Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crimes and Punishment

The same maladministration that gave us torture,in the name of terrorism, that has disgraced us now is under indictment for mistreatment of prisoners. Darth Cheney and Alberto Gonzales teamed up to make money off of privatizing prisons and prevent investigation of their offenses. Though it appears the DA filing the charges is not being taken seriously, the fact that the Cheneys are making money off of prison mistreatment as well as war profiteering does seem to fit a pattern of inhumanity and corruption.

These are the lowest form of life. They have shown it over and over. I have to admit, I am inclined to agree that Obama's executive branch is making a wrong choice to leave them alone and just ignore the crimes.

With two months still to go before his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama and his transition team are already getting off on the wrong foot, signaling that they have no intention of investigating anyone in the Bush administration for possible war crimes.

What we're talking about here is the torture of detained terrorist suspects in American custody in a grotesque violation of both our treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions and our historic principles as a democratic nation.

By their own machinations and attempts to redefine and pervert both treaties and our own laws, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington and any number of lesser suspects sought to shield themselves from, or put themselves above, justice.

They did so knowing full well that what they were doing — clearing the way for interrogators at Guantanamo and in the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret dungeons around the world to do anything it took, short of murder, to extract information from terror suspects.

The "harsh interrogation methods" included water-boarding, stripping and humiliating prisoners, subjecting them to extremes of temperature, putting them into stressful physical positions for hours, the use of psychotropic drugs and doubtless other equally uncivilized practices.

Water boarding has always been treated as a criminal act in this country. Military officers were court-martialed at the turn of the last century for water boarding Filipino guerrillas. More recently, an East Texas sheriff was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for water boarding a suspect and extracting a confession from him.

Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue, and its no way to begin an administration that was elected on promises of change. What it says is that if you're one of the elite and powerful, your violations of the law will be overlooked, no matter how much damage you did to our country’s standing in the world.

What signal does it send to Mr. Bush's gang of unindicted co-conspirators, who've unwrapped a Pandora’s boxful of other offenses — from perverting the administration of justice, to illegally eavesdropping on the phone conversations and e-mails of ordinary Americans, to salting the stream of intelligence with bogus material, to inviting their cronies to loot the Treasury with no-bid military contracts, to lying under oath to congressional oversight committees, to applying political litmus tests to the hiring of civil service employees to the wholesale destruction of White House e-mails and records? Etcetera. Etcetera.

This nation was founded on the principle of equal justice under the law. No one — no one — ought to be able to skate or hold a get-out-of-jail-free card by virtue of having been the most powerful felon in the land, or of working for him.

The most powerful felon sits in that undisclosed location for good reason. He is a criminal, and not legitimately elected. It is not a good precedent to let crimes go unindicted, and unprosecuted. We need to take up that cause, and insist that our nation is ill served if this disgrace is allowed to go on.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hit it here; seeing the cia involvement, this may have been a self-preservatory move by P.E. Obama.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Avedon takes this a little farther;

5:33 AM  

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