Sunday, November 28, 2010

To Tell the Truth

As the recent political season (the only thing that would make pro football seem mild) fades away I find I'm left with the nasty after taste of mud from the stinking pile of advertising and so called experts expounding at length on what the election and everything else means.  From what I've seen in the past I'm not surprised at the tone of commentators on the far right like Beck and Limbaugh, but I have been surprised by the lengths they stray from anything resembling a fact.  Okay, I'll admit that truth is a slippery subject.  Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air, a leader with a direct line to the pulse of America who would govern with common sense or she's a photogenic reality show character whose not only has a complete lack of knowledge about our constitution and history but seems darn proud of that lack of awareness.  Everyone has their own version of the truth, so what is the truth?
It's not just the far right entertainers like Beck whose popularity depends on making outrageous statements like the President was using one third of the US Navy for his recent trip to India.  I would assume that most people hear that sort of thing and just laugh it off as more nonsense from the folks who brought you death panels and birth certificates.
Recently there have been several Op Ed pieces that suggest that both the far right as heard on Fox news and the progressive voices on MSNBC are guilty of fudging the facts or using language that appeals primarily to anger and leaves reason in the dust.  I can see how calling George W. Bush a war criminal would be something that would offend his supporters and as such probably isn't a good way to lead off a discussion.  But, in his recent book President Bush admits to approving waterboarding, a technique that has been considered torture for hundreds of years.  Our country has in the past prosecuting leaders for approving of it's use.  It is a form of torture banned by international treaties that the USA has signed and thus is also US law.  It has been considered a war crime for decades.
So where is the truth?  Here's a person who admits to having committed what is considered a war crime in international and US law and if a person commits a crime they are often called a criminal.
I'll admit that using the phrase "war criminal" would put many people off, but how best to state the facts?
Okay, President Bush admits to having committed several acts that are considered war crimes by US law and international agreements.  It's a little long-winded but maybe would promote some conversation.  And if I had a wish, it would be for more conversation.  Debate needs two partners, not just two people who state different versions of reality and then stop talking.

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