What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 17, 2009

Prosecute The Torture

From Salon.com:
Torture is a crime and the United States engaged in it. Those are two indisputable facts. Given the mountains of evidence already in the public domain, any effort to deny or soften that harsh and devastating reality is either disingenuous, uninformed or a result of the human instinct to avoid painful truths. But one of the things that allows our democracy to endure is that time after time, no matter the misdeed, we have been willing to look ourselves in the mirror, acknowledge our wrongdoing and hold ourselves accountable.
This cannot be the way forward in a country committed to the rule of law that applies to everyone, regardless of status or position. We have a Department of Justice for a reason, and now it’s up to Attorney General Holder, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, to do his job and appoint an independent prosecutor to follow the evidence where it may lead. In this country, we investigate crimes and, when appropriate, we prosecute them. Once we start compromising our principles and laws because it is too messy, too inconvenient or even too painful to enforce them, we render them meaningless. This is not a political issue, but a moral and legal one.
Two authors of that piece; one the Executive Director of the ACLU, the other an Army prosecutor who resigned from six Gitmo prosecutions "due to ethical failings of the tribunal system."


Heir to the Throne said...

Where is your "It's the Law" talking point?
Once we start compromising our principles and laws because it is too messy, too inconvenient or even too painful to enforce them, we render them meaningless.
Unless the law gets in the way of rewarding your union supporters.
Chrysler Bankruptcy, Obama, and the Rule of Law

EdHeath said...

So before Obama became President, indeed before anyone thought Obama might become President, it was OK for the military to torture people because one day Obama would become President and do something with Chrysler that would offend conservatives.

Dayvoe said...


I am surprised you don't already know the answer to this one.

For the wing nuts, it's a resounding "HELL YEA!"

Heir to the Throne said...

Hi Ed
I was hoping someone would respond.
Just pointing out that anyone who thinks the Obama respects the Rule of Law is deluding themselves.
military to torture people
I thought it was the CIA that waterboarded the three progressive paragons.

EdHeath said...

Hi yourself, HTTT. So you didn't answer my question, how is an act committed between 2003 and 2008 forgiven by Obama's behavior now? Also, Obama has certainly facilitated the sale of Chrysler to Fiat, and I am not sure what Chrysler did with the proceeds, but I doubt that Chrysler has renounced their debts (they may well have missed some payments). Apparently Obama was going on that premise that an operating car company is better than assets sold at fire sale prices and lots of bankrupt suppliers and unemployed workers. I gather those senior creditors may still get a shot and some Chrysler assets, those not part of the deal with Fiat. So I don’t think your assertion (or rather your repeating someone else’s assertion) holds water. And in any event what has Obama’s behavior have to do with the behavior of others? What does Obama’s 2009 behavior have to do with the behavior of others 2003 to 2008?

Meanwhile, I guess Poplawski can use the argument at trial that he had to shoot the police officers, since Obama doesn’t respect the rule of law and was determined to get Poplawski’s guns.

And of course the Salon article wasn’t written by Obama, rather by an ACLU lawyer and a former army prosecutor. And they were talking about the obligations of the Justice Department, not Obama’s obligations.

And finally, what about the behavior of Dick Cheney, how the office of the Vice-President can invoke executive privilege, yet exists apart from the executive office because of his Senatorial powers and so does not have to abide by executive office record keeping rules? (you opened the door to this question by linking Obama's current behavior to someone else's prior bad acts)