Should BushCo Get Off Scott Free?
More seriously than impeaching a president-elect, that has yet to take office, are there crimes that need to prosecuted by the administration that will, thankfully be left behind. A raging debate is ongoing between those who believe we need to move on, and others who believe that unless we go after BushCo offenses, they will only happen again.
Opponents of torture, like Michael Ranter of the Center for Constitutional Rights, believe that there should be no amnesty for BushCo. We can forswear harsh interrogation methods going forward, but will that bring us the moral high ground we hope the Obama administration will usher in?
If Obama doesn’t take on torture that occurred, as opposed to simply discontinuing the practice, the door may be left open for future administrations to resurrect the harshest of interrogation techniques, said Ratner at a recent forum at Georgetown University Law School.
“If Obama really wants to make sure we don’t torture, he has to launch a criminal investigation,” said Ratner.
Ratner wants to pursue high-ranking Bush officials such as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George Tenet. He would also go after the legal team that justified torture such as John Yoo, who wrote the infamous “torture memo” and former White House counsel and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Stuart Taylor, Jr. of the Brookings Institute, disagrees.
In the July 21 edition of Newsweek, Taylor called for Bush to preemptively pardon any administration official who could be held to account for torture or war crimes. Taylor’s rationale was that without fear of prosecution, a full and true account of what he called “dark deeds” could never come to light.
Furthermore, at the Georgetown Law event Taylor said investigation and eventual prosecution would “tear the country apart.”
So, we are to believe that these good people will give us a “full and true account” of what actually happened once they know they won’t go to the slammer? Taylor believe the Bush officials were “honorably motivated.” Wasn’t giving them the benefit of the doubt what got us into the messes in Iraq and at Gitmo in the first place?Click here for reuse options!
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