Robert Parry, is a reporter who broke many of the Iran Contra stories and who poses the following question:

Now that a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel has reached the conclusion that President George W. Bush and his top advisers bear “ultimate responsibility” for authorizing torture in violation of domestic and international law, the question becomes what should the American people and their government do?

The logical answer would seem to be: prosecute Bush and his cronies (or turn them over to an international tribunal if the U.S. legal system can’t do the job). After all, everyone, including President Barack Obama and possibly even Bush himself, would agree with the principle that “no man (sic) is above the law.”

Oh, but they are. As Parry points out the soldiers who carried out the Bush-Cheney policy of torture were punished:

Even the U.S. soldiers at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison who imitated the abusive techniques that Bush and his advisers authorized in more limited situations had to face justice. Eleven were convicted at court martial, and two enlisted personnel – Charles Graner and Lynndie England – were sentenced to ten and three years in prison, respectively. A few higher-level officers had their military careers derailed.

So how is it that the poor and lowly soldiers who follow orders are punished, but the rich and powerful who give the orders have libraries named after them? As Bradley Manning can testify, even if the poor and lowly soldiers resist and bring those evil orders to light, it will be they and not the mighty who are punished.

“What good does it do to tighten “loopholes” if a President and his aides can flout the law and escape accountability? The only rational (and legal) response to Bush’s use of torture is to arrest him and his key advisers and put them on trial.

Yet, in this case, the rational and legal remedy is considered unthinkable.” -Robert Parry

 We close with the words of the wise Anarcharsis from the 6th century BCE:

Written laws are like spider’s webs; they will catch, it is true, the weak and the poor, but would be torn in
pieces by the rich and powerful.

It does not have to be this way. It is our willingness to cooperate in the mistreatment others that opens the door to our own oppression.