Saturday, April 18, 2009

Serious Stuff The Torture Memos

Keith Olbermann makes the case for the prosecution of the Bush Administration's illegal acts. I fully agree with him.

An editorial in today's New York Times also agrees. Here are some quotes from the article:


Their [the ones who sanctioned torture] language is the precise bureaucratese They detail how to fashion a collar for slamming a prisoner against a wall, exactly how many days he can be kept without sleep (11), and what, specifically, he should be told before being locked in a box with an insect

Jay Bybee, now a federal judge, wrote admiringly about a contraption for waterboarding that would lurch a prisoner upright if he stopped breathing while water was poured over his face. He praised the Central Intelligence Agency for having doctors ready to perform an emergency tracheotomy if necessary.

These acts are clearly illegal, immoral and a violation of this country’s most basic values. These memos are not an honest attempt to set the legal limits on interrogations, which was the authors’ statutory obligation. They were written to provide legal immunity.

It all played out with the blessing of the defense secretary, the attorney general, the intelligence director and, most likely, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Until Americans and their leaders fully understand the rules the Bush administration concocted to justify such abuses there is no hope of fixing a profoundly broken system of justice and ensuring that that these acts are never repeated.

Americans still know far too little about President Bush’s decision to illegally eavesdrop on Americans — a program that has since been given legal cover by the Congress.'

We do not think Mr. Obama will violate Americans’ rights as Mr. Bush did. But if Americans do not know the rules, they cannot judge whether this government or any one that follows is abiding by the rules.

We have never been comfortable with the “only following orders” excuse, especially because Americans still do not know what was actually done or who was giving the orders.

That investigation should start with the lawyers who wrote these sickening memos, including John Yoo, who now teaches law in California; Steven Bradbury, who was job-hunting when we last heard; and Mr. Bybee, who holds the lifetime seat on the federal appeals court that Mr. Bush rewarded him with.

These memos make it clear that Mr. Bybee is unfit for a job that requires legal judgment and a respect for the Constitution. Congress should impeach him.

Congress has a constitutional duty to hold the executive branch accountable. If that means putting Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales on the stand, even Dick Cheney, we are sure Americans can handle it.


I believe that the reason for Obama's desire to move on is because he doesn't want to take attention away from what he is trying to do now. While understandable, I think Keith lays out his case in a very logical way.


And finally, here is a link to the secret Bush memos on torture recently released by Obama.


And now to lighten up and relax from the serious. Maybe it's not sublime, but it is so cute.


Betty said...

I wish they would be prosecuted, too, but it really would be a huge diversion, and the news channels would cover it 24/7 to the detriment of Obama's desire to let everyone know what is going on with his administration. I don't want to see months of "breaking news" about it.

Darlene said...

Betty, I know this is Obana's logic. However, a committee working behind the scenes could ferret out the truth and if there were no leaks there would be no news to cover it until it was over. By that time Obama would have been in office a year or more (the way committees drag on) and should have his ducks in a row. Well, I can dream.

Tabor said...

Since your blog does not update with my blogger list I have to remember to scroll down and read your entries! I wish I could fix that and I will try again today. I also think it was very courageous of Obama to release this stuff. It has lots of bad ramifications along with the good.

Darlene said...

Tabor - Sorry you are having trouble with my blog communicating with yours. I don't know how to fix it or I would help. I don't know how to fix things that go wrong on my blog either. (such as the spaces between paragraphs disappearing when I post as happened on this post.)

Looking to the Stars said...

You go Girl! I don't think we will ever find out the whole truth about what Bush and Cheney have done but maybe Obama will smash a few of the thier windows. The government has tortured people for a long time, its about time it came out into the light.

Rain said...

I don't know what is best to do but if they do prosecute, it cannot be the lowest levels and that's what Obama has said. Whoever gave the orders had others thinking this was legal. I think Obama has so much on his plate that he isn't happy to see such a big one. Whatever they do, I hope it's the right thing for our nation in terms of fixing ourselves