I know the “we live in a poorly written TV show” joke is extremely overused but jesus christ pic.twitter.com/MHQb9F9xe9
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) April 15, 2018
It’s been a particularly infuriating week, what with pardoning Dick Cheney’s chief of staff and resurrecting the entirety of the monsters’ ball that was the Bush administration to comment on it. We’ve forgotten, people my age say to people younger, what the beginning of the war was. We joke about the memory hole like it’s something new, like Henry Kissinger isn’t our National Foreign Policy Grandpa, like any mention of the antiwar movement doesn’t come with a dozen qualifications.
There’s a reason we don’t remember the war.
We can’t remember it.
It isn’t over.
And it isn’t over because to this day, the only person to face any kind of real consequences for the war (now that Scooter Libby’s been pardoned) was Lynndie England.
Remember Lynndie? Here she is.
In an attempt to explain her post-traumatic stress disorder, England recounted, “Somebody dropped something off the [store] shelf and I freaked out. It was two aisles down. They dropped something on the floor and made a big bang and I was like, ‘Ah!’ “
On the back of this woman, who seems not very nice but also not very bright, we’ve put the only blame we’ve been able, as a country, to mete out for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, for the destabilization of an entire region of the world, for the betrayal of trust that now spans a generation.
Do you find that photo, up there, sickening? I do. She had no humanity, in that moment and not much since, and that’s what war does. That’s all it does. That’s what torture does, to the torturers.
The people in charge knew that, had every way to know that, had access to the whole of American history and Shakespeare besides, and they still put people like her in a fucking torture prison and said go for it. She went for it, and that’s on her. But they built that prison, and here they are, writing op-eds for Fox News and dancing with talk show hosts and making bank on #NeverTrump, like their lying murdering torturing spying bombing had value because they weren’t eating KFC with a fork.
In a just world, the hierarchy of blame would go something like this: Everyone in the White House from 2000-2008, who either directly promoted this or didn’t throw their bodies on the wheels to stop it. Then every chickenass Democrat up to and including Barack Obama who said we would look forward, not back, and not only didn’t Nuremberg Trial this nonsense but didn’t even bother to censure anyone, such that there’s no historical record and these vampires can claw their way out of the dirt again, like Judith Miller up there who should be breaking rocks in a yard.
THEN everyone who treated it like a video game, and gibbered about it on TV, like Chris Matthews and Brian Williams and Katie Couric. Then our Very Serious Op Ed pundits and Warbloggers, many of whom are now In The Resistance because again, Trump is RUDE about his warmongering and we can’t have that.
Then after we’re done with everybody who knew better but looked at the spreadsheet and said fuck it, after we’re done with power and done with money and done with might, we can get to Lynndie England.
Because she did what she did.
Which is apparently all we can remember.