New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Reckoning with Torture

July 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Diane Lefer, Politics

Insisting on Responsibility and Justice

by Diane Lefer

Stephen F. Rohde, Chair of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, holds the distinction of having confronted John Yoo twice. As you’ll recall, Yoo was one of the torture apologists in the Bush administration who came up with tortured legal reasoning to justify the president’s violation of federal and international law. He became notorious for asserting that if the president felt it necessary, he could order a child’s testicles crushed in order to get the father to talk. The first time Rohde confronted him, giving Yoo the opportunity to amend his statement, the former Office of Legal Counsel mouthpiece still insisted torture was OK, as long as “limited to what is necessary.” (more…)

What Have I Done?

March 24, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Will Wilkinson

Personal Accountability as a Basis for Change

by Will Wilkinson

The nuclear nightmare in Japan confronts us with painful lessons. Where to start? There’s the obvious: ignoring warnings (it can’t happen here). Making choices from greed and laziness rather than wisdom and common sense (building unsafe facilities, filled with volatile, radioactive materials, near fault lines). Hubris (trying to replace the sun). The list could continue for a while.

George Bernard Shaw once said, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” Over and over again we witness mind-boggling repetition and denial. World War One was described as “the war to end all wars.” Actually, it marked the beginning of a long line of wars. Vietnam was one of them, recent enough and failure enough — you would think — to have warned us about the folly of Iraq. Quite the opposite.

Ten million protesters in 60 countries tried to stop that war in 2003. We were ignored. Things turned out much worse than even we had warned. Those who ridiculed us and lied to us were wrong, dead wrong. They have never admitted it and they have never apologized. They persist with their same flawed ideologies, in the face of completely contrary evidence from the real world. (more…)

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