torture in the US: where's the outrage?

Robert Sheer wonders where the outrage is. He asks:
Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of the detailed 370-page report on U.S. complicity in torture, issued last week by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

For lack of time, I only read the executive summary. But it's enough to be chilled by how cavalier the government and military has become towards the use of "harsh" interrogation techniques. Sleep deprivation, stress positions, snarling dogs, and so on - when the FBI has a policy in which agents are not permitted to participate in interrogations by other agencies when those interrogations include harsh techniques, it's clear there's more than a problem.

So what is the answer to Sheer's question? It's fairly simple. People are too worried about the economy to pay attention to bigger picture issues. Ironically, any number of issues - from the Iraq war to the Bush Administration-sanctioned use of torture or, as they call it, "enhanced" interrogation techniques - should bring down the government, the Republican party, and Democrat enablers. Yet in this election year, it is the fact that the economy is enmeshed in a vortex of suckiness that is provoking voter outrage. Follow the money, they say. Same goes for voters: unless it hurts the pocketbook, it doesn't register. Or, maybe,it's simply that, good capitalist consumers that we are, we need fat bellies and fat wallets before we our moral compasses kick in.

There's a column in here somewhere, related to what has been referred to as "inverted totalitarianism." Stay tuned.

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