The argument that we should forget that the government of the United States tortured I find absurd. While I think something like a Truth Commission is more important than prosecuting those responsible, I’d prefer we did both. However, there is a developing news story that should nonetheless be much, much more to the forefront of everyone’s mind. The famed army of Pakistan, if you haven’t heard, is more or less looking the other way while the Taliban are engaged in a terrifying Drang Nach Osten and are now the effective civil government of a territory closer to Islamabad than Philadelphia is to New York. While it seems unlikely that the Taliban could actually take Islamabad by force of arms, the unwillingness of the army to mount even a token resistance is a very bad sign indeed, as is the Pakistani ambassador’s assurance that the Margalla Hills are sure to pose an insuperable obstacle to any encroachment on the capital. The Pakistani Army is more or less our only tool to project power into the region, as sending in actual American troops would be massively destabilizing.
As ambivalent as I feel about the Obama administration, I am happy this is happening under his watch. Perhaps I am merely the victim of liberal media brainwashing, but I feel confident that someone at the State department is feeling appropriately anxious about this, the CIA is drawing up contingency plans, etc. Under Bush, I might have wondered if anyone in the administration had even read the New York Times article, or had heard of the Baluchs, eg, who might have something to say should things go sour in the Punjab.