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First a reminder.

Then this uncomfortable fact, courtesy of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Interrogation policies approved by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, which included the use of military working dogs and stress positions, were a direct cause of detainee abuse in Iraq. "

When I heard that Sanchez was thinking of running for the Senate in Texas, I thought: Are you fucking kidding me? Now that his candidacy is official, I have this to say: Are you fucking kidding me? As long as the Democratic Party embraces him, as it appears to be doing, the Democratic Party cannot claim to oppose torture. President Obama just gave another eloquent speech reaching out to the Muslim world -- now his party is going rally behind a man directly responsible for the torture of Muslims?

I've seen two points made in defense of Sanchez. One is that he's supportx a Truth Commission on the Iraq War. That's better than not supporting a Truth Commission, but it's not exactly bold given that it'll never happen. If he's truly interested in accountability he can turn himself over to the Justice Department or the ICC. The other point made in his defense: he wasn't calling the shots:

Chaney and Rummy were calling the shots. Ricardo was a line officer who bulled his way up the ranks by force of desire and will. His "reward" was to hold the fort in Iraq for Chaney and Rummy -- Ricardo had no choice but to take orders from the white-right then in control of the government.

That's what Big Tent politics has come to? Democratic Senate candidates have to rely on the same argument used by Nazis at Nuremberg?

Originally posted to david mizner on Mon May 23, 2011 at 02:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Amateur Left.

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