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Posted: April 24, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Orders are orders, American style

 I don’t often hope that any wish of former Vice-President Cheney is granted. But I do hope that his wish for the release of more memos on the results of Bush-Cheney-authorized torture is granted.

 You may recall that torture, for the first time in U.S. history, was authorized based on a variety of fictional notions. If you could prevent an immediate act of violence against the United States, or a terrorist attack against a school, etc., were how the usual examples ran. Given a real imminent threat, every honest Republican or Democrat that I know would be willing to do whatever had to be done to prevent such attacks.

 But, they would do so without waiting for the shelter of a legal opinion from the Justice Department.

 The fictional cases used to justify torture all presume that the information has to be gotten now, without delay, to avoid some immediate peril. If there is immediate peril, then why wait for the Justice Department? Do whatever has to be done and then honestly face the consequences.

 But that’s the trick; isn’t it? The people in question, both who authorized torture and those who carried it out, aren’t honest or brave people. Unlike the Republicans and Democrats that I know, they are cowards who sully the name of the United States every time they utter it.

 Rather than allowing Cheney and others to continue to lie about the results of torture, declassify all the memos. Let the American people judge for themselves the roles of delusional CIA operatives who tortured people and the operatives who imagined themselves starring in a John La Carré novel.  

 The time for Bush-Cheney fiction is over and the time for the truth has come.

 Patrick Durusau is a resident of Covington. His column regularly appears on Fridays.

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