The Lowe Down

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The pendulum swings back

One school of thought holds that the Obama Administration should investigate the violations of America's moral code that occurred under President Bush's watch: the torturing, the extraordinary renditions, Abu Ghraib, the whole Guantanamo charade. It would be like South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Punish those responsible (read here Cheney, Rummy, and lesser-known figures) so that those who might ponder these acts in the future would know that they couldn't get away with it. Also, prosecution would reaffirm to ourselves what we stand for as a nation.

Another school says let's move on, we have far more pressing problems to face down without getting mired in the sins of the past. Besides, it must have worked, because we didn't get hit again after 9/11.

President Obama, as is his wont, would like to split the difference: indulge in a little garbage-picking after we've addressed the immediate stuff. A pragmatic solution, although my gut says we should hold the malfeasance up to the light, and go wherever an investigation takes us. The national guilt we might feel for turning a blind eye to the dilution of our principles might inoculate us against falling prey to such apathy in the future.

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We have no choice. We need to investigate the wrong doing, if there was wrong doing and try to find out how we got here and then take actions including new legislation and indictments as required to make it less possible for such things to happen again. If we don't do this, then in 20 or 30 or 50 years we will once again be allowing someone with even less scruples than Dick Cheney to shred the Constitution and our Freedom along with it.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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