In a fast-breaking news development, federal law enforcement officials have arrested 60 Americans for their participation in torture-related activities.
Coming after months of assurances by President Barack Obama that no one would face criminal charges for their participation in U.S. government torture or the conspiracy by the U.S. government to commit torture, this news comes as some surprise.
You see, contrary to what you may be thinking right now, I’m not talking about the arrest of the Bush administration politicians who created and implemented the government plan to engage in torture. No, they haven’t been arrested because, as Thomas Friedman reasons, their breaking of federal torture law is so important, is such a big deal, that their actual arrest cannot occur, because people would get upset, and most importantly of all, we can’t have people getting upset.
What torture-related arrests did your government unleash today instead? 60 protesters from the 100 Days Campaign of Witness Against Torture were arrested for protesting against torture. You see, said the DC Park Police, they stopped moving on the sidewalk, and they had promised to keep moving on the sidewalk at all times! Clearly, this is a significant offense.
This is the new American justice: Participate in a conspiracy to commit torture and despite the existence of clear federal law against the practice, you get to walk away without charges, because your crime is too big to pay attention to. Complain about the lack of prosecution for torture in a First-Amendment-protected political protest, and you’ll get arrested if you stop moving on a sidewalk. We only arrest the little people and the utterly insignificant offenses now. It makes for a cleaner prosecution.