Unaccountability: ‘A Trans-Partisan Religious Tenet of Beltway Culture’

Blogging from his regular Salon perch (4/20/09, ad-viewing required), Glenn Greenwald notes that the public wants to investigate U.S. torture (that’s what the polls tell us), but:

These facts about public opinion are virtually always excluded from establishment media discussions, and those who advocate investigations and prosecutions–the view held by large percentages, if not majorities, of Americans–are virtually never heard from. That’s because the belief that elites should be exempted from all consequences when they break the law is as close to a trans-partisan religious tenet of Beltway culture as it gets.

Consider yesterday’s Meet the Press panel discussion of this issue involving David Gregory and five exceedingly typical Beltway insiders–the Washington Post‘s Steven Pearlstein, Fortune‘s Nina Easton, Time‘s Rick Stengel, former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and former “moderate” Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. That’s three ostensibly non-partisan journalists, a right-wing fanatic, and a New Republic/DLC Democrat from Tennessee whose career was built on proving how much he embraces GOP policies–that’s called “diversity of views” in Establishment Media World.

Writing that, “exactly as one would expect, they were all in full and complete agreement that there must be no investigations or prosecutions,” Greenwald heard “not a syllable uttered that political officials should be treated the same as ordinary Americans when they got caught breaking the law”–not that this should surprise anyone much: “As always, only the suffocatingly narrow Beltway consensus is heard in our political debates, even when huge percentages of Americans reject it.” Listen to the recent FAIR radio program CounterSpin: “Mark Danner on Torture” (4/10/09)