Obama Open to Prosecuting Bush Officials

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Ok. The torture debate is advancing. First off, Obama has now (apparently) left the door open to possible prosecutions regarding those enhanced interrogation technique "excesses". From ABC News:


    "President Obama suggested today that it remained a possibility that the Justice Department might bring charges against officials of the Bush administration who devised harsh interrogation policies that some see as torture."

    President Holds Open Door For Prosecutions of Bush Officials For Interrogation Policies, Truth Commission - Political Punch

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    Yesterday, the New York Times reported a story claiming that the CIA authorized waterboarding 266 times for 2 Al Quaeda suspectse. One of them, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded "at least 83 times in August 2002" according to a Justice Dept. memo.

    NYT: 2 suspects waterboarded 266 times - The New York Times- msnbc.com

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    Dick Cheney gave an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity in which he said, "There's a great temptation for a new Administration to find a problem and blame it on the predecessor." Cheney criticized the way Obama presented the United States in the recent overseas tours. Said he found Obama's apologies "disturbing", said that Mr Obama's "cosiness" with critics of America such as Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez set the wrong standard and was not "helpful".


    Also, this came out this morning:

    "Dick Cheney has asked for secret US documents to be released showing that harsh CIA interrogation techniques such as waterboarding produced valuable intelligence."

    Video: Dick Cheney demands Barack Obama reveals torture 'success' memos - Times Online


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    On Politico.com, this item was just reported:

    CIA denies Cheney made demand

    The Obama administration denied Tuesday that former Vice President Dick Cheney had directly asked the CIA to declassify memos that he claims would vindicate Bush-era techniques for harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists.

    A senior U.S. intelligence offical e-mailed: "The Agency has received no such request from the former Vice President.”

    CIA denies Cheney made demand - Josh Gerstein and Mike Allen - POLITICO.com

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    The Bush administration has repeatedly said that the United States does not torture. The enhanced interrogation techniques described in the memos include waterboarding, "boxed confinement" (a coffin-like isolation -- with and without insects that detainess were told would sting), sleep deprivation for up to 11 days blasting heavy metal music to assure the detainee does not nod off, prolonged periods of nakedness (these enhanced techniques were said to be used in combinations), death threats to the family.

    Bush's Justice Department decided that the Geneva Convention, and other 'international treaties prohibiting torture" could be "suspended", that laws against torture do not apply to the war on terror. In 2004, when this issue was brought out into the open, Bush told reporters, "What I've authorized is that we stay within U.S. law". Asked if torture is ever justified, Bush replied, "Look, I'm going to say it one more time. ... The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you."
     
  2. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Just as planned... :biggrin:
    I can't wait to see the usual suspects try to derail this one.
     
  3. Bbucko

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    This all needs to go into the lap of an independent prosecutor: the sooner the better.

    We need to re-affirm that we are a nation of laws before men (or women). If the Nuremberg Rule was good enough for 1945-6, it's good enough for now.
     
  4. Elmer Gantry

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  5. HazelGod

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    (in Mallory Knox drawl)
    Are you flirting with me...?
     
  6. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    The "enhanced interrogation techniques" used at Abu Ghraib were, in fact, condemned as prisoner abuse. Prolonged periods of nakedness, stress positions, slamming heads into concrete walls -- many of the same "techniques" that the Bush administration allowed as "not torture".

    So, why do the Abu Ghraib common soldiers get prosecuted, yet Bush, Justice Department and CIA get off scot free. It's a double standard.

    Janis Karpinski, the commander of Abu Ghraib, demoted for her lack of oversight regarding the abuse, estimated later that 90% of detainees in the prison were innocent.


    One of the admitted authors of the justice department torture memos is Jay Bybee. Jay Bybee defined torture as "activity producing pain equivalent to the pain experienced during death and organ failure". The Bush administration decided that all their torture techniques did not add up to this concocted definition, so their torture techniques were not torture.

    Soon after he authored these torture memos authorizing the enhanced interrogation techniques, George W. Bush nominated Bybee as a judge to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which is almost the highest court in the land - right below the U.S. Supreme Court) where he began service in 2003 and remains today.


    Jay Bybee: NYT Calls For Impeachment Of Torture Memo Author
     
  7. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Independent prosecutor is precisely what is needed. These people have harmed the United States by breaking its laws and severely damaging its reputation.
     
  8. steelepole

    steelepole New Member

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    I was pleasantly surprised that the Obama administration opted not to expose the CIA interrogators. He dodged a bullet there, because that would have been a Fox News ambush.
     
  9. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    anyone who is expecting anything along these lines does not yet understand this fellow, Obama

    his utterances were only meant to mollify his Left Coast base of support, nothing more, nothing less
     
  10. Bbucko

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    Don't open any doors you don't want me to walk through, darling :cool:

    Even at my worst, my cynicism is acres from yours. I predict a special prosecutor appointment before Christmas '09.
     
  11. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    "The United States declares its strong solidarity with torture victims across the world. Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. We are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law. Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right."
    — Statement by President George W. Bush, July 26, 2003

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    "Behind the antiseptic talk of alternatives, dietary modification and stress positions lie methods designed to break human bodies and human minds. Legally and morally, many of the alternative interrogation methods championed by our president are torture, plain and simple. And there is no doubt at all that they’re cruel, inhuman and degrading.

    That’s what the president is so worried about. He knows, too well, that the practices he authorized or ordered violate Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. The recent Supreme Court decision in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld made that explicit, but the court’s holding shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It only confirmed what most legal scholars (and military lawyers) have been telling the White House for years."
    — Rosa Brooks, Our Torturer-in-Chief, LA Times, September 22, 2006

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    "And when [President Bush] says the United States doesn’t torture and I never authorize torture, that is a very interesting word play, because all of the government’s documents, all of the White House documents, go to this issue of redefining torture in a way that we don’t define it in the United States or in the world. And that definition says torture only occurs when someone’s at the risk of immediate full organ failure or death. So that’s the word “torture” that the president is using. That’s not our constitutional definition of torture. That’s not the international definition of torture. And you know what? That’s not the American people’s definition of torture.
    — Barbara Olshansky, As CIA Detainees Transferred to Guantanamo, President Bush Acknowledges Secret Prisons. Interviewed by Democracy Now!, September 7, 2006

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    "Not only do waterboarding and the other types of torture currently being debated put us in company with the most vile regimes of the past half-century; they’re also designed specifically to generate a (usually false) confession, not to obtain genuinely actionable intel. This isn’t a matter of sacrificing moral values to keep us safe; it’s sacrificing moral values for no purpose whatsoever."
    — Jonah Blank in email to David Corn, This is what Waterboarding looks like, September 28, 2006
     
  12. sargon20

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    I do believe Congress would have to reauthorize the Independent Counsel Act first but the Justice Deptartment could act on it's own.
     
  13. D_Rod Staffinbone

    D_Rod Staffinbone Account Disabled

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    time will tell.

    and what status does cheney have to ask for documents to be de-classified?
    does an ex-VP have the authority to request that and expect it to happen? if he doesn't have the power and makes statements like this (re: his apparently recent declassification request), to the press, then he needs some mental help. glad the c.i.a. is denying the existence of cheney's request,
    if, in fact, the request was ever even made.
     
    #13 D_Rod Staffinbone, Apr 22, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  14. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    In other words, you feel as if there is NOBODY on this planet that would be willing to take these CIA agents and members of our previous administration to trial? If you think that, then clearly you haven't been paying attention.
     
  15. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Bingo.

    Whether Obama believes that these officials should be prosecuted or not, this is merely lip service [Obama tongue dance] to placate those that are pushing this issue.
     
  16. Calboner

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    It's worse than a double standard: it is the result of a deliberate strategy that started at the top (Bush and co.) and worked all the way down the chain of command: directives were so vague that no one above the rank of a sergeant could ever face any consequences for passing them down the line, while those at the bottom, who actually had the duty of handling prisoners, were left in the position of carrying out commands to "give them a hard time" and so forth. It was made quite plain to them what they had to do, but largely through circumstances and through things that were not said. None of it was put in writing, so that everyone at higher ranks could say that they were "Shocked, shocked!" to know that prisoners were being abused. The techniques used at Abu Ghraib were practiced first at Guantánamo by General Miller, who brought them to Iraq. He, of course, has faced absolutely no consequences for his actions, and probably never will.

    I recommend the documentary The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.
    That is entirely possible. We shall see. Still, Obama calls torture torture instead of taking the Bush-Cheney line that it's not torture when we do it.
     
  17. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    In other words, he's instigating the issue.
    Which is what everyone knew he was doing over a week ago.

    Welcome to the present.
     
  18. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    All kinds of information about "enhanced interrogation techniques" and internal CIA memos and whether any actionable intel was produced or not is now being fiercely debated.

    Add this to the pile.

    New York Times:

    Gruesome origins of 'torture' tactics overlooked

    Officials failed to probe the history, efficacy of brutal interrogation methods


    In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.

    This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush , not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.


    NYT: Origins of 'torture' tactics overlooked - The New York Times- msnbc.com
     
  19. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Ask John McCain what qualifies as torture....
     
  20. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    NY TIMES is failing, we all know they are propping the news to save their pathetic asses.

    "Gruesome"... laughable. Navy Seals, much less the average US fraternity pledge go through more abuse than what happened at the prison at Guantanamo.
     
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