Glenn Greenwald is not exactly wrong when he suggests that, taken as discrete acts, the release of additional so-called torture memos was modestly praiseworthy, even as the high officials releasing them continue to claim immunity for any and all criminal acts. On the other hand, Greenwald's contention that "as a matter of political reality, Obama had to incur significant wrath from powerful factions by releasing these memos, and he did that," is totally over the top and thoroughly baseless. Significant political wrath? Oh, Nancy. Because a few man-bimbos frothed in impotent gimp-anger on the internet-doomed pages of a few reactionary newspapers? Because some Republican congresscreature accused him of perfidy? Because of FOX News? Bitch, please. Superjesus Black Reagan polls almost as well as Clinton did at his Dow-hardened peak, and he's not even into fat chicks. He suffers nothing from letting everyone know that they already know what they already know.
The people who believe that Obama is a Muzlin negro terrorist from outer space will believe it regardless. Meanwhile, Obama gets praise from liberal quarters even as they grumble that he's not sending Doughboy Gonzales for a little taste of his own medicine at Bagram, all the while affirming the central and far more important principle here, which is the principle that the President is the sovereign that the sovereign immunity of the federal government, the executive branch in particular, is essentially absolute, that the Nixonian principle holds: if the President does it, it isn't illegal. The king can do no wrong.
Regardless of the reasons, it is clear that Obama will not single-handedly eliminate the immunity from the rule of law which the political class and other elites have arrogated unto themselves. If anything, as his comments yesterday reflect, he is likely to affirm and defend that immunity (and, obviously, he personally benefits from its ongoing vitality). Demanding that political leaders be subjected to the rule of law -- and finding ways to force the appointment of a Special Prosecutor -- is what citizens ought to be doing. Either we care about the rule of law or we don't -- and if we do, we'll find the ways to demand its application to the politically powerful criminals who broke multiple laws over the last eight years. Obama's release of those torture memos yesterday makes that choice unambiguously clear and enables the right to choice to be made.With due respect, no we won't. Either the inchoate political and economic upheavals in the world will fundamentally alter the American imperium or they will not. Through no bullshit democracy, however, no procedural prestidigitation, will we force our rulers to accounts.