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Confronting the Bush Legacy, Reluctantly


Widening an explosive debate on torture, President Obama on Tuesday opened the possibility of prosecution for Bush-era lawyers who authorized brutal interrogation of terror suspects and suggested Congress might order a full investigation. The three men facing the most scrutiny are former Justice Department officials Jay Bybee, Steven Bradbury and John Yoo. (AP Photo/file)

By Dan Balz
The legacy of George W. Bush continues to haunt President Obama's administration. Try as he might, the president is finding it difficult to close the books on Bush's presidency.

That's the underlying message of the uproar over the release of Justice Department interrogation memos and the question of whether to prosecute Bush administration officials responsible for authorizing use of those harsh techniques. Having tried to find a way through this legal and political thicket, Obama has learned that cleaning up after Bush will be an ongoing challenge.

Obama ordered an end to the interrogation techniques in the first weeks of his presidency. Last week he authorized the release of Justice Department memos that provided the legal justification for employing those techniques. Administration officials declared that CIA officials who carried out the interrogations should not face prosecution. Case closed -- or so he hoped.

Instead, the decision has stirred a major controversy on the right and left. Conservatives have jumped on him. Obama has drawn sharp criticism from former vice president Dick Cheney, from former CIA directors and from Republican elected officials for releasing the memos. Obama argued that the United States had lost its moral bearings in its treatment of terrorist suspects. His critics see softness in the commander in chief.

The anger on the right was expected. But Obama faces equally strong reaction from the left, where there is a desire to punish Bush administration officials for their actions and to conduct a more thorough investigation of what happened, much in the way the 9-11 Commission investigated that episode.

Obama owes his presidency in part to this constituency, who rallied to him during the battle for the Democratic nomination because he presented himself as a staunch and early opponent of the war in Iraq. Now they are demanding that he acknowledge their point of view.

Add to that the mixed signals emanating from the White House over the past few days over who should and who shouldn't face possible prosecution and Obama finds himself in the middle of a storm that may not pass quickly. He may be forced to yield more ground in the weeks ahead, as Congress and outside forces join the debate. At a minimum, he will not have quickly put the issue of torture and the Bush presidency behind him.

Obama apparently believed he could avoid what is now happening. In the weeks during which he was weighing the release of the torture memos, there was a vigorous debate within his administration. There was, according to a senior official, considerable support among Obama's advisers for the creation of a 9-11 Commission-style investigation as an alternative to releasing the Justice Department memos. But Obama quashed it.

"His concern was that would ratchet the whole thing up," the official said. "His whole thing is, I banned all this. This chapter is over. What we don't need now is to become a sort of feeding frenzy where we go back and re-litigate all this."

Obama knew he could not stop Congress from doing whatever lawmakers decided to do but he was reluctant to give a presidential imprimatur to a national commission that would keep the controversy alive for months and months and months. Obama had his own agenda and wanted to move on. Putting out the memos was the cleanest way to accomplish his goal.

There was also a practical rationale for the White House to release the memos, according to officials. Much of the information contained in them was already in the public domain, in large part through an article in the New York Review of Books. Arguments that the release of the memos would compromise national security by providing a roadmap for enemies on U.S. interrogation techniques seemed less compelling given that the information was already publicly available.

That's where things stood when the administration released the information last week. In the subsequent four days, the administration did damage control. Obama went to CIA headquarters on Monday to defend his decision and to try to boost morale at the agency. Meanwhile, there was a backlash against the administration's seeming posture that no one should be prosecuted for what had happened under Bush.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel contributed to the perception that this was the administration's position. Speaking on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, he said that neither the CIA officials who carried out the harsh interrogations nor the Justice Department officials who authorized them should be prosecuted. "It's not the time to use our energy and our time in looking back [in] any sense of anger and retributions," he said.

That was contrary to what the administration had signaled when the memos were released. At that time, it seemed clear that the authors of the legal justification could face legal problems, depending on a further review by Attorney General Eric Holder.

When Obama was pressed on this and other questions Tuesday, he said he was not prepared to rule out prosecutions of some of those responsible for setting the policy. What seemed to be off the table on Monday was suddenly back on. White House officials tried to say the president's words were not a change in policy but the headlines and the television commentary said otherwise.

Obama knows that Congress will do what Congress decides. He still opposes a national commission established through White House initiative, but has no control over how vigorously Congress may pursue these questions. In his comments Tuesday he tried to steer lawmakers away from partisan investigations, arguing that if anything were done, it should be with the cooperation of both parties.

The president has a full plate, domestically and internationally. He has signaled through words and actions that his presidency represents a break from his predecessor's. He had hoped that, in winning the election and moving quickly to change policies, especially in the area of foreign policy, he could close the books on the politics of the past.

Instead he has found in his first months how difficult that is. Hopes for an immediate change in tone have withered. Republican opposition to his economic policies remains nearly unanimous. Now, with this latest controversy, he is learning that neither the opponents nor the defenders of Bush's presidency are ready to move on.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 22, 2009; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

re: "100 Days" presser

A RADIOACTIVE TORTURE QUESTION FOR POTUS


Mr. President:


The Senate Armed Services Committee report on "enhanced interrogation techniques" used at Guantanamo ("Camp X-ray") stated at least twice that detainees were subject to "induced physical weakness and exhaustion."


The report also stated that detainees were subject to "physiological and psychological pressures" and "environmental manipulation."


Has your administration inquired as to what "induced" these effects...


...and whether detainees were exposed to microwave radiation devices such as so-called "directed energy weapon" discharges... or any other type of radiation, including X-rays, gamma rays, sonic waves, or laser "dazzlers"?


If detainees were exposed to radiation, does that not constitute "torture" and "cruel and unusual punishment" in and of itself?


http://nowpublic.com/world/bush-torture-memos-oked-radiation-weapon-use-americans-too

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america


OR (if links are corrupted):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 23, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

sdeTn:

Your incipient security/military coup is being exposed and neutralized.

You can turn down your "threat level."

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 23, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

To my friends with the long knives out.

be careful what you wish for.

people and parties change.

I was an early foe of intervention into both conflicts we now find ourself in.

If you want an investigation let do both.

There was then and is now no reason for either conflict.

The decisions were made by Presidents elected BY THE PEOPLE.

Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: sdeTn | April 23, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

It sets a dangerous precedent to investigate and attempt to criminalize policy differences.

==

Yeah and the Nuremberg trials should have just "let go" of the concentration camps since after all they were already in the past, and were nothing more than a "policy difference."

Go suck eggs, troll. The Bush administration committed crimes against humanity and those three defectives whose pictures are at the top of this page need to hang by the neck until dead.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 22, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Now there're three guys who are way overdue for the electric chair

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 22, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

If Babooma "The Organ Grinder's Monkey" ...

==

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Republican in the house

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

IF: Disclosures of wrong doing during the Bush years yields nothing more than the marginalization to insignificance of the religious right.

THEN: Justice will have been served in my mind.

Posted by: EuroAm | April 22, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Dalva1
Bush killed over 4000 Americans on war based on lies and over 100,000 Iraqis, and continues to do so to this day.

Posted by: FebM | April 22, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Then why did Obama cave to the left?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 22, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

So what is the GOP position on torture? Is it that the President is unconstrained by the law of the land? Is it that anything that "works" is OK?

Obama isn't the only one dealing with the mess that petulant cabal left in their wake.... We will all be digging for some time to get our of this mess.

Posted by: protagoras | April 22, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Though I'm usually hesitant for speculative news coverage, I think WaPo should acknowledge what war crimes may or may not arise. If a dictator from a third-world country did these actions, she or he would be held responsible by an international court.

Also, international and national laws clearly set out what's legal and illegal regarding torture, so summarizing these may be helpful to many readers. This should avoid an overly cautious approach.

Posted by: dmtaube | April 22, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The issue of torture isn't a partisan matter, it's an American one. It's a question of are we for, or against it. Anyone defending those responsible are for it. So to be a Republican, do you have to be FOR torture?

Posted by: abigsam | April 22, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I wish Cheney Would quit saying that him and Bush kept us safe for seven years, tell that to the people that dyed on 9/11 Bush and his dictator administration took over in 2000 one year nine months later 9/11 If Bush would not have been in a class room reading to kids SEE SPOT RUN instead of doing his job and acting like a President or leader maybe 9/11 would not have happen. Reading see spot run should have been his wifes job. then he invades a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 Then the American people relect these two dumb SOBs the American people better stop old Cheney from saying that they kept this country safe because they did not. Bush was never a leader and if the American people think he was you deserve everything that has happened to this country

Posted by: mernatti123 | April 22, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

LOL! :-D

Now IF;

I was mentally "Challenged" as some suggest...

Wouldn't I be SUPPORTING O'Bomba-Nation?! :-/

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 22, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Dalva, Saint you two must be morons, or republicans, probably both

Posted by: Franktheliberal | April 22, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I say prosecute these b_____ to the full extent of the law, just as the Obama Administration did with the Obama Cabinet tax cheats, did with the huge Obama campaign donors, those corporate and bank cheats who are raking in billions of bonuses after destroying Americans' bank and retirement accounts. Yes, prosecute, prosecute, prosecute the political outs. Why should we be any different from banana republics?

Posted by: llrllr | April 22, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse


it's been a slice...

Hillary Rocks!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

take a hike dalva.
equating President Obama to Public Enemy Number One is ridiculous.

and Saint....the memos were de-classified on Feb 20th, 2009.
And this issue, as I have said before, comes straight to the front door of former President Bush and VP Dick Cheney.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, CIA, go after OBAMA! have no merci.

Posted by: Dalva1 | April 22, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

IMPEACH OBAMA, HE IS A TRAITOR!
no wonder his name O.B.H. is very close
to the one O.B.L. who used airplanes as
weapons to kill more than 3000 Americans!

Posted by: Dalva1 | April 22, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Shameful!

Absolutely SHAMEFUL!

As the weight of the Job came down on O'Bomba-Nation's incompetent head, he behaved badly AGAIN, releasing PARTS of Memos deemed CLASSIFIED;

to purposely create a disgusting side show of fruitless Distractions!

"Oh Oh! Never mind that I am an Incompetent Moron who has our Economy DEAD IN THE WATER! Don't anyone worry that I have just been Gang Banged and Sodomized on the World Stage in Both the East, and now the West! Never mind that I am spending money I don't have like a Drunken Sailor!

Look what Bush people did to protect you! Well, PART of it at least!"

WORST PRESIDENT(And Man! Am I using that Term Lightly!);

EVER!

But, don't just take MY word for it;

Check this Guy's opinion out!:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTYyYzEzMzBhNTgzMTBkZTk1N2I0MDIxZGMxN2Q3MDM=

Idiots sent in the Clowns!
America needs to get them OUT!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 22, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I am personally sick and tired of the approvers of torture on these threads. Having lived a long time on this planet I am disgusted that anyone could think torture was ok for any reason.
Everyone involved needs to be prosecuted for this, including the cia personell and most certainly the contrators who worked for them and most likely did the dirty work, like they did in Abu Garab.
None of the Bush administration that was invlolved in the decision making shouuld get off, period.

Posted by: dianed2 | April 22, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Throw all the Bush Administration jackals who instigated torture (and committed too many other crimes to mention here) into prison.

Let Bush, Cheney, Addington, Hadley, and Rumsfeld all share a cell in Leavenworth. Then throw Doug Feith in to make them scream.

The George Bush Administration: the Worst Americans In History

Posted by: losthorizon10 | April 22, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse


well, we ignored everything we found out in our investigation of Oklahoma City too.
Al Qaeda was the first choice in Oklahoma City. Massive documentation was gathered.

and put in a box for 7 years.

why did america sleep?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Prosecute, prosecute. Dance to the music.

Posted by: gwcox2 | April 22, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

dear spritey: the only amnesia that occured was that suffered by our elected representatives and those citizens in our country that perceive war and the accompanying accoutrements to be for their personal sadistic viewing and/or reading pleasure----and all under the name of almighty god it would seem. obama will suffer little blowback as he sees to it that those who rode the horse of faux democracy and liberty in both houses pass the hot potato around the legal system.

Posted by: wa_idaho_lonewolf | April 22, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

wa_idaho_lonewolf:

It's not the President's venue to determine whether people can be brought up on criminal charges. We the people fund the OLC and DOJ for those exclusive duties.

In a 'real' democracy the White House does not operate the OLC and DOJ ...it seems the last 8-years prior have provided amnesia to negate memories and laws as to how our government used to work

Posted by: spritey | April 22, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

In an alternate dimension it would be bemusing to witness the very people who ignored 52 nations written warnings of impending 9/11 terrorism - culled from those nations INTELLIGENCE gathering . . .

happen to be the very same people who are defending having lost our nation's global respect for breaching the Geneva Conventions while pretending they didn't know what their own mantra of "Christian Nation" means.

U.S. torture apologists...the Christian Nation haters...could learn a thing or two from the Interior Ministry in the United Arab Emirates.

ABC News obtained a videotape smuggled out the UAE showing the crown prince's brother torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods, and wooden planks with protruding nails before pouring salt in the man's wounds and running over him with a Mercedes. A man in police uniform also appeared on the tape, aiding the sheik.

the video:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7402099&page=1

Posted by: spritey | April 22, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The Bush/Cheney Nightmare is about to begin.

For the Neocons and Home Grown Right Wing Terrorists.

Watch them scream! Watch them squirm! Watch them tell us every sort of lie!

An they aren't even on the Water Board!

Posted by: Regeman | April 22, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

all of this amounts to nothing more than political football as far as the torture issue is concerned. obama has attempted to sidestep the issue by kicking the ball down to congress. i'm sure congress is just thrilled. the reality is this---most of the present sitting leaders of both houses are just as guilty as the bush administration officials because the majority of them signed off on the campaign of tortutre and extraordinary rendition. why? because it was the patriotic thing to do---or so they thought. now obama can stand by and watch our elected representatives nervously squirm while they figure out a way to kill this beast. and after the barbara harman revelations they will be doing a lot of squirming. what does the harman revelations have to do with torture? dealcutting--that's what. cutting deals with the devil for the purpose of political survival. and just think---it may have all backfired. or as the cia would put it----careful 'bout that blowback, folks!!!!

Posted by: wa_idaho_lonewolf | April 22, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

ignoranceisbliss,

you have got the perfect "handle." You truly are ignorant, and you can't spell - when you mean "write," don't spell it "right."

Posted by: t_heavrin | April 22, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

There is no doubt that this scandal has hurt our reputation around the world. There needs to be an investigation.

Check out this article that does a great job of debunking the arguments used by those who are against prosecution.

www.progressnotcongress.org

Posted by: kevsters | April 22, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse


everyone must watch "W"...

the lunch scene.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

No doubt America and perhaps the entire world will be confronting Bush legacy for years to come.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | April 22, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

ah but jmk:
this issue is major.
this issue is the death of the bush legacy, if he ever had one.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"Confronting the Bush Legacy" is not what it's all about.

It IS about making others and others' past decisions look bad or at least appear questionable so that Obama looks good. And as long as he can keep the media focused on Bush, he's good to go.

For those who can remember, the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, headed by Joseph Goebbels, operated in much the same way, and eventually took control of Germany's media.

Posted by: JAH3 | April 22, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Please bring back Bush and Cheney, and some adult leadership
Posted by: pgr88 | April 22, 2009 4:49 PM "
===========================
Well, in that scenario, you cannot have both. It's either Bush & Cheney, or adult leadership. Remember, for Bush, the last eight years was merely a game to him to shape his legacy.
_______________________

Insecure Bush was only more than happy to play king soldier, and not worry about much else regarding governing. 9/11 provided him the opportunity to make up for his shagging and bailing out of his duty when the country needed him in Viet Nam, and the infantile Bush also loved the opportunity to play with all his tanks, planes and soldiers. He was a grow'd up kid in the oval office.

That, and he had a McCoy-Hatfield feud
with Hussein anyways - and was chomping at the bit from the git-go

I remember telling my wife two things immediately following the 2000 election:

"uh-oh honey, Sadam Hussein is a dead man and we will be at war - and big business will now run the country"

Essentially, those occured. With respect to business running the country, Bush unlocked the chicken coop and invited all raiders to loot as he abandoned his post.
He was too busy wearing flak jackets and rubbing shoulders with soldiers - something he never was - in an attempt to satisfy some deep inferiority complex about essentially deserting his country's call.

The Presidency was never a sandbox, but he saw it that way.

Posted by: jfern03 | April 22, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo, I understand that what ever Bush did was a crime and whatever Obama will do it will be praised and I don't care. I am tired of hearing Bush this, Bush that. How about Dodd lying in a front of cameras? Can we persecute him? How about Pelosi saying that our immigration policies are Gestapo like? Should we persecute her too? No. The methods used on these terrorists were wrong, but bringing this out on the open is also wrong. Period.

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse


I am dedicated to the cause of Rahm Emanuel.
so there.....(neener neener))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Here is the real important part in this whole saga --- an American president literally has to clean up the mess of the previous administration. This is not something we have seen since nixon. And the mess inherited by Democrats this time is much bigger than the normal economic devestation republicons leave behind as a matter of course. There is not a single area of iomportance that bush did not manage to make a shambles of, and it is critical to remeber that he would have been able to do it without the unswerving backing of his party. From torture to Katrina to the illegal war to the economy. Mess after mess after mess. And of course the decade lost on confronting the twin monsters of energy and global warming. It is good to have a great leader in times like this. Thank God most Americans recognize what a stellar job the p[resident is doing given what he was handed by the criminal band of incometent ideologues who treated our nation like a trash can for the llast 8 years.

Posted by: John1263 | April 22, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Bush's legacy will be "Terrorists hated him"
Obama's legacy will be "Terrorists loved him"
Sorry libs, I'll take a president willing to defend this country than one willing to destroy it!

Posted by: trippermeow | April 22, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I think we need to move on. As a supporter of this president and administration, I think this is such a huge shouting-fest that disastrously obfuscates the myriad of policies and challenges that need to be addressed.

The political climate at this moment is way too charged. If this needs to be addressed, wait a couple years. This is not the time for it. What's happening how is a debate between the right and left of the blogosphere and it unfortunately drafts American who are just focusing on getting things done and put in order in their difficult lives into the battle. It makes everyone angry, it makes everyone disappointed and upset, and it makes government not appear friendly.

I don't care about the rationale one way or the other. The fact is, undoubtedly, this is going to result in a more antagonistic political climate, and that, right now is what we as a nation do NOT need. The two screaming sides are the minority that are drowning out the voices of the vast majority who are becoming increasingly disillusioned and feeling less safe in a society that is fighting constantly. It's not in the interest of America at this moment to claw at everyone else. We need to put unity above all other considerations at this challenging moment.

Posted by: caramel2 | April 22, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

What President Obama has to deal with is some in his party that want revenge. They want to make sure that nobody who helped President Bush win in Iraq will stay in Government. And if possible put some who have left Government service in jail. That ought to teach them to not win wars.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 22, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

btw:
i have the Geneva Conventions here if anyone is interested.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Please bring back Bush and Cheney, and some adult leadership
Posted by: pgr88 | April 22, 2009 4:49 PM "
===========================
Well, in that scenario, you cannot have both. It's either Bush & Cheney, or adult leadership. Remember, for Bush, the last eight years was merely a game to him to shape his legacy.

Posted by: ClandestineBlaze | April 22, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 5:05 PM
--"I see plenty comrade-like folks on these pages lately. They must be either unemployed or very dedicated to the "cause"----
___________________________

Unemployed I understand Jmk55,,but what "CAUSE" are you referring to?


Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

If President Obama is serious about moving beyond the Bush legacy of torture, he has very little choice but to support investigation and prosecution of those who formulated, promoted and implemented those policies. If the United States is truly a country where laws take precedence over men, then every constitutional officer (president, vice-president, attorney general, cabinet secretary, member of Congress, etc.) has an obligation to insure that office holders live up to their promise to protect and defend the Constitution. Jay Bybee, the author of the now infamous Bybee memo, should be impeached and removed from the federal bench, disbarred, and then prosecuted and upon conviction, imprisoned.
Likewise, it is an incredible insult to the legal profession that John Yoo is a professor of law at the University of California Berkeley, where he has the opportunity to poison future lawyers and teach them that the Geneva Convention is obsolete and that it's perfectly OK to torture prisoners. Mr. Yoo should find another job - he should be disbarred as well and prohibited from ever lecturing a law school class again. But for an investigation into how the Bush administration shredded the Constitution, answers need to come from six principals: Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Gonzales, Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Tenet. The first step is to do what Mr. Cheney told Sean Hannity he wants from the Obama administration: the release of documents showing the "success" of the torture. Let's see the documents with Cheney's name on them; let the world see how Cheney and others specifically approved of the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed six times a day for 30 days and how that torture spared America another terrorist attack. I want that document made public, too; it will become exhibit one for the prosecution in the torture trial of Mr. Cheney.
A thorough investigation is necessary if we are going to believe in the relevance of the Constitution and the rule of law. Let no one be spared, let the facts come forward and let the guilty suffer the consequences.

Posted by: smithsmithjohnjohn | April 22, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank u Dan, this is one of the more succinct account of what transpired in the WH as they weighted the options. That this would become a political issue regardless of what POTUS did was always inevitable. My only wish is that we use the opportunity to reflect on our own values while making sure that people are not demonized, even those who authored the memos. We need to get to the bottom of this but not at the cost of furthering the divide that already exist in certain segments of our society.

Posted by: twshen5 | April 22, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

LIKE I SAID; TO REPUBLICANS THE TRUTH IS AN INSULT, SO THEY INSULT OTHERS.

HOW DO YOU SEE ANY SENSE OF RESPONDING TO 9/11 ATTACK BY ATTACKING IRAQ. BUSH SEES SOME SENSE OBVIOUSLY, BUT HE HASN'T TOLD YOU YET, DIDN'T HE? THERE IS NO SENSE YOU BUSH'S BUTT HAIR, THERE IS NO SENSE. YOU ARE STUCK IN TOILET WITH ONE FOOT, AND WATER IS GETTING FLUSHED BY OBAMA, ALL YOU CAN DO IS CRY WITH THE REST OF YOUR GOOD OL' TIME BUDDIES THAT HAD THEIR HANDS DEEP IN OUR POCKETS, EVEN YOURS. ITS FUN TO WATCH YOU TRYING TO OVERTHROW OR IMPEACH OBAMA, TALK S.H.I.T ABOY HIM, BUT GET REAL, WHAT CAN YOU REALY DO?!!! CRY BABIES.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 22, 2009 4:21 PM
-----------------------------------------------------
1. I'm not a Republican. I'll bet I worked harder and contributed more to get Obama elected than you did.

2. When did I mention Iraq? I was simply responding to your nonsensical assertion that during the eight years prior to Bush we weren't attacked, which we obviously were - once by al Qaeda in the 1993 WTC bombing, once by our very own, home-grown terrorist McVeigh in Oklahoma City in 1995. You don't do any side you wish to promote any favors by engaging in falsehoods or omissions of fact.

3. Reading your statement above, I can't help but laugh at your tirade regarding insults. :-) I will from now on try to practice the behavior you preach.

4. "Impeach Obama"? Hardly. Push him, more like. That's what he said we'd have to do in his campaign speeches ("You're gonna have to push me") and that's exactly what I intend to do. He promised change the restoration of the rule of law, and I intend to see he lives up to that promise.

5. Someone who constantly yells all in caps has no business calling anyone else a "crybaby". Can you say "projection"?

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 22, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

jmk:
"Come on people. 3000 American lives were lost. The suspects were caught."
--no they were not and Al Qaeda is restructuring under the Taliban as we speak in Pakistan.
Bush cut and run in Afghanistan and left the Taliban to resurge. NO legacy there Baby Bush.

"The times were extraordinary"
--only 9-11 made it so. 1993, WTC towers was left standing on the shoulders of a blind shiek who conducted "court" from his prison cell. Was 1993 to 2001 extraordinary?

"The information that was needed was obtained. The methods were not acceptable, but the country was kept safe."
---what info was obtained? Did they obtain information about the Heathrow attempt? No.
---the absence of any FURTHER terrorist attack does not mean we were "kept safe". I addressed this before.

"Should it be done again? No! Now let it go!"
--Let it go you say. Law means nothing uh?
You break the law, you should be held accountable...
"ignorance of the law" is no excuse.
Even for a President and his head executioner.

This administration is nothing but a joke!
No, that would be you jmk

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Torture is having no choice but to leap to your death out of a skyscraper because it is on fire. If you really think about it, a little water, some hurt feelings or scaring someone isn't so bad now is it?

Posted by: delOH | April 22, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: donchew1 | April 22, 2009 5:02 PM

--" there is one special catagory of Presidential action that carries a much greater cost. Actions that eventually cost American lives."---
____________________________

Are you referring to the Bush/Cheney Iraq action here? That has cost a lot of American lives and the numbers grow as we speak.

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Are you a comrade Jmk55?

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 4:56 PM
-------------------------------------------
Not me, but I see plenty comrade-like folks on these pages lately. They must be either unemployed or very dedicated to the "cause"

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:23 PM
"We should not try to criminalize policy positions of previous administrations!!"

____________________________

Even if those policies were crimes Sagereader?

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 4:33 PM
----------------------------------------
One man's "policy position" is another man's conspiracy.

Shuck all the politics aside and treat this as a criminal case. What we have, in basic legal terms, is the following:


Early 2002 - Various persons in the administration, military and intelligence services meet determine which methods of coercive interrogation they can use to secure intelligence from prisoners, some of which cross the line into torture. This constitutes conspiracy and should be charged as such.

Early 2002 to end of Bush administration - disregarding concerns raised by several people about the legality of these methods, they are carried out on prisoners and in some cases end in death. See the following link:

http://www.dictatorshipwatch.com/2009/02/13/unredacted-documents-reveal-prisoners-tortured-to-death-mostly-sold-by-paksitan.html

This is torture and should be charged as such.

August 2003 - Memos are drafted by the Justice Department that retroactively declare the methods used to interrogate prisoners are legal, even though they clearly aren't and at least one (waterboarding) was considered torture by all previous administrations, heinous to the point that Japanese war criminals were sentenced to decades in prison for committing the act by our own military tribunals.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html

This is being an accessory after the fact and should be charged as such.

I'm still waiting to hear from someone what terrible consequence could come from pursuing justice in these three crimes as listed that is worse than an executive that knows it can break any and all laws with impunity. Did we fight the Cold War and two World Wars just to become evil ourselves, in the end?

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 22, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Over my lifetime, I have seen many Presidents come and go. History is a great teacher, and one need not look far back to see evidence of foolish actions by Presidents from both parties that resulted in un-intended consequences. Most impact the pocketbook or some other similar discomfort. But there is one special catagory of Presidential action that carries a much greater cost. Actions that eventually cost American lives. History is replete with examples. President Obama, there is a time in every person's life when he or she must put the better good of country before the good of self. And this is one of those times. Thousands of dead Americans crucified on the cross of foolish but good intentions call out and warn you of histories lessons. Heed their warning. We don't need to add to their ranks.

Posted by: donchew1 | April 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Da, comrade mudbone
Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 4:44 PM
________________________

Are you a comrade Jmk55?

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Would you like to see the Attorney General asked about appointing a special prosecutor? Well he's testifying on Thursday afternoon before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, and the subcommittee members all have phone numbers.

A coalition of groups will be taking the occasion to deliver over a quarter million petition signatures to Eric Holder asking for a special prosecutor.

Phone as many of them as you have time to right now, and ask them to please ask the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor. He has said that water boarding is torture.

Top officials have authorized and sought to give pseudo-legal cover for water boarding. Our laws ban it, and the Convention Against Torture requires that we prosecute it.


04/23/09
Hearing: Department of Justice
2:30 PM, 2359 Rayburn
Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General
WEBCAST

http://appropriations.house.gov/Subcommittees/sub_cjs.shtml

Posted by: coiaorguk | April 22, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I pray that now we have said enough is enough and we will prosecute those who authorized this evil thing(Laywers, House
Leader, Senate Leader, Chairperson's various committees), which of course there is a possibility they are alive because of the effort of the interrogators. I pray and hope that by stopping this type of questioning that this beloved country is not hit again like we were on 9/11. But who can say at least we do not go around cutting thier heads off before we ask them a question withou offering them some ice cream and cake.. What a disgrace;;;;

Posted by: STAN21 | April 22, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Media/Press/Reporters and many Law Makers know the standing policy of Torture. The United States sentenced Japanese soldiers for Torturing US Military POW. At the time the US stood as the Leader of Human Rights and helped other Countries learn that Torture was a Crime. These Japanese soldiers were given 15 years at hard labor for the US crime they committed.

Resently the US was tested again on our view of Torture. Michael Vicks tortured animals and was rightfully sentenced for his crime. We have our Supreme Court making a decision right now to give animals the right to the First Amendment.

2000 the Bush Administration kidnapped innocent people and some bad guys along with woman and children. The CIA tortured all some even to death and 7 were tortured to the point their now insane. We tortured woman and children. Now Law Makers question Torture is it legal or illegal. Well it's clear if the US Tortures a human being it's legal but we don't torture animals that's a crime. If any country tortures an american that's a crime and the punishement is death.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | April 22, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Who needs a Truth Commission? Let's just waterboard Bush and Cheney six times a day for a month. They'll probably enjoy it, since their loudmouthed supporters say it's no big deal....

Posted by: thrh | April 22, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

For all those who believe this treatment was/is not torture but just an interrogation technique, I guess you wouldn't mind if our own military was subjected to it by our enemies. Of course you would--it's torture.

Posted by: kgb1 | April 22, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Please bring back Bush and Cheney, and some adult leadership vs. the present teenage red-guard and his ideological hack advistors we have found ourselves with.

Posted by: pgr88 | April 22, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:36 PM
"Los Angeles is grateful that the legal (at the time) waterboarding technique provided valuable information!!!"
_______________________________
You talked to Los Angeles Sagereader?
Is that (at the time) qualifier some sort of word game you play or do you think that makes your post legally correct?

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

For Obama to say the USA lost its moral compass is laughable, considering his own prevarications during the election campaign and the hoodwinking he is now trying to accomplish.

Bring on the brownshirts and call it constructive civil duty. Yuk!

Try your FDR economics and say it is a new way to run our society. Yuk!

Say you'll be bound by federal contributions law and switch your mind when it's perceived to be to your advantage. Yuk!

Skirt campaign contribution laws and vetting. Yuk!

Nominate so many ethically challenged people whose past is a litany of cheating and evasion. Yuk!

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 4:26 PM
"There is NOTHING to clean up! Quit dwelling on the past,,,Blah, blah,,,blah---"
_______________________________

Business as usual Jmk55?

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 4:41 P
---------------------------------------------
Da, comrade mudbone

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Torture was illegal in WWII. It is still illegal now. Torture never works. Throw the sadist bunch in a trial and let a jury of their peers decide their fate. Disbar Bybee, Yoo & company. The bar should be ashamed to have these people as lawyers.

Posted by: ScienceNerd | April 22, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Come on people. 3000 American lives were lost. The suspects were caught. The times were extraordinary. The information that was needed was obtained. The methods were not acceptable, but the country was kept safe. Should it be done again? No! Now let it go!
This administration is nothing but a joke!

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

All the A$$ hole has to do is really look ahead, instead of continually trying to blame everything on Bush. Obama is an incompetent and a liar. Says one thing and does another, like the other corrupt democrats.
He has undermined our intelligence agencies, while glad handing them so dishonestly.
He makes it a point to trash our country while oveseas, which isn't leadership.

It's political pandering, but the dumba$$ doesn't understand that to our enemies it's a clear sign of weakness, which they will, undoubtedly, exploit.

Thanks to all you limp wristed weak minds who put this slug in office.

Posted by: LarryG62 | April 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The interrogations were not illegal.

Because some of the Left doesn't like them does not make them illegal. Nor were they immoral considering the benefits derived against an Seventh Century foe who has been hellbent on destroying us.

Accepting others' viewpoints seems to be a problem with Obama supporters.

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The false reports about weapons of mass destruction shows that there needs to be improvements in the way the U.S. gathers information. Kicking the butts of thousands of Moslem radicals is not a good way to do it. Well paid informants that work deep within the enemy lines is the only successful way of getting quality information. Intelligent agents should develop a network of spies. It would replace the ineffective use of torture.

Posted by: melvin_polatnick | April 22, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 4:26 PM
"There is NOTHING to clean up! Quit dwelling on the past,,,Blah, blah,,,blah---"
_______________________________

Business as usual Jmk55?

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Los Angeles is grateful that the legal (at the time) waterboarding technique provided valuable information!!!

Obama officials need to stop criminalizing differences of policy.

Frankly I am entirely unimpressed with Obama's behavior, led by his loony Left, to date. It is narcissistic and unproductive.

To you Lefties, I say, "GROW UP," and accept diversity of opinion as part of a mature democracy.

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

In our rush to punish the evildoers, I hope America will not embark on a series of high profile prosecutions for torture. We are also struggling with a severe, worldwide economic crisis, trying to prevent another promised terrorist attack on US soil, and working to convince the international community that the credibility of the world's sole superpower is intact.

Posted by: Whitecoat | April 22, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Quote by FLRudy: "Get real people; Water-boarding is uncomfortable but no one has died from it and it does seem to be pretty effective in eliciting info from a recalcitrant terrorist."

No one has ever dies from having their fingernails pulled off, their skin burned with cigarettes, or their genitals shocked with electricity either. I guess these aren't torture by your standards.

To quote you, "Get real."

And all the authority I have read says that torture is a fast way to get those subject to it to confess to anything and the say anything. The truth is the furtherest thing for the mind of someone being tortured.

Posted by: mtrobt | April 22, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The Bush legacy...
That extends into so many failed areas these days.

Posted by: gce1356 | April 22, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:23 PM
"We should not try to criminalize policy positions of previous administrations!!"

____________________________

Even if those policies were crimes Sagereader?

Posted by: mudbone | April 22, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Acting like a tinpot Latin Amaerica dictator has its difficulties in a mature democracy. Trying to criminalize policy interpretations of a prior administration is INSANE.

Such immature political behavior is going to be one of the Achilles heel problems of this administration. He is going to have to learn the hard way that what goes around comes around. He'll have to watch his butt when he is leaving office.

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

There is NOTHING to clean up! Quit dwelling on the past, or...why don't we investigate the slaughter of American Indians by the US Army and reopen Watergate.

Posted by: jmk55 | April 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

President Bush 's legacy is like an foul stench that just won't go away. It doesn't help that that evil old Dick Cheney keeps blasting his mouth on TV to any media outlet that will listen to him. Fix news should give him his weekly show he is on there so much. So I hear. I myself refuse to watch the GOP network.

Dick Cheney needs to take his old evil self, go somewhere sit down and shut up. Bush for the most part has, why can't he. We need no reminders of all the crap those two did to this country.

It is very unfortunate that our very first African American President has to clean up after all the crap Cheney and Bush did. I think he may have had an idea but not how much until he got in there. Bush and Cheney were power hungry and they got carried away with it. They were like we are President and Vice President and we can do whatever the heck we want. After all the GOP controlled congress until 2006 let them. They are so interested in checks and balances, where were they then. Giving Bush whatever he wanted.

Whatever President Obama does he will do what he thinks is best for the counrty period. I think he is more interested in healing our country then digging up old wounds.

Right now there are more important things like get the economy back on track, get people back to work, keep people in their homes, bringing our troops home from Iraq. Any of those ring a bell? President Obama does have enough on his plate.

Bush and Cheney did wrong however make no mistake they think they will have gotten away with it. But they won't. Watch what happens in their lives down the road. Venegenance is mine saith the Lord.

Posted by: bjlopez1130 | April 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@FLRudy:
You claim that only THREE people were waterboarded. This comes from what we were all told. We were also told that it only happened a FEW times.

Turns out they waterboarded one of the prisoners 183 times in a MONTH. Another was waterboarded 80+ times in a month.

Since they lied about how often it was used, why do you remotely believe the number people they say it was used on is remotely true?

As for 'nobody died from waterboarding', really, you're going with that as a defense? I guess nail pulling is fine, as well as chopping off fingers right?

If it is so *benign*, why did the US prosecute Japanese soldiers for the torture of US prisoners after WWII for the very same actions? It is torture.

Anything meant to inflict bodily harm and severe discomfort is torture and is banned by international treaty. Just because *we* did it doesn't make it less then torture.

Posted by: rpixley220 | April 22, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Come on people, get some perspective on the Real World.
Posted by: FLRudy | April 22, 2009 4:13 PM

FL-
The "real world" is a place that's been pillaged, raped, and ripped off by unrestrained corporate crooks with the blessings of free market ideologues like Bush, Reagan, and, yes, Clinton. Now that it's painfully obvious thes crooks have screwed average Americans the same way they've screwed vulnerable people in other countries, how could anyone not understand why some people are furious with Americans who refuse to control the deliquent children who've mismanaged their businesses and their government?

Posted by: rooster54 | April 22, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Interogating Terrorists and foreign enemy combatents is not the place to enact political correctness.

All Liberal Fools that right on this post about torture, must not have read the earlier article in the Washington Post which called the treatment of some of the detainees and terrorist as "harsh treatment" not torture.

At times during interrogation they were made cold, hungry, had to listen to loud music, may have been called names, and were waterboarded etc... Waterboarded on the lighter end of the spectrum at that.

The terrorists were not cut with 100's of cuts from a razor blade and didn't have salt and lemon juice rubbed into their wounds. The terrorists did not have their joints broken and bent backwards. The terrorists did not have their finger nails and toenails pulled out slowly with plyers. The terrorists did not have their limbs or their heads severed from their bodies. The terrorists eyes were not burnt out with hot irons. Etc... Etc... Etc...

Liberal morons who keep talking about torture when they have no clue what they are talking about.

Thousands of American lives have been saved due to the "harsh treatment" of a few terrorists and enemey combatents.

I guess the Liberal Extremist Bush haters really don't care, as this is a partisan issue and not the issue of torture that they are all proclaiming it be.

After their harsh treatment they were kept in better conditions than most people from the warzones they were taken from, and in better conditions than many American homeless citizens.

Liberal politically correct foolishness will not protect America like the "harsh treatment" of a few enemy combatents has.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | April 22, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again, investigate, cover-up, investigate, cover-up, & when it's all said & done, nothing.

www.nextrevolution.net

When are the American people going to put an end to this two party joke & campaign finance? We've been taken in the greatest scam teh world has ever seen, all the cover-ups in the world can't hide the truth.

Campaign finance & the two parties will bounce this around with lies until We the People get tired of hearing about it & paying for it & it will never be settled. republicans beat Clinton up for eight years, democrats will beat bush up for eight years, & now republicans are kicking Obama around & will until he's out of office.

The American people need to get rid of both parties, take campaign contributions, & make contributors pay the same amount they contrinuted to both parties, every year & pay back Social Security with that money because ciontributors stole it from US first!

Cut representative pay in half, end autopy raises, end all provided health care, retirement, & eliminate all retirment, & benefits former representatives receive including protection for former Presidents.

These people are all responsible for every problem we have in America. This includes wars, related deaths, trillions in debt, illegal immigration, free trade & damage done through it. tax $ lost through campaign finance, & every governmnet agency being a failure while costing US trillions.

Our representatives invest in defense contractors after handing them billions & starting wars & then receive our tax $ back as campign contributions after making billions throiugh investments.

The current finacial crisis is just more of the same. The people responsible contributed $64 million to our representatives, the FED, SEC, & Treasury stopped public debate into whether derivatives were a risk to the world financial system, & the crooks made trillions breaking the world.

We bailed them out with trillions we'll be paying back for the rest of our lives, they gave themselves bonuses, representatives gave themselves auto pay raises, handed out billions more, thr crokks gave millions more of our tax $ back to representatives.

We don't need investigations or any of the waste that goes with government lies. The people need to decide how to fix the problem & I just told you how.

Quit sticking your head in the sand & butt in the air like a target & you'll quit taking it in the ---!

Posted by: greyghost1 | April 22, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama is proving himself to be the amateur puppet of MoveOn and other moombat lefties that critics have always claimed.

We should not try to criminalize policy positions of previous administrations!!

Posted by: sagereader | April 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

hello....
WaPO..you're making me dizzy.

Legacy has the connotation of "nice, wonderful things".
41 is having a fit in kennebunkport.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 22, 2009 4:08 PM
Yours must be a wonderful world, where the first attack on the WTC never happened and Tim McVeigh was never allowed to blow up the Murraugh building in Oklahoma city. May I suggest that you stop doing drugs, or if you don't do drugs you should start? Either way, a shift in your consciousness can only be for the better.

Not to defend Neverleft, mind. You and he are simply opposite sides of the same coin.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LIKE I SAID; TO REPUBLICANS THE TRUTH IS AN INSULT, SO THEY INSULT OTHERS.

HOW DO YOU SEE ANY SENSE OF RESPONDING TO 9/11 ATTACK BY ATTACKING IRAQ. BUSH SEES SOME SENSE OBVIOUSLY, BUT HE HASN'T TOLD YOU YET, DIDN'T HE? THERE IS NO SENSE YOU BUSH'S BUTT HAIR, THERE IS NO SENSE. YOU ARE STUCK IN TOILET WITH ONE FOOT, AND WATER IS GETTING FLUSHED BY OBAMA, ALL YOU CAN DO IS CRY WITH THE REST OF YOUR GOOD OL' TIME BUDDIES THAT HAD THEIR HANDS DEEP IN OUR POCKETS, EVEN YOURS. ITS FUN TO WATCH YOU TRYING TO OVERTHROW OR IMPEACH OBAMA, TALK S.H.I.T ABOY HIM, BUT GET REAL, WHAT CAN YOU REALY DO?!!! CRY BABIES.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 22, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

America Does Not Torture!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

rooster: ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS !!
(laughing heartily)

Sadly, many American families have sacrificed their sons and daughters for the sake of our country.

George Herbert Walker Bush, however, sacrificed our country for the sake of his son

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the hysterical posturing going on by the nuts screaming about "torture" in the form of "Water-boarding". Get real people; Water-boarding is uncomfortable but no one has died from it and it does seem to be pretty effective in eliciting info from a recalcitrant terrorist. Besides that, I understand it was used on a total of THREE prisoners who were the worst of the worst. How about some of that pity for our troops and citizens that have been maimed and killed by the terrorists that are being cried over. How can water-boarding, which is actually pretty benign, cause so much concern when everyday our own U.S. Police forces, (and most of the rest of the worlds police) inflict powerful and potentially deadly Taser blasts on our civilian population, which in many cases HAS killed the recipients, and we hear nothing like the howl we are hearing about the three people in the eight years of the Bush presidency who were Water-boarded. Come on people, get some perspective on the Real World. And one more thing... there were also many high ranking Democrats who were totally briefed on the interrogation techniques being used during the Bush years that would have to share the spotlight of any forthcoming "trials", that is of course, if there was to be any fairness to the proceedings.

Posted by: FLRudy | April 22, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse


phalanx:
got it...thanks

well, today i heard that Taliban Ambassadors are being re-installed in Pakistan.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"With controversy over CIA memos, Obama learns cleaning up after Bush will be ongoing test."
Yep! The F* idiot screwed up everything he touched.

Posted by: analyst72 | April 22, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey schmuck, prior to 9-11 we did not have any attacks for 8 years and Adolf W Bush was not dictating for the 99% of that "prior" time. He let it happened so Pentagon could get more federal money to attack Iraq. Makes sense to smart people, but to diseased republican brains, Its an insult for that truth.

Posted by: BOBSTERII
--------------------------------------------------------
Yours must be a wonderful world, where the first attack on the WTC never happened and Tim McVeigh was never allowed to blow up the Murraugh building in Oklahoma city. May I suggest that you stop doing drugs, or if you don't do drugs you should start? Either way, a shift in your consciousness can only be for the better.

Not to defend Neverleft, mind. You and he are simply opposite sides of the same coin.

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 22, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, many American families have sacrificed their sons and daughters for the sake of our country.

George Herbert Walker Bush, however, sacrificed our country for the sake of his son.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 22, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

To the right wing idiots, you all are not used to a thoughtful individual in the WH. Given what you've had during the last 8 yrs, I can understand.

The issue is this, a democratically elected president normally answers to the people. Obama has a huge backlog of items to focus on and is also sensitive to the wishes of the people. He is trying to be a president and a voice to his country. He's is a balancing act, thinking on his feet if you will and doing what is legal and right also. You all cannot understand this after 8 yrs of a having a stick in the mud for a president.

Posted by: moemongo | April 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's what it says on FBI website for 10 most wanted men, about Osama Bin Laden.

CAUTION

USAMA BIN LADEN IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, AND NAIROBI, KENYA. THESE ATTACKS KILLED OVER 200 PEOPLE. IN ADDITION, BIN LADEN IS A SUSPECT IN OTHER TERRORIST ATTACKS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

Very sad; one indictment is missing, so is 3000 dead Americans. BRAVO FOR BUSH LEGACY!!!!

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

We May Be Weak Liberals.

But we can sure enjoy a good show.

I'm shopping for a new Big Screen TV cause this is gonna be sooooo much better than the Clinton Impeachment. Last a whole lot longer too!

Even if another attack happens we will know the true cause. Israeli control of our foreign policy. Thats the real culprit behind the WTF collapse.

Now back to TV. I'll make the pop corn. Who is bringing the Ice?

Posted by: Regeman | April 22, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

How did we get these terrorists and how do we fight terrorism.
Any of you smart political republicans should give us a good rational explanation and answer. Thank you.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 22, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The operative phrase in "cleaning up after bush", Obama cannot do it all in a few weeks after years of such incompetence.

Posted by: moemongo | April 22, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: phalanx | April 22, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: NeverLeft | April 22, 2009 3:17 PM
"One Bush legacy 0bama seems determined to eliminate: No attacks on the American mainland since 9/11".

RESPOND:
Hey schmuck, prior to 9-11 we did not have any attacks for 8 years and Adolf W Bush was not dictating for the 99% of that "prior" time. He let it happened so Pentagon could get more federal money to attack Iraq. Makes sense to smart people, but to diseased republican brains, Its an insult for that truth.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 22, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't really think anyone can clean up what was done under the Bush Administration in regards to torture. We can act like it never happened, and sweep it under the rug, but unfortunately it did happen, and it should be recognized.

Posted by: Ohwell3 | April 22, 2009 3:34 PM

--------------------------------

Under this Pussy Obama it is illegal to even "insult" a detanee while questioning.

You people are pathic wimps.

Posted by: sb2288 | April 22, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The President's latest waffling on this questionable issue is nothing more than a transparent attempt to pacify his party's perpetually angry left wing, whose motives in turn are merely an insatiable desire to demean the Bush administration. The President had earlier spoken correctly about the need to "look to the future" rather than "laying blame for the past". He should heed his own common sense instincts. Continued belaboring of this questionable issue is a sure route to more partisan turmoil.

Posted by: bubba31138 | April 22, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The whole issue can be summarised in one point - how many died on US soil since 9/11... the answer, NONE. This proves that the methods used WORK. When Americans start dying in the thousands, thank THE ONE for his surrender to terrorists.

Posted by: ed1950 | April 22, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

And only the pathetically WEAK liberal left thinks their is any cleaning up to be had from the Bush admin...just you wait for an attack caused by this reckless willy washrag Chicago thug. It will be BLAME BUSH all over again.

You people are mentally disturbed and truely patheic Americans.

Posted by: sb2288 | April 22, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The Bush year are like waking from the most horrific on nightmares.

We need to realize we are all OK. Except for those who committed War Crimes. Lets deal with them and then, President Obama, then... we can move forward.

Trying to do so without bringing these traitors to our values as a nation will only leave you hobbled with the balls and chains of guilt for cover up.

War Crimes trials such as those held at Nuremburg are perfectly appropriate. If nothing was done wrong then lets put that out there.

However, when people shout insults and get aggitated they usually have something to hide. Boy are there a lot of insults flying from the Neocons and Terrorist Right. Their level of aggitation is off the charts.

For us true American's the Bush/Cheney Nightmare is over. For the Radical Right and Neocons the Bush/Cheney Nightmare is just about to begin.

Posted by: Regeman | April 22, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 3:39 PM
oh please, the only reason we ARE safe, is that THEY (call them islamic extremists if you like) haven't launched another master plan.

RESPOND: Sadly, this statement is more likely true, or I am not sure why we are safe, because I don't feel our government is doing anything to prevent attacks; in fact, its doing everything to provoke attacks and terror.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 22, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The Bush year are like waking from the most horrific on nightmares.

We need to realize we are all OK. Except for those who committed War Crimes. Lets deal with them and then, President Obama, then... we can move forward.

Trying to do so without bringing these traitors to our values as a nation will only leave you hobbled with the balls and chains of guilt for cover up.

War Crimes trials such as those held at Nuremburg are perfectly appropriate. If nothing was done wrong then lets put that out there.

However, when people shout insults and get aggitated they usually have something to hide. Boy are there a lot of insults flying from the Neocons and Terrorist Right. Their level of aggitation is off the charts.

For us true American's the Bush/Cheney Nightmare is over. For the Radical Right and Neocons the Bush/Cheney Nightmare is just about to begin.

Posted by: Regeman | April 22, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse


phalanx:
that was jan 2008.
bush administration.

did your entry suggest President Obama did this?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

IF THESE CRIMINALS GO WITHOUT PAYING FOR THEIR LAWLESSNESS, AMERICANS CAN EXPECT OUR NEW AND FUTURE LEADERS WILL HAVE CARTE BLANCH TO DO WHATEVER THEY WISH SINCE THE RECORDS WILL SHOW BUSH A, CHENEY, ROVE, RUMSFELD AND THE WHOLE ROTTEN GOP WALKED AWAY FREE AND CLEAR.\\IS THIS WHERE AMERICA IS GOING ? DOWN THE SAME CRUEL AND BEASTLY ROAD AS THE SOVIET UNION AND THE HITLER REGIME??

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | April 22, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting article with some valid discussion points... My problem is not necessarily with the content, but rather that it is set up as news (fact) rather than opinion. After reading through it, I wonder why "Opinion" or "Analysis" is not mentioned near the headline to this article on the main page of the WashPost's website. It is disingenuous by the Post to leave this on the main page without highlighting that this is the author's "take" on the situation. Finally, how long will President Obama be in ‘clean-up’ mode and when will his Presidency begin?

Posted by: jcinpa | April 22, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

presumably president obama didn't learn of the extent of some of bush's screwups until he was briefed as the incoming executive. it shouldn't be an ongoing challenge though, any more than any incoming tenant dealing with the mess left by a former tenant. obama should simply clean house now, decisively, and move forward. if that means getting rid of 30% of the intelligence community or doj, so be it.

Posted by: e9999999 | April 22, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

oh please, the only reason we ARE safe, is that THEY (call them islamic extremists if you like) haven't launched another master plan.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

As left-wing liberals have learned what is Obama's policy one day is not necessarily what his policy the next day.

He is Mr. flip-flop, switching directions according to which way the wind is blowing.

Yesterday he was opposed to a witch hunt in the C.I.A.
Today he is for a witch hunt in the C.I.A. even thought the agency is already in an uproar over his policies.

The end result will be a C.I.A. that does not do it's job because a Democratic president won't let it.

The cumulative result of Obama's flip-flop will be that we are attacked again.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | April 22, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Understand, please, I am NOT a Republican, nor a Bush backer. Anything but.
But, this Marxist apologist is already an absolute catastrophe, nothing less!
And, no, it's not about me -- I'm old; it's about my children and their kids...
Obama's the biggest disaster our country's ever experienced -- his international views are horrible, even worse than his socialist domestic agenda!
I've never been so disappointed in anyone, ever!

Posted by: frost1 | April 22, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: phalanx | April 22, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't really think anyone can clean up what was done under the Bush Administration in regards to torture. We can act like it never happened, and sweep it under the rug, but unfortunately it did happen, and it should be recognized.

Posted by: Ohwell3 | April 22, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

START FROM THE TOP AND GO DOWN- THESE LAWYERS SURELY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING BY CIRCUMVENTING THE LAWS OF OUR COUNTRY AND PUTTING THEIR PROFFESIONAL LIVES ON THE LINE AND WHO DID THEY DO THIS FOR??? AND WHO HIRED THEM TO BREAK THE LAWS FOR SHEER CRUELTY! OBAMA, LIKE ALL AMERICANS KNOW THE ANSWER AND THE TRUTH.

DOES ANYONE THINK THESE MEN WHO PROSTITUTED THEMSELVES FOR BUSH AND HIS GANG OF MURDERERS WILL WALK AWAY FROM THE TRAGEDY CAUSED, AND FOR THE MONEY THEY MUST HAVE RECEIVED, WITHOUT ADMITTING WHO ORDERED THEM TO DO WHAT WILL GIVE THEM NIGHTMARES AND RUIN THE REST OF THEIR LIVES, THEIR CHILDREN'S LIVES, THEIR WIVES LIVES FOR THIS BEAST WE ENDURED FOR EIGHT YEARS. I HOPE AND PRAY NOT!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | April 22, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

When the KGB tactics were revealed, we counted it justice. When the Stasi of East Germany were revealed, we counted it a victory for justice. It's time to hold our own accountable, beginning with W and Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice. Prosecute them, unveil the black budgets of the CIA, let us know what has been done and is being done in the name of America. W and Cheney have defiled our country. They are a shame and a disgrace.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | April 22, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, this line goes a long way:

"Obama has learned that cleaning up after Bush will be an ongoing challenge."

Its not enough to stop the Bush/Cheney garbage from the previous eight years, OR even undo all the damage from the previous eight years...it seems President Obama will have to figure out a way to make Bush and Cheney to apologize to us and allow each tax-paying American a chance to slap them both bloody.

I don't think so...just get the country back on its feet, Mr. President. Bush and Cheney will be judged when the time comes - in this world or the next. Until then, do not let them be a distraction.

Posted by: free-donny | April 22, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Are you prepared for scorched earth tactics in return? EVERY Dem who knew about this will go down as well.

Posted by: JakeD | April 22, 2009 2:25 PM"
-------
News Flash: "Temperature in Hell falls to zero, swine seen flying in Northern sky"

Because for once I actually agree with JakeD (on this statement).

Posted by: JRM2 | April 22, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

You can't move on from the past without confronting it meaningfully any more than you can move on with a broken leg until you put a cast on it and get a pair of crutches. It's ungainly as hell, looks awkward and gets in the way of the things you want to do. But so does falling down every other step you take because you have - what? - a broken leg you refuse to deal with and pretend isn't there. Plus it not only takes much longer to heal (if ever), but you look really stupid in the bargain.

This is gonna be messy, but it's worth it in the long run. Or it can be a long limp. Take your pick.

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 22, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"One Bush legacy 0bama seems determined to eliminate: No attacks on the American mainland since 9/11.

Posted by: NeverLeft | April 22, 2009 3:17 PM "

Emphasis on the word "since". Why it seems to escape every righty that 9/11 occurred on Bush's watch, and that having it occur on one's watch is nothing to be proud of, never ceases to baffle me. So in reaction to having dropped the ball prior9/11, the Bushies decide to drop the Constitution along with it.

Posted by: PrattleinSeattle | April 22, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama's immaturity and megalomania frightens the heck out of me.

Posted by: JAH3 | April 22, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting wrinkle: Obama says that we can maintain our American values while keeping America safe.

One of the main objectives of Al Qaeda is to change the American way of life, and to some extent, it has worked (torture, wiretapping etc.)

Could Obama's statement be a poke in the eye to Al Qaeda?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Obama has learned that cleaning up after Bush will be an ongoing challenge".
-------------------------------
We should take very good notes, because cleaning up after Obama will be just as daunting a task.

Posted by: AWWNats | April 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Are you prepared for scorched earth tactics in return? EVERY Dem who knew about this will go down as well.

Posted by: JakeD | April 22, 2009 2:25 PM "

Hey Jake:
In the words of some guy whose name escapes me: "Bring 'em on!" Any Dem who was aware of us violating US law and international treaties we signed onto, and remained silent is open game in my book. Country before party for me. And without the U.S. Constitution, we have no country.

Back in my wayward youth, back when I thought of myself as a Republican, that was what it was all about. If it wasn't in line with the Constitution, we didn't back it. Today, the remaining lunatic fringe that constitutes the Republican base only cites the Constitution when it suits their purposes. Can you say 2nd Amendment?

Try standing for something, rather than standing against everything. And standing for torture doesn't speak well for your upbringing.

Posted by: PrattleinSeattle | April 22, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

" I hesitate to call it torture because it really isn't."
----
If it isn't torture then can you tell me why we tried, convicted, and executed more than one Japanese soldier after WWII for WATERBOARDING American soldiers?

I'm just saying there's a precedent that has been set...by the U.S.

Posted by: JRM2 | April 22, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The Oval Office is no place to gain experience, especially on the national stage. I hope this gets better or we are looking at another Carter Administration; well-meaning but ultimately well out of its league.

Posted by: stvcar | April 22, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

phalanx: what missiles?
///
uh, wait---did I read this right?
"what I read is obama using President Bush to distract the people while he does his dirty deeds...
and it's sad but it's working..."
oh dwight - what is sad is the evidence that is coming out that may just incriminate our 43rd president and vp "after the fact".

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Sad, bitter, angry, deranged, sputtering outbursts from the defeated Bush-loving right wing. The more they foam at the snout, the more they shrink as a percentage of voting Americans. Foam on!

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | April 22, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Did we forget 9/11 already. We are more concerned for the well being of terrorists and how they are interrogated than the safety of the citizens of this nation. I believe that President Bush did what was necessary to protect this nation as he should. His administration kept us safe for 7 1/2 years and instead of thanking him we are looking for reasons to punish him? Our best days as a nation are certainly behind us!

Posted by: rwickl7439 | April 22, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

One Bush legacy 0bama seems determined to eliminate: No attacks on the American mainland since 9/11.

Posted by: NeverLeft | April 22, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Torture will not make any friends overseas, and today, international cooperation is really necessary to solve some of the most pressing issues in the world such as malaria, measles, and malnutrition. The Borgen Project has good info on the estimated cost of ending global poverty:

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.

$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget.

Posted by: davidwaters1 | April 22, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

According to Col Lawrence Wilkerson who served on President Bush's National Security Committee over 100 prisoners died while in custody and 27 died as a result of torture. What good are the Geneva Conventions to our military if we allow those who are guilty of crimes to walk away just because they were powerful?

I've served in war and retired from the military, I condemn Bush and Cheney and hope that they are thoroughly investigated and if found guilty face justice.

Posted by: ThumperNM | April 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

or stuck them in my old elementary school classroom
they would have done or said anything
for that bathroom pass

and it wouldn't have been in writing

as much as i find this episode distasteful
did they have to write a book on the subject


Here, it's for sale:

http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521853249

and we probably learned so little
what a shame

Posted by: jato1 | April 22, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Just because Obama wants the book to be closed doesn't make it closed in the minds of the People; it's not his book to close. Remember, as a senator, he voted to give blanket immunity to the telcos who spied on U.S. citizens at the behest of the Bush admin.

He has a long way to go to separate himself from the status quo of single party rule in this country. He can choose to be Gerald Ford for pardoning Nixon and the Watergate criminals or he can choose to be a true champion of Justice... the choice is his to make.

Posted by: MLuther | April 22, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

can you say

pardon

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I know that the Obama Administration is waiting, anxiously, for my advice.

Here it is:

Drain the friggen swamp and drain it now.

Do it while the nation is completely distracted with much bigger issues like our economy, their jobs, and their homes.

Do it while the rest of the world is really looking to see if you have the guts to transform the international relations and image of the United States.

Do it while the GOP is pretty much running around desperately trying to figure out who is say what, when, and how.

Do it before the nuts in the House and Senate do it for you....(they will screw it up -- that's what legislative bodies do the best).

Do it BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. NOW.

There you go. I will waive my standard hourly rate.

Posted by: Losercuda | April 22, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

what I read is obama using President Bush to distract the people while he does his dirty deeds...
and it's sad but it's working...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

or stuck them in my old classroom
they would have done or said anything
for that bathroom pass

and it wouldn't have been in writing

Posted by: jato1 | April 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

they shuld heve used elextricity on them
yah. elektricitie on them
den dy vould haf sopken da trudth

yah. volts.
yah. amperage
yah da toaster konnectked to da feeeet yah
den dere vould haf veen know ambiguity

a little charge vould do


Posted by: jato1 | April 22, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

After the hyper politicization of the Bush Years, the Press can't imagine that Obama wouldn't be trumpeting the 'Hunt for Torturers'. Instead, he (rightly) says he doesn't want to prosecute the CIA agents who relied on Administration assurances that they were legally operating in shady areas. He also (rightly) says that, of course, we should investigate how it was that such, obviously bogus, legal justifications came about. He has no interest in putting this front and center.

Step by step, the wheels of justice will turn and step by step, the criminals who devised a legal cover for such morally reprehensible acts will be brought to justice. Obama doesn't need to lead the charge, he just needs to let the sunshine in.

Posted by: thebobbob | April 22, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Had 9/11 occurred on BO's watch, would he have been angry? Upset? Or would he have rushed to have a photo of himself taken bending his kneee before an islamic potentate as a gesture of good will?

Posted by: mhr614 | April 22, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight. Obama orders the launching of missiles to target terrorist homes in Pakistan, which actually end up killing women and children, and we are upset because we water-boarded our captured terrorists? btw, we put our own pilots and special forces through intense torture scenarios in order to prepare them for the possibility. This is a wacked out administration. We are all going to pay for this someday in the future.

Posted by: phalanx | April 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Did I read correctly that President Obama decides what will and will not be prosecuted by the Department of Justice? Is that really the way it works? I thought the Justice Department was independent."

Posted by: plombard | April 22, 2009 2:49 PM

* * * * *

You may have read it in a post by someone trying to misrepresent the President's comments.

Another disaster that President Obama is trying to correct is the Department of Justice. The DOJ determines who is and who is not prosecuted. Under Bush, the DOJ operated as a subset of the Bush White House. The DOJ was loaded with idealogues, career positions were staffed based on political leanings and so forth. In fact, politics played more of a role in staffing DOJ than did expertise. It will take time for the DOJ to purge itself of unwanted political influence. You might say that this is another stink left over from the Bush days which will take time to correct.

Posted by: EarlC | April 22, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The premise of this article is hysterical. Obama releases classified memos and then is dismayed about the uproar.

Cleaning up after Bush? What should be number one on Obama's plate is cleaning up his own party. Harmon, Feinstein,Jefferson,Napalitano,Dodd,Frank,tax evaders - the list goes on and on and on.

One positive step for Obama would be to release the memos describing the success brought by the enhanced techniques - I hesitate to call it torture because it really isn't. Our own service members undergo it in SERE training. It does not result in death or maiming. Is it unpleasant? I certainly frickin hope so. Not as unpleasant as having ones head cut off - but unpleasant enough.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | April 22, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't want retribution. I want justice. Perhaps if Cheney had shown just a little remorse, some sign of contrition, some recognition that what he did was wr-wr-wr-wrong, we wouldn't have to go here. Instead, he is bellowing into every microphone that he can find about the benefits of torture.

America does not stand for torture. He must be thinking of some other country. I'm afraid this is going to take an investigation, full disclosure and a prosecution, if warranted, to settle this debate. Otherwise, the GOP will be continuing their no big deal song and dance and this will happen again.

Cheney is mad that his secrets are seeing the light of day; not our secrets.

Posted by: SarahBB | April 22, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse


Justice Dept. was trying to cover it.

watch the bouncing ball folks:

1. After 9-11, Dick Cheney comes to President Bush with an "outline" (nice word for AUTHORIZATION) of "enhanced interrogation techniques".
Dick is afraid of that 1% that is hanging out around the corner.
2. Really really wants the President to sign it.
3. He does.
4. Abu Ghabib (??), Gitmo, begin the enhanced techniques
(HEY, get that dog collar off)
5. but we won't find the original. it's been destroyed. and all that is left is how the Justice Dept. made it seem all legal....

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The United States is a signatary to the Geneva convention. Which means that we have agreeded to abide by certain established codes of conduct. Do you know that German Prisoners of War were treated better that African American Inlistedmen in the US Army in WW 11?
If combatants are captured on the Battlefield or on the streets of Jakata they are entitled to the same rules of conduct. Because we are a signor to Geneva. We cant act like anyone else We are the US.
How do we make a case to Castro or Chavez or Iran when we act just like them?
Obama is on the right course.
If their hands are dirty then they should be prepared to accept the consequences.
Chaney needs to keep quiet if he knows what good for him.

Posted by: Carprin | April 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

When we follow one of the worst presidencies in history with what could be one of the best, cleaning up can be a daunting task. Then mix the caustic flavor of partisan politics, primarily practiced by those on whose account most of the blame belongs.

As more and more stench is uncovered, there will be a tendency by some to say that this stench has affected other presidencies to the same degree. Granted, there is not one human being who is perfect. However, there are human beings who make either careless or unintended mistakes while others premeditate a course that either directly or indirectly undermines our Conssitution. Though careless and perhaps premeditated, Clinton's sin of sexual exploits is not hardly what the Constitution refers to as "high crimes and misdemeanors." The Bush administration of directing the flagrant sidestepping of the U.S. Constitution while pushing the fear button at every turn did result in "high crimes and misdemeanors." It is amazing to me how the party with the most conservative people in the country allowed itself to foster such a callous abuse of the U.S. Constitution. Now, these same people refuse to try to correct past errors. Instead, they call people hateful names, they say "no" to needed changes, and act like children who do not get their way.

President Obama, against all odds, is trying to demonstrate what responsible governance looks like. I respect him for giving his best to our country, a country that definitely needs a leader with integrity and vision. The Christian right gave us George Bush. After eight years, over 70% of the people polled believe that Bush was a poor President. With the Gallup daily tracking poll showing Obama with a 64% approval rating (up 1% today) and a 28% disapproval rating (unchanged), it is time that the vocal minority start doing something constructive rather than just keep complaining and offering hateful soundbites.

http://www.gallup.com/Home.aspx

Posted by: EarlC | April 22, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Did I read correctly that President Obama decides what will and will not be prosecuted by the Department of Justice? Is that really the way it works? I thought the Justice Department was independent.

Posted by: plombard | April 22, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

This is addressed directly to ZZim.

So you support torture. People like you disgust me. A torturer is the lowest form of life imaginable and you want us all to be torturers.

People like you are a blight on this country. For supporting torture you are a disgrace to this country, to God, to all humanity.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | April 22, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Are you prepared for scorched earth tactics in return? EVERY Dem who knew about this will go down as well.

Posted by: JakeD | April 22, 2009 2:25 PM

"There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed."

It's probably a good time for people to clean up their acts. If everything is understood to be transparent, people will eventually make better choices.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 22, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

It's not about punishment. It's about the Rule of Law that the prior Administration abandoned. It is about knowing and exposing the truth of what happened, and holding those accontable who broke or tried to change legal definitions to fit mask their crimes.

It is not retribution in a political sense, it is accountability. BIG difference.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | April 22, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone have a problem with Cheney's suggestion that ALL memos on this topic be made public. Are you afraid of the truth?

Posted by: rpcurt1 | April 22, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Unless we know everything about the chain of command in these torture memos & hold them accountable, these tactics can be pulled off the shelf & used against American citizens someday.

Posted by: patriot76 | April 22, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney, MEA MAXIMA CULPA!! then say I'm sorry to the Nation for all the wrong doings I have done. The methods applied were the same used by the Nazi Germans, and if you follow history as some does! The methods and many more are still applied in the African continent against the opposers of the dictators

Posted by: sirrhinorocks | April 22, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If you want to prosecute President Bush, then maybe it is time to bring in all of the living Presidents and investigate them all. The memos from the Bush Justice Department attempted to define legal boundaries, so it is my assumption that there were no boundries in the Cliton administration when seeking to find the peritrators of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and the USS Cole. Let's get it all out in the open!!!

Posted by: GM653 | April 22, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

If you want to prosecute President Bush, then maybe it is time to bring in all of the living Presidents under investigation and prosecute them all. The memos from the Bush Justice Department attempted to define legal boundaries, so it is my assumption that there were no boundries in the Cliton administration when seeking to find the peritrators of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and the USS Cole, and track down Mulosivich (phonetic). Let's get it all out in the open!!! And not just President Clinton, ALL the living Presidents.

Posted by: GM653 | April 22, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz, you a liar just like most of your other fellow 'journalists'.

Obama loves keeping this stuff alive so he can continue campaigning as the 'anti-Bush' while he himself bankrupts the country.

Posted by: bug45 | April 22, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

What comes around turns around.

Obama may end up being the most investigated President in our history because of the political theatre he is playing out almost every day. His enemies are sharpening their knives.

All political fortunes cycle and he will get his turn in the proverbial barrel.

The biggest danger to America is if Obama becomes afraid of being investigated and then can not make the hard decisions that we need and are absolutely in the gray areas of life.

Posted by: donbl | April 22, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo:

Are you prepared for scorched earth tactics in return? EVERY Dem who knew about this will go down as well.

Posted by: JakeD | April 22, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse


michael who?
we have another vince foster in this separate scenario???

freddie mac guy committed suicide late last night...
over the economic crisis no doubt.

thanks Bush. perhaps that family can sue the federal government.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

MESSAGE TO DAN: DON'T DISCOUNT POLITICAL THEATER


Mr. Balz:

Or could it be that Barack Obama is doing a Mark Antony... his oft-repeated reluctance to "look back" a politically wise feint that disarms critics as his Justice Department proceeds with doing what a just society must do -- enforce the law and show that disregard for the law carries consequences.

Isn't the President's favorite TV show "The West Wing"? I recall President Barlet adopting a similar strategy a couple of times.

Wasn't it FDR who said, when a citizen petitioned him to take action on a particular issue:

"You have convinced me. I WANT to do it. Now MAKE me do it."

An even more compelling issue you should address is the issue of DOMESTIC torture -- a reality that risks being pushed under the rug unless mainstream journalists like you wake up and smell the microwaves:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is tortured):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 22, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Cheney's judgement has never been that good. He's predictably stupid to pick a fight with Obama by accusing him of being weak. If Cheney wants to continue in this idiocy, he better be ready to flee to his refuge in Dubai, because he's making it very difficult for anyone who would like to avoid prosecuting him.

The world, especially America, would be much better off if Cheney had never been born.

By the way, what does Cheney know about the death of Michael Connell?

Posted by: rooster54 | April 22, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What don't people understand? If an investigation reveals laws were broken it is the duty of the Justice Dept. to investigate & prosecute. It's very simple. If the JD does not prosecute when laws were broken then the JD is derelict in its duties.

Posted by: wcs55 | April 22, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse


this is funny...
folks....the future of what you think of your GOP, your Bush, your Cheney, and your conservatism is at stake here.

read my lips again....

this has the potential to PROVE that OUR
former President (that would be Bush) - and quite possibly, VP Dick Cheney
broke the law of this land.

do i need to repeat it.

now, tell me, what the he** are you going to condemn President Obama now?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Is this where the wingnuts roam, or what?

"Babooma"? Really thinking things through, eh.

"Hillary in 2012"!?!

Dan, they are coming at you from every angle.

Posted by: ducbil | April 22, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Could it be the administration is just testing the waters as it seems so often to do? Or more likely, is it a deliberate smoke screen to change the subject from criticism of the president's recent behavior overseas? Or to distract citizens as health care debate is about to get underway?

Posted by: LLWB | April 22, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

warren commission was a joke too.

the public isn't going to let this one by.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What's funny is both Dems and Repubs in Congress were told beforehand that these things were going to be done and nobody said squat. Now, everybody's running for cover and "can't recall" those days following the attacks by terrorists which brought on those actions.

More interesting is the fact that the memos showed the info gathered stopped attacks on the west coast of the USA which in retrospect is quite unfortunate. Maybe a few dead relatives in California would have made those people think.

It's pure political BS that's behind this. If ANYONE thinks one party has less crooks than another, that person is nuts, plain and simple.

Is anyone talking about Feinstein and her husband and the FDIC scandal? Only a few people at present.

If you really want to fix this country we have to get most of the boneheads out of DC and replace them with people who have brains.

Posted by: madcitizen | April 22, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Liberals, conservatives, blah, blah, blah,, everyone wants to blame everyone else. No one wants to pony up and assume responsibility for actions that quite frankly appear to have been agains the law. Whether you agree with that statment or not it does not much matter. The President that you have is there for the next 4 years, deal with it. Do you have a complaint? It is not the Presidents fault. i would urge everyone to vote out the incumbants in 2 years. You guys want real change?> Get rid of the career politician, that is what needs changing. Oh and by the way paneilson you need to get a grip, Obama is the PRESIDENT, regardles of whether you like the man or the Party he represents, HE IS THE PRESIDENT, and deserves respect for the office that he holds. Grow up for Christ sake. I am now and have always supported the President, regardles of what party they were from, I have worn the Uniform for this country and Lord knows it is better than any where else out there. Either vote for change or quiturbichin

Posted by: TMarcinko | April 22, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Non-coms were tried and punished for their mistreatment of IRAQ p.o.w. s.
We the USA must press charges on them who gave the orders to do so. even be it MR BUSH.
If you follow the news, the USA is trying to send an 80 year old man, to be tried for being a WW2 prison guard by germany.

am sure nothing will come of this, if so it will be a low level nobody, throwen to the dogs. Any one who is some one, will never be charged, they take care of each other.

Posted by: dv1236 | April 22, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Gaithersburg1:

That's not going to happen. If there's a "Truth Commission" it better look at what Congress (including Sen. Obama and Clinton) knew and approved as well.

Posted by: JakeD | April 22, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama's problems with his many constituencies is proving his undoing just as I suspected. It is almost impossible for him to take a stand on any issue without angering one of the interest groups that make up the Democrat party. I predicted his approval rating would be in the mid to low fifties by June. I still hold to that. Once he proves how vulnerable he is to criticism, he will become the next Jimmy Carter. Look for Hillary to run in 2012.

Posted by: saelij | April 22, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Good quote: "Now, with this latest controversy, he is learning that neither the opponents nor the defenders of Bush's presidency are ready to move on."

Perhaps you should have noted that the defenders of Bush's presidency would probably be happy to move on. If the opponents of Bush's presidency woudls top trying to put them in jail, that is.

Unfortunately, the ball is in the Liberals' hands and they don't care that the game is over and everyone has gone home.

Also, you forgot to mention that Obama has more concerns than being distracted by a congressional investigation into his predecessor's administration. He is certainly afraid that further investigations will result in a further reduction in executive power. He needs those powers to be a successful President. But his "supporters" don't realize that. They don't realize that a full-scale "truth commission" will cripple President Obama's ability to protect us from terrorists. They really and truly don't understand.

Oh well, sorry Mr. Obama, but the American lives lost in the next terrorist attack - the terrorist attack on your watch that you couldn't prevent because your hands were tied by your so-called "supporters" - at least those lives will bring some people to their senses and we can reinstate the Bush reforms. Too bad about the destruction of your career, at least it won't really be your fault. You're being swept away by events, powerless.

Posted by: ZZim | April 22, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

panielsen:

you prejudice white honkey.
get a grip.

How's it feel repulsives!
Your Bush might just get busted for ---
say it with me now---
BREAKING THE LAW AS THE PRESIDENT !!!

(((thebabe is laughing heartily)))
sorry, chris...i have Miss California on the mind. Not taking "*^%" on the NET today !!!!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I think that the President knows in his own heart that it is probably better to just move on and leave discussion of policies of the Bush Administration behind. But my impression of him in the first one hundred days is that he can be pushed around by others who are more strident than he is.

It sets a dangerous precedent to investigate and attempt to criminalize policy differences. We can have the argument on whether the policies on torture by the Bush Administration were correct but it should end with a conclusion of whether the policies were correct or not; not whether they were criminal. Good faith errors in judgement are not criminal.

The 9-11 Commission turned out to be pretty much of a waste of time and money. A commission on torture would be a similar waste of time.

I think that President Obama has good instincts and at some point he is going to have to go with his own judgement rather than being pushed around by others.

Posted by: danielhancock | April 22, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

LOL! So, the same logic holds that Scooter Libby did nothing wrong by revealing Valerie Plame's name AFTER Richard Armitage already had, right? LOL!

Posted by: JakeD | April 22, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Much as Obama wishes to put the Bush era behind him, it will not happen quickly or painlessly. His only option is to call for a commission but control the tenor by defining the parameters of the commission.

Posted by: Gaithersburg1 | April 22, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse


he did
and didn't.

president-elect : yes-he gets the classified stuff pending, etc. etc.

however, remember the Bush family and Dick Cheney are MASTER CROOKED REPUBLICANS - so ..
as President......Obama probably got blind sided by the Bush administration on the "stuff" that was not released to him.

it's done all the time.
shredders work overtime in an administration change.

kinda sorta like that Regime Change that was sold as WMD

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

If Babooma "The Organ Grinder's Monkey" stopped trying to blame the previous administration for all of his failures, then he may just be able to accomplish something other than kissing as* all over the world.
But being he is only a "Straw Man", he stands about as much of a chance of that as a snowball in hell.

Posted by: panielsen | April 22, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse


well, busting a former president or vice president of the united states is just what I wanted to do today.

potential to change America.


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 22, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"Obama has learned that cleaning up after Bush will be an ongoing challenge".

I find it difficult to believe President Obama did not realise this seconds after he was sworn in.

Posted by: markswisshelm | April 22, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

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