Friday, April 17, 2009

Eerie Parallels!

Bright days! Finding the prisoner's weakness! Count me as unimpressed with these purported Orwellian resonances. Is any discussion of torture masked behind dry legalese inherently Orwellian? I guess so.

When you want to express outrage but don't have new information to report, you engage in hyperbole. In other words, the torture memos have not added much to our knowledge of Bush and Cheney's sanctioning of war crimes. But they have shown us in stark terms the banality of evil: human rights and the rule of law disappearing in the solvent of a powerful bureaucracy. And the brutal deconstruction of domestic and international law by the Office of Legal Counsel would put any French post-structuralist to shame. (The culture wars are turned on their head!) Seeing the gruesome handiwork of Bybee and Yoo I think not of Orwell but of Derrida.