When I was growing up, I fell in love with my country and what it represented. I was taught that we were the good guys, the country that fought with honor, the country that prosecuted other countries for torture, the country that maintained a higher moral standard. The Bush Administration tarnished our reputation like no other. Not only did they torture people in violation of our own avowed standards and treaties (bad enough) they tortured innocent people. They did things that were shameful and depraved, perverted and disgusting. In our names.
Don’t shout NINE-ELEVEN at me. It is not a “get out of your moral and ethical standards free” card. And by now, all the evil that was done on 9/11 has been cancelled by the piles of dead bodies in Iraq and Afghanistan. They outnumber our citizens who were tragically murdered that day, and yet neither country actually sent a hijacker to carry out the attack. I would also note that more than 14,000 women have been killed by husbands or boyfriends since 9/11. Imagine if all those resources had been spent defending their lives!
Let’s face it, we were traumatized by 9/11. The response was totally out of proportion, and the cost and the backlash have been immense. Moreover, the losses have been staggering for those whose sons and daughters were sent to kill in our names, just as the loss of civilian life in both countries we invaded has been staggering.
It will take decades to undo the harm that was done to our standing, economically and morally. I agree with the New York Times: prosecuting those who committed great crimes in our names is a start.
Oh, and if you ever came across my website during the Bush years, you know that I’ve been calling for justice for Billion Dollar Cheney for a long, long time.