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Obama Lets Loose the Hounds

In a move sure to accelerate the push for a wide-ranging investigation of Bush administration misdeeds, President Obama today said he is not opposed to some sort of "further accounting of what took place during this period," as long as it doesn't get "so politicized that we cannot function effectively and it hampers our ability to carry out critical national security operations."

He also said that, while he has ruled out prosecution of the people who followed the legal guidance provided by Department of Justice, he wasn't taking a position on what should happen to people higher up in the chain of command. "With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws, and -- and I don't want to prejudge that. I think that there are a host of very complicated issues involved there."

Obama's constant insistence that "we should be looking forward and not backwards" -- which he repeated today -- had led to a perception that he was dead-set against further investigation of any kind. In today's comments, he said that the only thing he's really opposed to is a traditional congressional investigation.

"[I]f and when there needs to be a further accounting of what took place during this period, I think for Congress to examine ways that it can be done in a bipartisan fashion, outside of the typical hearing process that can sometimes break down and break it entirely along party lines, to the extent that there are independent participants who are above reproach and have credibility, that would probably be a more sensible approach to take," he said.

"I'm not suggesting that, you know, that should be done, but I'm saying, if you've got a choice, I think it's very important for the American people to feel as if this is not being dealt with to provide one side or another political advantage, but rather is being done in order to learn some lessons so that we move forward in an effective way."

Senator Patrick Leahy and Rep. John Conyers, the chairmen of the two congressional judiciary committees, have both been advocating a bipartisan commission of respected figures, possibly along the lines of the 9/11 Commission, to explore actions taken by the Bush administration as part of the "war on terror."

The American public overwhelmingly wants some sort of official inquiry. According to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll, nearly two thirds of Americans support an investigation into the treatment of terror suspects during the Bush administration – although they are split on whether it should be conducted by an independent panel or by federal prosecutors.

But Leahy and Conyers were finding only lackluster support among even their Democratic peers.

Last week's release of memos justifying torture, which, in Obama's words, reflected us "losing our moral bearings," renewed the debate.

As Peter Baker and Scott Shane wrote this morning in the New York Times: "Pressure mounted on President Obama on Monday for more thorough investigation into harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects under the Bush administration, even as he tried to reassure the Central Intelligence Agency that it would not be blamed for following legal advice."

Baker and Shane also gave a hint of what was to come: "On Sunday, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said on the ABC News program 'This Week' that 'those who devised policy' also 'should not be prosecuted.' But administration officials said Monday that Mr. Emanuel had meant the officials who ordered the policies carried out, not the lawyers who provided the legal rationale....

"The administration has also not ruled out prosecuting anyone who exceeded the legal guidelines, and officials have discussed appointing a special prosecutor. One option might be giving the job to John H. Durham, a federal prosecutor who has spent 15 months investigating the C.I.A.'s destruction of videotapes of harsh interrogations."

Here's the transcript of Obama's talk at the CIA yesterday. "What makes the United States special, and what makes you special, is precisely the fact that we are willing to uphold our values and our ideals even when it's hard, not just when it's easy; even when we are afraid and under threat, not just when it's expedient to do so. That's what makes us different," Obama said.

"So, yes, you've got a harder job. And so do I. And that's okay, because that's why we can take such extraordinary pride in being Americans. And over the long term, that is why I believe we will defeat our enemies, because we're on the better side of history.

"So don't be discouraged by what's happened in the last few weeks. Don't be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we've made some mistakes. That's how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be President of the United States, and that's why you should be proud to be members of the CIA."

But how do you learn if you don't acknowledge and fully understand your mistakes? If you can only bring yourself to call them "potential" mistakes? You can't. And apparently Obama is realizing that now.

The ultimate pragamatist -- who wanted very much to avoid unnecessary bad feelings that would distract from his agenda -- now seems to recognize that the advocates of further investigation couldn't be put off forever.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board wrote this morning: "If it was Mr. Obama's hope to lay the torture issue to rest, he will be disappointed. Too many issues remain, most fundamentally, did the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' keep us safe — as Vice President Dick Cheney and others insist — or were they the product of simplistic minds that had seen too many episodes of '24'? Who was driving these decisions?

"Mr. Obama has resisted appointing an independent commission to explore these questions. He should reconsider. Only a full airing of the issue can tell us how we strayed so far from our fundamental values, and more important, how we can do it right the next time."

James Fallows blogged for the Atlantic: "Being true to the world's idea of America does not (in my opinion) crucially turn on prosecuting individual CIA or military interrogators. Instead it depends on full clarifying disclosure of the reasoning that led to these practices -- thus, maximum disclosure of the memos -- and full examination of the decisions that public officials made....

"[T]he historical record of what [Bush] approved, and what Dick Cheney recommended, what David Addington egged on, and what John Yoo and (sitting Federal Judge) Jay Bybee and others rationalized, should be established in unambiguous detail. For this, some American version of a 'Truth Commission' is probably the best solution. Many other countries would not bother. America -- to be true to itself -- must. This will matter in the world's eyes. More important, it will matters to us."

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 21, 2009; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  Looking Backward , Torture  
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Comments

This must be the boy Prince's way of telling Cheney to be quite and stop ruining his narrative. Methinks this will backfire as well.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | April 21, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

As we look forward to greater moral character, let us begin with an understanding that we have rejected God's wisdom, power and promises.
Email President Obama that you want a proclamation made for the May 7th, National Day of Prayer, that this nation will live by the Ten Commandments and establish the 7th day as the Lord's day, a day of rest and no work as God said in Exodus 20 . The US, EU and others have tried to make Sunday (the first day) the day of no work, but that is a persecution against the Jews. God and man cannot condemn us if we follow what God wrote in stone by His own finger.

Leviticus 26 is God's promise of good for obedience and terror and 4 x 7 curses for disobedience. The curses do not stop UNTIL we turn to Him in truth.

Posted by: MarieDevine | April 21, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The appointment of a Special Prosecutor would be the best approach. "Bipartisan?" Yeah, right. Like the "bipartisan" 9/11 Commission and all the "bipartisan" junk coming out of DC? In my opinion, bipartisan just means it will go nowhere and will do nothing.
If the Senate and House want to get up on a dias and look oh-so-serious-and-important (even though many of the politicans were briefed on torture and approved of it), fine. However, I'll know people are really serious when we get an independent prosecutor who will take these torturing jerks to trial.

Posted by: iacitizen | April 21, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

At last we might be moving toward a rational accounting of what the last administration did, instead of all the "just trust us" garbage they tried to feed the country. It may well be there's compelling evidence that the CIA gained valuable information: Americans deserve to know, either way.

It may be also be a legalistic version of Area 51, which was kept highly classified for so long, and has been revealed to be, among other things, a massive toxic waste dump: classified only to avoid embarrassment and litigation.

Posted by: whizbang9a | April 21, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"If and when there needs to be a further accounting of what took place during this period, I think for Congress to examine ways that it can be done in a bipartisan fashion, outside of the typical hearing process that can sometimes break down and break it entirely along party lines, to the extent that there are independent participants who are above reproach and have credibility, that would probably be a more sensible approach to take," he said.
_______
Well this will never happen. There will be nothing short of war in the Congress if they try to prosecute members of the Bush administration. Froomkin is dying for his pound of flesh.. well he won't get it...

Posted by: sovine08 | April 21, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

sovine08, your argument seems to be 'if Bush is held accountable for possible crimes, Republicans will get mad and be uncooperative.' How would that be any different than things are NOW? More to the point, shouldn't Republicans welcome an investigation and special prosecutor? As Republicans claim everything Bush did was legal, wouldn't an investigation clear Bush's name?

Posted by: marcedward1 | April 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Torturers and their enablers will always be with us, whether under the Nazis, the Communists, the countless nameless nests of sadists around the world, or here on this blog, where ignorant and soul-less young Republicans perpetually attack Froomkin. Holding the most prominent of these people to account will be difficult, but the maximum practical efforts must be made, for the sake of America and the souls of all true Americans.

Posted by: rjoff | April 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I certainly don't want the kind of garbage like what went on during the late 1990's over what the meaning of "IS" was in impeaching Clinton, permeating the next 4 years of Obama's Presidency.

If someone can be "man" enough to do it in a bipartisan manner, minus all the nastiness, fine investigate. Otherwise I'm with Obama, I'm looking forward.

Posted by: OleLadySquawking | April 21, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Imagine a corporate news media who one day pretends to understand deregulation has destroyed the private investment system....and wakes up Monday morning crowing about Wall Street financial reports and the END of the Recession. If this schziophrenia were not horrendous enough....the corporate media attaches confidence to Wall Street earnings reports that simply ignore the December losses. That's true: Wall Street potential criminals who came begging to the taxpayers for TRILLIONS of bailout bucks....trusted by the media corporations who ignore the OBVIOUS: Wall Street desperately trying to keep the American people from examining cooked books. Whose responsibility? how about the crooks at the SEC who enabled these crimes? Then there is the domestic spying crowd at the Justice Dept....but man did they have an eye (ear) on Elliot Spitzer a critic of deregulation. One great big vast criminal conspiracy which makes the MOB look like girl scouts? Scorpions and head slams anyone? No...swallow the Jack Bauer 24 defense...puke!

Posted by: mikepiedmont | April 21, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

This is one big buck Obama's passing, too. If major prosecutions come of this, the record will show that it happened during Obama's administration, so he'll own it for history. But in the short-term, he's just dropped a few million pounds on his friend Eric's back. I hope Holder knew this was coming when he took the job!

Part of me has a hard time that anything will come of this in the courts, since it'd take years to play out, and it's a guarantee that the next Republican president (I'm not counting the party out yet ; ) would immediately pardon everyone charged. (And will probably pardon Libby too, as a matter of principle.) Only international or other nations' courts could render verdicts immune to American political procedure.

For that reason, I think that within the US, disclosure is far more important than prosecution.

Posted by: whizbang9a | April 21, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Sure, set the precedent. The as each administration turns over we can investigate the one before. This ought to keep everyone occupied through 2-3 years of the Obama administration. At least, it'll keep Congress busy enough that they won't have time to legislate and get into trouble. Also the opportunity for grandstanding and electioneering before the 2010 elections is stupendous.

Posted by: ronjaboy | April 21, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

We let Nixon go and the Republicans saddled us with Bush and Cheney - who made Nixon look like an honest man in comparison.

If Bush and Cheney get away with, what will the Republicans saddle us with next time?

Posted by: MorganaLeFay | April 21, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

We let Nixon go and the Republicans saddled us with Bush and Cheney - who made Nixon look like an honest man in comparison.

-----------

What exactly did Nixon do that Johnson didn’t? We often forget to ask that questions when railing against tricky Dick .

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | April 21, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

ronjaboy, clearly illegal activity by the Bush administration can go on while President Obama carries on with running the country. All we need is a special prosecutor and a small team - lets say 10 people to carry it out - it wouldn't keep 'everyone occupied' unless by 'everyone' you mean the worthless inside-the-beltway pundits. Now if you think Bush is totally innocent, no laws were broken and there was no torture, why not welcome an investigation that would clear Bush's name?

Posted by: marcedward1 | April 21, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Do we let bank robbers go if they "fess up?" No. I would argue that torture is a crime of a magnitude that demands accountability beyond telling the truth. Furthermore, a prosecutor proceeds with the moral clarity of the law and is the least susceptible to politics. I do support Obama's pledge to not go after CIA operatives. Let's NOT make this another Abu Gharib where a few low levels got nabbed and the entire guilty chain up through Rumsfeld walked free. And I wouldn't stop with the lawyers either. Frankly, I wouldn't lose one second of sleep if Cheney spent the rest of his life in jail. Same for Bush but I don't think the American public has the stomach to send a former president to jail even if criminal wrongdoing is provable.

Posted by: johdi | April 21, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks this is simply a political issue should read the history of Mexico.

Our neighbor to the south at various times had a constitution, but it was never protected or defended against all enemies foreign and domestic.

It has also been a country ruled by personalities, not laws.

It was a country with no separation of church and state. It practiced torture and murder from its founding as "New Spain."

As many on these blogs recommend, it treated its enemies as badly as its enemies treated their enemies.

It had a ruling class and a massive disenfranchised tier of lower classes, just as most Republicans favor for the U.S. The only thing that "trickled down" was blood.

The president of the United States has one job, from which all others hang: To protect and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

If that mission statement is again ignored, we will no longer be a nation unified by law. We will just be a big patch of dirt, and we, its tenants will be all alone in a godless universe.


Posted by: motorfriend | April 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty likely that Nixon could be compared to the foolish steroid user, pugilist, who's dumb enough to get nailed by a test, while being only one of many who violate the rules. I've heard that the parties try to nab information from each other pretty regularly.

But what we're talking about here are possible violations of federal and treaty law, both of which should be followed by everyone in the country. We're talking about the core of Cheney and Addington's approach to government (Bush was just along for the ride): what's good for the President is good for the country. Torture, or enhanced interrogation if you like that euphemism, is only one specific outgrowth of that. And Dick is rightly remembered as an imperial president. The Watergate break-in was merely another symptom of his equating himself with all of government.

In neither case can that philosophy be allowed to stand. That was the premise of the American Revolution.

Posted by: whizbang9a | April 21, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we can. ;-)

Posted by: SarahBB | April 21, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

A special prosecutor is required.

This is a question of the Justice department being used to approve and facilitate the use of torture by distorting the law.

It is not a question of the CIA or the previous administration.

There can no trust or faith in law in this nation, if the Justice department, that is entrusted to defend the law, can be used to distort the law.

Posted by: bsallamack | April 21, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

If Bybee losses his license, does he have to resign from the bench?

Posted by: WOW9 | April 21, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

America needs for there to be trials for those who committed International War Crimes in our name.

But holding them in the US defeats the purpose of the Rule of Law.

Best for all involved if formal charges are submitted to the Hague and the ICC holds the War Crimes Trials for their actions against the Geneva Conventions that our nation is signatory to.

I can see us holding back the former President Bush, but we should surrender to the UN the former VP Cheney and all the other architects post haste.

Posted by: WillSeattle | April 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This matter will never be honorably resolved as long as the US Government pretends to have moral jurisdiction over the matter. This is an abuse of international law and should be adjudicated by an international court of justice, preferably, The International Court of Justice. If the US Government is unwilling to remand the accused individuals to custody of the court, it MUST agree to the enforcement of any judgment by the court against the individuals convicted, including (if convicted) the President, Vice-President, and anyone else in the chain of command and/or approval of these actions.

The application of Nuremberg standards to this grotesque violation of international and domestic law and the support of that application by the US Government would finally start our nation on the path to participation in a true world government. This development is inevitable, whether our population cares for the idea or not. It is far better for our nation to lead than to follow or be compelled at some later time by means we would likely find objectionable.

Think about it.

Posted by: LDMJR | April 21, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, a bipartisan commission is on its face an impotent compromise where issues of systemic Constitutional abrogation are raised: the recent disclosure of Rep Jane Harman's enmeshing in FISA wiretaps, the acknowledged high-level briefings received by leaders of both political parties during this time period, the seating of a man almost certainly guilty of international war crimes to our Federal judiciary, the wholesale politicization of the Justice Department.
All of these thing are examples of the failure of the tri-partite model of governance to successfully resist the overwhelming power of the two-party political system. A critical component of the balance of powers theory is that each branch will jealously guard its own powers and thereby restrict extra-Constitutional actions by the others.
It has become more salient in our current national discourse to display one's PARTY affiliation than one's BRANCH. This is inherently a dynamic that results abuse, regardless of which party holds power.
I am hopeful that at least some in the current Administrative, Legislative, and Judicial branches will put their position over their party and innundate the citizenry with INFORMATION. We are fully capable of making up our own minds and seeking our own redress for crimes that may have been committed against our country.

Posted by: TheRoyalPant | April 21, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The news from the memos released a few days ago, to me, was that the Obama admin wouldn't use low level CIA operatives as pawns, with threats of lawsuits to get to the big fish, nor would they simple prosecute some who followed orders, a la Abu Ghraib.

The tack is a great one, take the low level people off the table and get the big fish only. If my name was Rummy, Bird Blossom (nice decency rules Wash Po, maybe you should allow the Rove's actual nickname), Vice or any of the other Bush inner circle, I'd be getting fit for a jumpsuit!

Posted by: farkdawg | April 21, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

As Republicans claim everything Bush did was legal, wouldn't an investigation clear Bush's name?
_________
Bush hasn't been charged with anything so there is nothing to clear. This will be a political witchhunt which will divide the Congress and the country more than it is now. Obama first instinct to move forward is the correct one. You think Americans are really that concerned that Khalid Shehik Mohammed was waterboarded??? If Obama wants to bring this country together this is the opposite of what he should be doing.

Posted by: sovine08 | April 21, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Let the frogmarching begin! Time to take out the trash.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | April 21, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

sovine08 Bush has been widely accused of authorizing the use of torture, mainly because he authorized the use of torture. Torture is illegal under out constitution and under international law - it's a war crime, hence an investigation will clear his name or set Bush up for some serious time in jail - if you think Bush is innocent what are you afraid of? As for your concerns about 'bringing the country together' Republicans have pretty much opposed everything Obamas tried to do, so I don't think it's a problem. We saw from the teabaggers just how Republicans about bringing people together.

Posted by: marcedward1 | April 21, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama is doing the needful. First, stopping more torture crimes from being committed. Second, preserving the CIA as a functional intelligence organization by reassuring the rank and file that he's not on a witch hunt. It's his job as Commander in Chief to protect the people, and paralyzing the CIA is probably not consistent with that role.

Congress's role is oversight. Obama is clever in distancing himself from that, allowing Congress to be the bad cop, and then backing off from his original position just enough to let Congress do its job. The Bush administration big dogs are actually helping Obama by the way they're "defending" themselves: it amounts to a signed confession.

It may take awhile, but the real villains in this mess will finally be held to account.

Posted by: martimr1 | April 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I find it ironic that Cheney defends the authorization of torture claiming they received valuable intelligence applying these techniques. Yet when asked if they knew where Osama Bin Laden was hiding, Bush stated that he had no idea where he was. From this I deduct that either the interrogators never asked the detainees about Osama Bin Laden during waterboarding, or their techniques were not truly effective.

Posted by: ninedesign | April 21, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Does President Obama know that Rahm Emanuel is making all decisions about who will and who will not be prosecuted for the Obama administration? Seriously, we hated the Bush administration for politicizing the Justice Department, and now the Obama administration is doing pretty much the same thing. The White House is deciding who should be prosecuted, and the decisions are being made for what seems to be political reasons.

Posted by: dickdata | April 21, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The decision is not, and should not be Obama's to make. This is a serious legal matter, and obviously there's enough compelling evidence to justify a full fledged investigation. The DOJ just needs to do its job and go where ever the evidence leads. If we truly have faith in our legal system, justice will be served. As painful as this may be for the country to endure, it's the only way to clear our name and make sure this doesn't happen again.

Posted by: ggwalt | April 21, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Bush has been widely accused of authorizing the use of torture, mainly because he authorized the use of torture.
_____
Bush has also stated that we do not torture. These interogations used guidelines set by lawyers in the justice department. Bush just went along with their reconmendations. Obama is already on record saying the CIA should not be held responsible for actions they THOUGHT were legal. Why is Bush any different? Is this what is going to be all about? Lawyers arguing where is the line that crosses from harsh interogation to torture??? If you think this will not be a mess or political you are fooling yourself. Obama sees this will be a disaster... And for what??? For Khalid Shehik Mohammed's benefit???

Posted by: sovine08 | April 21, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

sovine08 read marcedward1 because he is so right. Of course shrub hasn't been charged with a crime-that is what most Americans are upset about and we are also concerned with ANYONE tortured by U.S. K.S.M. included.

Posted by: kml | April 21, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This from sovine08: "Froomkin is dying for his pound of flesh.. well he won't get it..."

Why is it that when the Right goes after a Democratic president for lying about meaningless sex, it's because "the rule of law demands it" . . . but when the Left goes after a Republican administration for gross violations of federal and international law, it's merely "seeking a pound of flesh"?

The rank hypocrisy of these people used to be stunning. These days it's become so inbred in them that it's just depressing.

Posted by: rproctor1 | April 21, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't all this decided in 1945?
"Second, the Nürnberg trials established that individuals cannot shield themselves from liability for war crimes by asserting that they were simply following orders issued by a superior in the chain of command. Subordinates in the military or government are now bound by their obligations under international law, obligations that transcend their duty to obey an order issued by a superior. Orders to initiate aggressive (as opposed to defensive) warfare, to violate recognized rules and customs of warfare, or to persecute civilians and prisoners are considered illegal under the Nürnberg principles."

Posted by: stans | April 21, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The election is over and the pendulum has swung in the other direction. There is an abundance of dirt and misdeeds in both parties. Learn to let go - the election is over. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

We all salute the same flag and abide by the same constitution. Live and let live.

Posted by: alance | April 21, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"He also said that, while he has ruled out prosecution of the people who followed the legal guidance provided by Department of Justice"

To the uninformed. The most lowly private in the military, as with any other government role, learns early on the he/she has the RESPONSIBILITY to not only refuse to carry out an illegal order given by a superior but to report it up the chain of command. It is not a RIGHT - it is a RESPONSIBILITY!

How can we in good conscience drag an 89 year old man from his house to deport him because of "following orders" during WWII and allow this to slide. It was a travesty when the noncoms and low level officers were scapegoated during Abu Graib but that was minor compared to this. We have executed people for the very same crimes committed during the past wars. We have physically removed heads of state who were deemed to be in violation of the Geneva Convention just within the past 2 decades. The height of hypocrisy would be to leave our own garden unattended. Have we forgotten the lessons of Captain Cauley (sp). The reason that the Congress is so reluctant is because they are quite simply implicated. The Bush administration told us as much but no one was listening. Moral actions, not religious because most religions are neither moral nor right, must guide us if we are to literally save the country. The world knows what happened, not potentially but absolutely, and the world is awaiting to see how dedicated we are to our moral standing. In many respects this is exactly what the middle east problems are about. We moved into and out of most middle eastern countries, disrupting governments and nation building, with impunity.
To defend our Constitution means we have no other choice.
I am a retired military person and while I have a great feeling of pride for country and flag I do feel that this slipping of values started many decades ago and will continue if we do not insist upon correcting our course and compass.

Posted by: RetCombatVet | April 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

sovine08 "Why is Bush any different? "

Because sovine08, he was the president! He was the ultimate defender of the constitution. He was the decider. He chose to have people tortured by agents of the US. He certainly could have stopped this in its tracks. He is responsible, morally and legally.

"And for what??? For Khalid Shehik Mohammed's benefit???"

Its a bit late for him, KSM is a broken man most likely from the torture he endured. Its called the rule of law. When powerful people break the law, there is a special responsibility to see that they are held accountable.

If one drug dealer kills another, do we let the killer go because he murdered a bad man? In fact by your twisted logic, all murderers should go free, because punishing the killers won't help the dead people. What a twisted view of justice.

Posted by: srw3 | April 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Sovine08, sure bush has stated that and sure justice provided memo’s “legal cover” if you will. But here is the rub, if the memo’s were solicited i.e. if the administration said write a legal opinion that supports our position, or if in fact the memo’s are adjudged to be wrong, then the Bush administration was in fact breaking the law. I’ve read some of the memo’s and they are the most poorly written poorly reasoned legal opinions I have ever read. I usually read tax matters, but these are just bad bad bad opinions. It is painfully obvious they were not vetted and that they were expedited. Thinking you are following the law is a far cry from acting within the law. I hate to compare but the extreme is that Nazi’s were acting within the laws of Germany when they did what they did, but guess what the laws were wrong and illegal and what happened to all those people following what they thought were legal orders?

Also this is not for KSM’s benefit this is for our nations benefit so that we can show the world that we walk the way we talk. For the last eight years we have been telling the world that we have values and ideals but to STFU about what we are actually doing. The very soul of our nation is at stake and regardless of how it goes 30% of the country will never ever support Obama unless he does it their way. Hopefully he can see this and come to the same conclusion that the remaining 70% of the country has and as they say in armor, haul a$$ and bypass, those 30% are a lost cause right now and not worth the time.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 21, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama is starting to get it.

For those who don't get it: if we do not investigate, we tolerate torture. The world will then quickly figure out that torture was no temporary aberration, but rather the policy of the United States. The blowback will gladden our enemies and sadden our friends for decades.

Posted by: jpk1 | April 21, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Jay Bybee now has a JOB for LIFE on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

He needs to be impeached ASAP.

But to that, the Senate needs to act, and it's becoming more and more obvious that Congress WAS briefed (although perhaps not in the legal sense) about these 'methods' and so he won't be facing them any time soon.

THIS is the Legacy of Bush the Lesser. A federal justice for LIFE who wrote the most inane, poorly reasoned opinion JUSTIFYING TORTURE.

America's shame on view for the lifetime of this evil dimwit.

I hope every lawyer with a case before him moves to have him recused on the grounds that he lacks even the most rudimentary legal ability.

Posted by: RealCalGal | April 21, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

alance, this is not a partisan issue. People were tortured by agents of the US government under orders from some of the most powerful men in the world. It is not a trivial matter of political dirty tricks or extramarital blow jobs (clearly worth tearing the country apart). This defines who we are as a nation. If the repiglicans had any fealty to their declared christian morals, they would be at the head of the line demanding accountability.

Wasn't there something about "Whatsoever you do to the least of my bretheren, you do unto me" in the big book of Jesus?

Posted by: srw3 | April 21, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

alance, so if you are caught speeding you can just tell the cop 'I was driving in an extra-legal manner' and 'we should put this behind us'? FFS, what don't some of you people get about RULE OF LAW? More to the point, why would anyone want to live in a country where leaders can violate the laws the rest of us have to live under?

Posted by: marcedward1 | April 21, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I was under the impression that there is NO CHOICE IN OUR LAW OR INTERNATIONAL LAW regarding ANYONE who, ANYONE who manipulates our legal language to downplay the meaning of torture or ANYONE giving the orders demanding prisoners be tortured. This impression would extend to the entirety of Bush and Company.

Because the laws are quite specific, and afterall we are signatories for both the Geneva Conventions as well as the UN Convention Against Torture, they do not allow any excuse or justification for it. Therefore, NO ONE can simply ignore these laws nor can they exclude anyone from the consequences of their actions - all the way UP the line. I do not want to see my President break these laws as that would then make hi

Posted by: MadasHelinVA | April 21, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I am recovering from surgery and laying in bed with my mouse jumping all over the place and it inadvertently hit the 'submit' button.

My last sentence should read: I do not want to see my President break these laws by shielding anyone who has committed torture as that would then make him a criminal in the eyes of both laws against torture. I am ery vhappy that he said what he said today about an investigation into this matter.

Posted by: MadasHelinVA | April 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

sovine08 you write 'Bush has also stated that we do not torture.' But that clearly isn't true, hence the need for investigation. I know it might shock you, but it's just possible that Bush was lying. You also write 'Obama is already on record saying the CIA should not be held responsible for actions they THOUGHT were legal.' Obama is of course wrong. Torture is illegal, and being told it is doesn't excuse it (unless you're saying the USA was wrong to put Nazis on trial for war crimes, which maybe you are). You write 'Why is Bush any different?' Bush swore an oath to defend and uphold the constitution - maybe you aren't up on 'government', but Bush (and his justice department) doesn't get to decide what the law is - that's the job of congress. The DOJ and Bush are there to UPHOLD the law, not interpret it or make it. You write 'Lawyers arguing where is the line that crosses from harsh interogation to torture?' No need, as torture is clearly defined by international agreements that are legally binding in the USA (as they are ratified by congress). You might not mean to, but you're leaving the impression that politicians should be able to 'do as they please' while the rest of us have to obey the law. Or maybe you'd be OK if I made 'extra-legal' withdrawels from the bank (with a gun) and if the police catch me they have to remember to look forward, not backward.

Posted by: marcedward1 | April 21, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

What exactly did Nixon do that Johnson didn’t? We often forget to ask that questions when railing against tricky Dick .


Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist
*********
This is ridiculous even for Sharp.
What did Nixon do that Johnson didn't?
How about:
- commissioning a burglary to get information on a political rival;
- lying about that burglary when it blew up in his face;
- betraying his oath of office by the two above acts, and
- leaving a legacy of abuse of executive power so great that the word '-gate' is attached to even the most minor political scandal, because Watergate will live forever in infamy?

Now it's your turn, Sharp. What did Johnson do? Be specific.

As for Bush/Cheney, they're war criminals. Cheney is desperate to rewrite history so that he won't be thought of as the worst American since Benedict Arnold. He's accusing the Obama Administration of everything he can imagine.

And I say--great! Let him keep talking. He'll remind the independents of exactly what they hate about the Republicans. The longer he talks, the worst the Republican chances in '12. So keep on truckin', Dick-- you're only making the Democrats happier and happier.

Posted by: drewbitt | April 21, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

For RealCalGal: There is a petition one can sign for the purpose of impeaching Bybee to be signed by as many Americans as possible and it can found at this link:

Robert Cruickshank, Courage Campaign info@couragecampaign.org

I don't think Bybee will be on his bench much longer with all the pressure congress will begin to feel from the petition. I also don't believe Cheney will be bragging on teevee about his successes of torture [regardless of the supposed benefits] for much longer as he would only be providing proof of his guilt.

Posted by: MadasHelinVA | April 21, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

This from sovine08: "Froomkin is dying for his pound of flesh.. well he won't get it..."

Why is it that when the Right goes after a Democratic president for lying about meaningless sex, it's because "the rule of law demands it" . . . but when the Left goes after a Republican administration for gross violations of federal and international law, it's merely "seeking a pound of flesh"?

The rank hypocrisy of these people used to be stunning. These days it's become so inbred in them that it's just depressing.

Posted by: rproctor1
************
Hear hear.

Posted by: drewbitt | April 21, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Another salient point: Obama does not have the authority to prevent any prosecution brought by the Justice Dept. against anyone, regardless of promises he makes to the CIA or former Bush appointees.

That decision is up to Eric Holder, the Attorney General. President Obama has no say in that decision whatsoever. If Holder decides to prosecute, President Obama will have to sit on his hands and see what happens.

Posted by: drewbitt | April 21, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"What exactly did Nixon do that Johnson didn’t? We often forget to ask that questions when railing against tricky Dick .

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist"

Burglary, for a start.

Posted by: thrh | April 21, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Follow the chain of torture to the top & you'll find out why Cheney is sweating like a pig.

Posted by: patriot76 | April 21, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"But Leahy and Conyers were finding only lackluster support among even their Democratic peers."

At the present time there is no political upside in prosecutions. Nothing serious will happen until there is enough public outcry from both the left and the right. That is the reality of it.

I think a steady dripping of memos and information may produce the appropriate level of outrage.

Posted by: troyd2009 | April 21, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I've been trying to contact Mr. President for many times. I try to tell him that I have a solution to solve the crisis of the housing market. I think that he has a lot of human barricades around him. As many of you know that an ordinary person can have a great idea which is the key to solve the problem. I let you guys know just one thing at this time. The American financial system has some fundamental issues. Here is one of them. By killing its own customer, there is no business can continue to its business. There is no one can possibly have no problem at all for the entire cycle of his or her life. But, the current credit score system and income calculation system is killing the American Consumer one by one when they have Ups & Downs in their life. Whenever its clients enter into the financial(Income or Job) issues it kills it clients automatically by the name of the late payment and skip the payment. I strongly believe it is so stupid. I'm not a communist. I really do have an Idea to fix it. I suggesting is for the Government is contacting me. I will give all of my idea for the People. Richyoone@gmail.com

Posted by: richyoone | April 21, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

What exactly did Nixon do that Johnson didn’t? We often forget to ask that questions when railing against tricky Dick .

----------

Specifically act against the US constitution, using intimidation to suppress a free press, thereby tying to assert control over those he considered his enemies to a unitary executive.

You know, sort of like Stalin, but in America.

Cheney too, but Cheney is a little dumber, and a little bit crazier.

I just can't help but think of poor Dick, the first one, praying to the pictures of, whom was it, Jefferson, or Lincoln, in a state of nervous, psychological collapse...

Well, that was just mean.

I wonder to whom Cheney prays at night?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 21, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Specifically act against the US constitution, using intimidation to suppress a free press, thereby tying to assert control over those he considered his enemies to a unitary executive.

------

LOL, Oh my god, you really are a clueless tard aren’t you?

You honestly don’t know that Johnson had none other than Bill Moyers (when he wasn’t out on his gay witch hunts) meet with CBS president Frank Stanton and pressure CBS to shut Morley Safer up, treating to expose Safer communisis ties and embarrass CBS over Safer’s Vietnam reporting?

You know, sort of like Castro but in America?

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | April 21, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Since 1968, or my entire life, the right/Republicans have committed treason repeatedly as well as chronically violating the law of the land and the constitution, from Nixon (Kissinger sabotaging the Paris Peace Talks) to October Surprise/Red Ink Ronnie Reagan's Iran Contra and child prostitutes in the White House, through Bush I and his continued Iran Contra shenanigans, up through Bush II's utter corruption from the moment the crooked right wingers on the Subprime Court put the son of Satan in the White House, aided by jiggery-pokery with the electronic voting machines and warped ballots.
After these 4 decades of crime and corruption, they have achieved nothing but the destruction of a once-great nation. The torture S&M fetish snuff porn thing is just part of the Caligula style decline of the GOP. Torture is wrong, and they know it. That's why Hayden and the other perpetrators are backspinning all over the media trying to pretend they aren't rotten sick monsters for doing what they knew was rotten, sick, and monstrous.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | April 21, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

We Americans are arrogant. We are so much better than everyone else in the world. We don't commit torture, etc. Sure, we usually send cruise missiles on places that are already prehistoric.
Yes, when it happens on our soil, it offends us greatly.

Could be Obama's quid pro quo with the Pelosi and Reid to get legislation passed.
The Dems have suggested this path as a way to put the past behind us.

However, what happens if Afghanistan goes very south and Obama has to make some tough decisions?

Posted by: Chatelaine | April 21, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

You honestly don’t know that Johnson had none other than Bill Moyers (when he wasn’t out on his gay witch hunts) meet with CBS president Frank Stanton and pressure CBS to shut Morley Safer up, treating to expose Safer communisis ties and embarrass CBS over Safer’s Vietnam reporting?

---------
No, Johnson may have hated certain people, but with Nixon, like Cheney, it was a deliberate attempt to subvert the Constitution.

GET IT?

IT'S ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION, not a bunch of dirty tricks...

And, ahem, I'm not supporting a bunch of LOSERS who can't win a war, much less wipe their own %sses.

ROTFLMAO

eh, duh?

But pretty funny, when you think about it, poor Nixon ends up praying at the alter of Lincoln and Jefferson...I wonder if he saw God?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 21, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

put the son of Satan in the White House,
--------

Speaking of 'tards...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 21, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

What is your definition of torture?

The use of waterboarding on Khalid Sheik Mohammed prevented a planned attack on Los Angeles similar to the twin towers in NYC.

If your family's lives were at stake, would you waterboard or let the attack on LA take place?

Posted by: alance | April 21, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

About time. However, most people have not caught on to President Obama's operational style yet. He is slow, methodical. Deliberate. it took people a long time to figure out that bush was a shoot from the hip, lie like heall, never think beyond the next moment operator. Everyone was looking for all this deep motivation because we got used to a thinking president with Clinton. Presdient Obama announced at the beginning of the week they were opening these memos but he assured those at the bottom of the food chain they were safe. there would be no show trials of underlings to protect the authors of the illegal policies like bush conducted after Abu Grhaib. Then the Presidnet knew he could sit back and let events take their course. People would see what bush had authorized, would be outraged, and then the president could announce that while those folks he promised would not be scapegoated were ok, he would have to allow the DoJ to do it's job and investigate the higher ups. The folks down the food chain are safe to do their jobs, they are sfae to turn state evidevnce against cheney and yoo and addington and all those criminals who think law is for sissies. Three dimensional chess. bush was like a six year old playing checkers. he always loses because he only thinks of the move he is making right then and not even one or two moves down the board, or even what his opponent is likely to do next.

Posted by: John1263 | April 21, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I've been doing some reading about the new high-speed train California is planning, and it's highly innovative, providing good jobs and the opportunity for technological and engineering advancement, the economic implications for the nation tremendous, as well as the positive effect on emissions.


So, why didn't Bush and Cheney do this, attend to the American infrastructure?

Even NIXON wasn't that slow...

Oh, yeah, torture, 2 lost wars and a broken economy...

There is no excuse, none, at all.

Simply the stupidest, most narcissistic, ever...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 21, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"...Follow the chain of torture to the top & you'll find out why Cheney is sweating like a pig..."

patriot76, right on the money. Wait. I've heard that before. Kinda. Sort of.


"... Follow the money..." said Deep Throat to Bernstein and Woodward.

And when they did they found Nixon sweating like a pig.

I truly hope there is a modern day counterpart to Judge John J. Sirica. Somebody with big enuf nadz needs to follow the truth, regardless of where it leads, and cleanse our country of the stain.


Nixon and his people were arrogant enough to believe that they should substitute their own judgements for those of the electorate. Some of them believed that it was permissible to short-circuit the electoral process by eavesdropping on their opponents. After the arrests at Watergate, they knew that if the truth were revealed, the would lose their coveted power.

They broke the law in the spring and summer of 1972 to hold on to power. And then they broke the law again and again in late 1972 and early 1973 to protect their offices.


Posted by: osmor | April 21, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I know that I may be a radical and all, but two things seem screamingly, blatantly obvious to me:

o) We are talking war crimes here. War crimes should be prosecuted. Period.
o) The excuse "they were ordered to do it" is a bunch of hooey. If you're ordered to do something immoral (e.g., war crimes!) you are not obligated to follow those orders.

I'm sorry it's inconvenient, and will expose a whole lot of people to scrutiny that they would prefer to avoid, and that it's "not a good time," and yadda yadda yadda. I can only repeat: these are *war crimes* we're talking about here.

Posted by: dougom | April 21, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

So what's the connection?

Johnson never got anywhere close to breaking the law of the land as Nixon did.

On the contrary, Addington, Woo, Cheney, Novak, and Rove and a host of others did break the law of the land. Why? Just so they could stay in power. Some things never change.

.

Posted by: osmor | April 21, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

must be time for the Dems to try to shine the spotlight away from Democrat corruption in Congress (Rangel, Murtha, Frank, Dodd, Waters, Harman, Feinstein), from the backlash of the outrageous politicizing of the bailout, from the apparent ineptness of cabinet members who can't pay taxes, from Obama apologizing for the US across the world, from Obamas jepordizing the security of the US. ?High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa?ida organization that was attacking this country,? Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday. The original bailout was a request by the Bush administration for banks to take TARP money to increase credit. It was the Dems who made the banks evil for taking TARPmoney. This was not the original attitude by the govt.

Posted by: jschmidt2 | April 21, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30335592/

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.Some parts of memo deleted
Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Posted by: jschmidt2 | April 21, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
-----------
Yeah.

And Dick Cheney was vice president.

It means nothing.

They're asking us to take the word of a kook who doesnt understnad the fundamentals of WHY torture is counterproductive, you know, so the guy isn't smart.

We're not winning.

Why?

I mean, that's the problem, they can't understand Blair's TITLE means nothing when his thinking is so simplistically flawed.

These people are stupid, and arrogant, and we should all be worried that in taking on Afgahnistan, they've decided torture is a method by which they can win.

This is why they lost, they forgot, or really, they were never smart enough to understand.

That's some DUMB NSC, isn't it, digging that hole deeper with every cycle?

Ya know, it would appear the real talent isn't on their side -- they're so stupid, and these people are supposed to have crack instincts -- they still don't get it.

So who do they trust, and why? (Or maybe it's who trusts them, and why not)?

A guy like Brennan?

See the problem?

The first step is getting rid of the torture and treason kooks, from the top down.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 21, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Suspect the Obama administration is using this torture scenario as a red herring to divert people from examining the ongoing failure of the economy. Moreover, in 2003, Holder held that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to combatants who did not wear the uniform of a country. So now is Holder going to imitate his boss and do a flip-flop? Or has the Obama administration decided that the most expedient way to eliminate the opposition party is via prosecution?

Posted by: judithod | April 22, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Okay, here's a just plain mean, pointless, abusive, and sarcastic comment:

"It's nice to see the BigGunPunchingGuy can take time out from shooting at beer cans at the local quarry with his .22 to make a fine case for the challenge of being able to think and chew gum at the same time. Let see, hmmm, the difference between LBJ and Richard Milhouse Nixon. Now that's going to be tricky isn't it? I am beginning to think that the BigGunPunchingGuy may have had his bell rung a few too many times. Or perhaps his mind has been finally hijacked by his cable tv adapter as predicted would happen by the followers of Glenn Beck aka 'The Insanely Dangerous Rodeo Clown'"

Talk about a stupid trivial ignorant and insulting comment. I am so sorry. Have I crossed a line? I am wondering if I will be reported?

Posted by: mickster1 | April 22, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, one of the questions to ponder is: "what will the Republicans do?" An earlier writer opined that the atmosphere is already completely poisoned, and that's a point. With calls for revolution echoing around Fox New, and with talk radio hoping the president fails, it's hard not to agree.
In my opinion, Clinton's impeachment was at least partly a payback for Nixon, and we have to be careful that each subsequent president is not automatically second-guessed in court by the first successor of the opposite party.
I am of the opinion that the Bush administration was so completely rogue that there needs to be an official pullback and recalibration--but there's no doubt the GOP will treat it as a partisan attack.

Posted by: kstack | April 22, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

No one in the Federal government want's these investigations to proceed for a number of reasons. Many will be tainted by these investigations and justice will not be served. I do not believe any successful prosecution of individuals involved in torture during the previous administrastion will serve as deterrent to torture in the future.

Posted by: Penumbras | April 22, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

we are also concerned with ANYONE tortured by U.S. K.S.M. included.
Posted by: kml

______
And that's where we differ. Don't know were you were but I was in NYC on 9/11 a block from the WTC. I saw people jumping to their deaths... So they could throw KSM out of an airplane for all i care...

Posted by: sovine08 | April 22, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that when the Right goes after a Democratic president for lying about meaningless sex, it's because "the rule of law demands it"
____
The right went after Clinton because he committed PERJURY!!! You know the thing you guys wanted to lock up Scooter Libby for. But I guess you ONLY think it is a crime when a Republcan does it...

Posted by: sovine08 | April 22, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

sovine08 "Why is Bush any different? "

Because sovine08, he was the president! He was the ultimate defender of the constitution. He was the decider. He chose to have people tortured by agents of the US. He certainly could have stopped this in its tracks. He is responsible, morally and legally.
______
Yeah he's the President.. he's not an expert on how far someone can be interogated before it crosses the line on what's legal to do. That's why he has LAWYERS!!! And the lawyers wrote a set of guidelines for interogation. He, not being the expert, followed their advice. No different than the CIA people who actually did it. And it wasn't like in Congress Republicans and Democrats didn't know what was going on. Now YEARS later,after illegal LEAKS, other lawyers say the first lawyers were wrong. And all this over what will really come down to the waterboarding of THREE TERRORISTS??? It will be POLITICAL.. it will be nasty. No party will come out looking good.. and again for who's benefit? Khalid Shehik Mohammed...

Posted by: sovine08 | April 22, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Judithod umm, regardless of whether the Geneva conventions apply torture is against the law. Besides, again I hate to bring up the comparison, but in WWII the Nazi’s treated the Russian prisoners horribly and they died by the millions. Why because they said that the Russians were not part of the Geneva conventions so they did nto deserve the protections. So what happened to those Nazi’s anyway? Besides Holder may have said that the terrorists were not subject to the Geneva conventions, but he never argued that they existed outside of any legal frameworks like Bush has.

Penumbras unfortunately you may have it backwards. Many are already tainted by their actions an investigation will merely reveal that taint. Additionally justice will not be served if crimes remain un investigated and unpunished. Hopefully if we can get the truth out it will make future administrations think twice before they act impulsively. I feel that the greatest disservice done to our country was Ford pardoning Nixon in the name of healing. Knowing that they will not be punished because someone will always pardon them merely makes the politicos of the US more embolden to defy congress and sell arms to Iran and the Contras, lie about a blow job, or make torture the law of the land (among other things).

Umm sovine the right went after Clinton because he was a democrat. They investigated everything from White Water to Vince Foster to the white house travel staff and kept on investigating everything until they got him in a position where they knew he would lie, as you would too if confronted about an affair you were having.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 22, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I think Chuck Hagel is available. The only Republican with a conscience should be drafted for this job.

Posted by: RealCalGal | April 22, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

They investigated everything from White Water to Vince Foster to the white house travel staff and kept on investigating everything until they got him in a position where they knew he would lie, as you would too if confronted about an affair you were having.
______
Ummm it's one thing to lie.. it's another all together to lie UNDER OATH!! And no I wouldn't lie under oath. And certainly THE PRESIDENT, who is also a lawyer, should be held to a higher standard and NEVER lie under oath. Not sure why that is so forgivable to you? I'm just sure it wouldn't have been if he was a Republican..

Posted by: sovine08 | April 22, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh but I never excused lying under oath just pointed out the circumstances. Those who think lying under oath is OK are those who support Libby and think he was persecuted. I was merely pointing out that clinton had every thing examined by a special prosecutor who was determined to dig until he found soemthing. An extramarital affair is not somethign that shoudl be asked about. However they had to ask because the whole point of investigating clinton, whom I never voted for, was to embarrass him, and make him as ineffectual as possible. However as an ideologue you most likely lack the ability to see such things.

I wonder why Bush never was willing to tesfity under oath or even without dick next to him? Any theories?

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 22, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

An extramarital affair is not somethign that shoudl be asked about. However they had to ask because the whole point of investigating clinton, whom I never voted for, was to embarrass him, and make him as ineffectual as possible. However as an ideologue you most likely lack the ability to see such things.
______
You have it wrong... They had to ask because Clintion was being sued by Paula Jones for sexual harrassment. And Clinton didn't want to be asked under oath, he fought against it in court but lost. My problem with Clinton is once he had to testify, and he new he was going to be asked about Monica Lewinsky.. he should have cut a deal. All Paula wanted was money.. he could of settled the case out of court, no admission of guilt, and that would have been the end of it. Instead he was arrogant, went to testify and LIED. So he is guilty of not only perjury but of being STUPID!!

I wonder why Bush never was willing to tesfity under oath or even without dick next to him? Any theories?
_____
Yeah.. why would anyone want to if they don't have to.

Posted by: sovine08 | April 22, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The posters to this blog appear to reflect America at large: a majority who want to gloss over President Obama's political and moral cowardice, a minority who have the same evil mindset as Bush and Cheney (torture is good), and a scattered few who are opposed to evil. The Obama supporters want a so-called "Truth and Reconciliation Comission" that can in the end say that the Bush people did bad but that America is good. The Bush supporters want a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" approach to the last 8 years. A very few want a determined prosecution of everyone in government who had knowledge of the evil acts of our military and CIA and who did not speak out against them.

God is punishing our evil empire this very day. The punishment will continue until the fall of the empire or the rise of good in our nation.

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

If we aren't going to prosecute any CIA operatives who followed the OLC guidelines then we should overturn the convictions of those soldiers who were convicted of crimes at Abu Ghraib and give them back pay. BTW, it is likely that some of the torture was done by private contractors working for the CIA - I assume that they are also excused.

Posted by: dickdata | April 23, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

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