The Diddly Award

Honoring our rubber-stamp Congress, whose members have found plenty of time to do squat.

Illustration By: Peter Hoey

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The See-No-Evil Black Hood is awarded to the U.S. senator most adept at confecting an excuse for the torture
at Abu Ghraib, which not only shamed the nation but failed to yield a single known piece of valuable
intel. The nominees are…

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who announced that he—and
many others—were “more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment.”
Despite a report from the Red Cross estimating that as many as 90 percent of Iraqi inmates were
“arrested
by mistake,” Inhofe elaborated: “These prisoners, you know they’re not there
for traffic violations. If they’re in cell block 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they’re
murderers, they’re terrorists, they’re insurgents. Many of them probably have American
blood on their hands, and here we’re so concerned about the treatment of those individuals.”
(Later, U.S. forces released more than 2,000 of these detainees.)

Sen. Zell Miller (ambiguous political orientation-Ga.) said that the sexual degradation
at Abu Ghraib was just high school gym stuff: “The two times I think I have been most
humiliated in my life was standing in a big room, naked as a jaybird with about 50 others, and they
were checking us out. Now that was humiliating…. It didn’t kill us, did it? No one
ever died from humiliation.”

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), at a hearing with General John P. Abizaid, the commander of
U.S. forces in the Middle East, after the scandal broke, said he was bewildered by the “unreal”
press accounts and promised Abizaid that he’d go easy on him because, “It’s been
a landslide of criticism.”

Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), apparently looking back to the days of Bull Connor sic-cing
hounds on civil rights marchers, harrumphed about the guards’ use of unmuzzled dogs, “Hey,
nothing wrong with holding a dog up there, unless the dog ate him.”

And the Hood goes to… Pat Roberts, who, within earshot of a New York Times reporter, began his investigation
of the scandal by whispering to Gen. Abizaid: “I’ll throw you a couple of softballs.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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