Greenwald explains the Beltway Press Rules on Torture

Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald gets it. In an early morning blog post, the legal analyst and press critic spells out three rules of the Beltway elite that are shaping the so-called media “coverage” of torture:

  • Any policy that Beltway elites dislike is demonized as coming from “the Left” (or — in this case [following Karl Rove] — the “hard Left”).
  • Nobody is more opposed to transparency and disclosure of government secrets than establishment “journalists.”
  • The single most sacred Beltway belief is that elites are exempt from the rule of law.

In truth, those three rules of what Duncan Black refers to as “Versailles” apply to many issues beyond that of bringing the torture architects to justice. And certainly, there was a notably famous exception to that third rule third rules – but only when a Democratic president and extramarital sex were involved and so-called “perjury” was in play.

Greenwald’s rules point to perhaps the greatest difficulty facing the Obama Administration, a Democratic-majority Congress and rank-and-file liberals and progressives who seek a return to the rule of the Constitution and the la, namely the issue of breaking through the DC news bureau filter that continues to slant and censor coverage of issues vital to the security of our nation.

New media and online-based social networks are beginning to make serious headway in not only “pushing back” against dead-tree and old-TV media but effectively spelling out the complete and accurate facts that shape these issues – including that of the crimes committed by the Bush-era torture architects.

And there may be a glimmer of hope: in a blog entry posted late afternoon, David Swanson reports on a comment made to him by Attorney General Eric Holder:

As [he] left an appropriations subcommittee hearing on Thursday I spoke loudly from the third row as he prepared to leave the room:

“We need a special prosecutor for torture, Mr. Attorney General. Americans like the rule of law. The rule of law for everybody.”

He replied as he approached and walked by, surrounded by bodyguards:

“And you will be proud of your country.”

Now that’s something you won’t see or hear on the evening news. Let’s hope Holder is right.

UPDATE: David Sirota has a related op-ed here.

Cross-posted to APJ.

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