Hypocrisy Worthy of Outrage

America is presently facing an ideological crisis. We are finding that empire abroad, the apparent result of our war in Iraq, is incompatible with democracy at home, as the histories of Rome, Napoleonic France, and the decline of the British Empire might have suggested. Left-wingers tend to presume that our recently-uncovered abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad attests to a hypocrisy worthy of outrage, a great gap between the notion of natural, inalienable rights that we profess and the brutality in which we have engaged during the war. We might believe, then, that our leaders are sorry for this hypocrisy between word and deed. If Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld truly accepted responsibility, as he professes to, he would have resigned. If President Bush possessed a modicum of integrity, he would have done more than verbally express his displeasure. In actuality, it appears that our elected leaders are not truly ashamed. Rather, it seems that a ruling clique rejects our common notion of universal human rights. Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, addressed a Senate hearing on the prisoner-abuse scandal, saying,