I’m back:

Since the election, I – and I am sure I am not alone here – have been suffering from a serious case of pony fatigue.  Back in my day, some piddling perjury charge against a Cheney lackey was cause for wild celebration.  Now, every day brings an utter reversal of some atrocious Bush policy, today delegitimizing entire classes of precedent with a wave of his hand, and I can’t even be bothered to keep track on my Nü Media internet web-log.  The Republicans are politically and ideologically vanquished, in disorderly retreat, and at present are trying to unite around a positive and forward-looking agenda of impeaching Earl Warren.  I give it 6 months before they break out the giant papiermâché protest puppets.  Good times, man, good times.  I will never vote for a white President again.

But I am disturbed from my pony stupor.  Dahlia Lithwick lays out some of the possible rationales for Obama’s seeming unwillingness to reverse the expansively secretive Bush approach in Global War On Whatever civil liberties cases.  She neglects to consider the obvious one, of course, which is that preserving these precedents will make it that much easier when it comes time to dissappear gun-owners and surrender the USA to The People’s Homoslamic Republic of Afro-Aztlan.  Allahu Eric Estrada!

There is, additionally, the diplomatic problem.  The idea that the US shipped prisoners to torture facilities in foreign countries without the active complicity of the governments of those countries is not credible.  The idea that the US could “render” prisoners out of and through a dozen close European allies without their active cooperation is similarly not credible.  It is easy to imagine the heartburn that could develop if foreign leaders found themselves publicly embarrassed for being cooperative with the US government.  The Bush administration made a big deal of its ‘unilateralism’, but they were always careful to assemble Coalitions of the Willing, making any legal move as diplomatically dangerous as possible, and implicating as many others as possible in their actions.

Another likely reason: it would be very, very difficult to limit any thorough investigation of Bush-era “rendition” and torture to Bush administration officials.  I have enormous respect for the breadth and depth of Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s ignorance and stupidity, but the idea that he – or other Democratic worthies – were completely out of the loop here is just not credible.  And, specious or not, discussion of the similarities between Clinton-era policies, the Obama approach, and the Bush torture regime would not reflect well on current denizens of the Executive branch.  I’m not saying Jane Harman personally ran the waterboard or that Richard Clarke had any actual input in objectionable Bush policies.  But, if people started really digging, it could look bad.

Then again, I’m not in any position to say they weren’t, either, as the true story has never been revealed.  As far as I actually know, Sen. Jay Rockefeller owns a pair of Osama nipple clamps and spent every evening since November ’01 jacking off to a closed circuit feed of “enhanced interrogations” from Gitmo.  If these folks are hoping to avoid embarrassment, it’s a bit late – the stink is already all over you.  The best thing to do now is come clean.  The alternative is to leave the extent your involvement to my imagination, and, after 8 years of this goddamned insane evil motherfucking bullshit, my imagination isn’t feeling very generous.

Right after the election, I pegged the chance that we’d ever have a real accounting of the Bush torture/wiretapping/US attorney firings/God-knows-what-else shannanigans at about 15%.  Today, despite Obama’s flip-floppy ideas about transparency, I’ll be damned if I don’t put it at about even money.  Part of the reason is that some of the above-mentioned Democratic worthies actually – surprisingly – appear willing to fight for a full investigation.  Part of the reason is Obama’s generally-encouraging record leads me to the audacious hope that the cases Lithwick cites represent the exception, rather than the trend.  And part of the reason is – let’s be honest here – I haven’t had  full night’s sleep in 2 months, and I am perhaps a teensy bit drunk.  But, if you all are going to do it, now’s the time.  There’s no guarantee that, in 6 months, you will be riding as high, or the Republicans will be so ineffectual.  For the country, for yourselves, for the victims, please do the right thing.