Thursday, April 16, 2009

Keith Olbermann on Mr. Obama's Decision re Torturers

I think President Obama is a truly good and thoughtful man, a man of great integrity, but today I was a bit disappointed in him. I understand that with so very much on his and this nation's plate, that it must seem on some level unnecessarily divisive and traumatic to pursue legal action on the moral offenses of the previous administration. I agree with Mr. Olbermann, though. Sometimes difficult things must be done because they are the right thing to do and doing them - even if it's uncomfortable and difficult - is ultimately healing.

While there is a legalism that says the lower level players were operating under the legal advice from the administration that what they were doing was legal... morally, I think they have to have known better. That excuse - as Mr. Olbermann points out - is no more valid now than it was when the Nazi's used it.


Darin said...

Is it all about politic? Err..i don't know what to say. Sorry..

thesamesky said...

This is interesting. It is true that it is important to ascribe responsibility in order to move forward, otherwise forgiveness is not possible. My concern though is that America (and forgive me if I am wrong, speaking here as a Brit) does seem at times to spend too much time blaming and holding responsible, and not as much time forgiving and moving forward. That is what seems to me to be missing from American politics. It is all about finding the bad guy and nuking him.

Surely if Obama builds an administration based on justice, that is morally right then it will say more about the Bush administration than pursuing legal action and chasing down those that were a part of it? Standing up for what is right does involve judgement, but if Obama can demonstrate something extraordinarily different (I am reminded of Nelson Mandela and the South Africa peace & reconciliation) then future administrations will have something to live up to rather than feel the need to retaliate in kind.

These are just thoughts to throw out there in the mix. I'm still not sure what the answer is myself!

Raven said...

hi Darin - no need to say anything. This issue for me isn't about politics... it's about responsibility.

Rachael... thanks for this thoughtful comment. I'd settle for the peace and reconciliation model. I agree on one level that this country - through our media - is mostly about hatchet jobs, both deserved and undeserved. What I would like to see is accountability. President Obama has made statements to that effect but I think as a nation we are too prone to just hope stuff will go away without us taking responsibility for OUR part in letting it happen.

Dr.John said...

I predicted on my blog some time ago that as Obama tried to do what he saw as best for the country he would get hammered from left and right. It has begun.
We do not like people who do not do what we think they ought to.

Raven said...

Dr. John.... I still like Obama. I just have mixed feelings about this decision. I think - as I have said for ever and ever - that as a nation we need to look at what we allowed someone to do in our name and to take responsibility for it. Obama has done that to some extent in his speeches but I think in personal and in national life it's important to face difficult truths.

Deborah Godin said...

This was the first time I really was disapppointed or questioned his handling (or lack of) an issue. But I do believe in his ultimate integrity and honesty, so there may be some reason, something going on behind the scenes. Politics can be like a chess game, and he may have some better moves planned down the road. Or so I hope.

thesamesky said...

I absolutely agree about accountability. We'll see how it pans out.

Akelamalu said...

Haven't heard about this. There's always something in politics isn't there? It's just the same here!

I have scheduled my Wordzzle to post tomorrow morning Raven but I'm out on a jaunt all day so won't be able to put my link up on Mr. Linky. Could you possibly do it for me please and I will get round to reading everyone's on Sunday.

Thanks m'dear. x