbey, Mrs Olbermann, Alyson, Bagleille, Ronald Singleterry, JellyBearDemMom, mjbleo, lostmypassword, sunny skies, katienne, RJP9999, MelKnee, ctlrick, sullivanst, ExpressStreetcar, Lady Libertine, elginblt, Benintn, Puddytat, JasperJohns, tellinya, qi motuoche, Earth Ling, kalika, debbieleft, JRandomPoster, Hope Reborn, Black Leather Rain, Luthien Tinuviel, shel3364, Urtica dioica gracilis, MsGrin, BlueFranco, Floande, Loose Fur, bottles, josebrwn, Ilikepie, Oh Mary Oh, raineydr, LRLine, Hooverson, anaxiamander, bartlett08chick, mechboots, NC Blue, no way lack of brain, the dogs sockpuppet, PaDemTerry, sallys, heart of a quince, Wisewood, runart, ramfar, DParker, ginfizz, Quite Contrary, snack related mishap, DemDad, klopper, Wolf Of Aquarius, Laurdet, Susipsych, m00finsan, AtomikNY, Mr Crump, Fryz, BillyElliott, bookgirl, Flowing, ncarolinagirl, sallym, Chris Hawthorne, ihumanable, Civil Writes Activist, samalex, blueinmn, Poycer, DawnoftheRedSun, two moms in Az, Greek Goddess, AmbroseBurnside, jewel33, darwinsfeet, slapshot434, Leftside of Christine, north40th, Cinnamon, Carolyn in Oregon, okuzaone, the ghost of bad dad, progressive socialism, Kat08, BicycleDave, incognita, WayPolitical, sjr1, merrily1000, Jenny Cash, Roger Snows, terabthia2, BlackBandFedora, IL JimP, COkdub, Edgewater, BCO, Exarchia 34, luckyslim, TexMex Junkie, rikiddo

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site