Disappointing, but given Trump’s views, not surprising.
BLOOD MONEY Over the course of a long lobbying career in D.C., top Trump aide Paul Manafort and his firm made a fortune fronting for a group of clients once referred to as the “torturers’ lobby.”
Failure begets an angry electorate, contributing to the populist appeal of candidates like Sanders and Trump. Since 9/11, despite years of helping orchestrate trillions of dollars worth of strategic missteps, leaders of the political-military-industrial complex in Washington continue to enrich themselves without shame and with little accountability. Perhaps one of the populist candidates will hold America’s government-funded gilded class up as a subject for the electorate to consider in November.
To be sure, there are many politicians and leaders who earn every bit of their pay; and there are subordinates in the security forces who serve with a sacrifice few in the private sector are willing to make. But if the claim is correct — that our capital has become part of what is driving income inequality in America — then it’s time to take a hard look at the governing system in D.C., and make the right adjustments so that the business of America works for everyone.
In no place in America are the abrupt changes in the nation’s security posture so keenly reflected in real estate and lifestyle than the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In the decade after 9/11, it has grown into a sprawling, pretentious representation of the federal government’s growth, vices and prosperity, encompassing the wealthiest counties, the best schools, and some of the highest rates of income inequality in the country.
An older interview with the respected commander:
Keen cultural awareness and language skills can be the difference between right and wrong information, and such can save one’s skin, especially in cases where an interpreter cannot always be trusted. Successful overseas officers understand how culture influences thinking and perception. An article from Pacific Standard below explores the subject. I’ve added an excerpt from a favorite Hollywood movie to emphasize the point.
In the Summer of 1995, a young graduate student in anthropology at UCLA named Joe Henrich traveled to Peru to carry out some fieldwork among the Machiguenga, an indigenous people who live north of Machu Picchu in the Amazon basin.
“What? Do what?” …I can almost hear the chorus of disbelief humming over the electrons. The National Catholic Reporter puts forward the modest proposal below. It’s an intriguing idea, actually: President Obama could do this on his way out of office.
The political realities of our age mean that it will likely be impossible to hold accountable our foolish leaders who concocted the torture policies. A senate report is not accountability. If we have no political will to punish, a pardon at least allows American leaders who say they oppose torture to send a strong, legally relevant message of repudiation.
In her confirmation hearing, Loretta Lynch, the nominee for attorney general, stated mater-of-factly that waterboarding is torture. Some of the senators on the Judiciary Committee holding the hearing disagree with her, but they gave her no argument. They asked where she stood, and she said waterboarding is torture.