Obama’s “Nation of Laws”

Obama proudly declared yesterday that ours is a “nation of laws” at the same time he announced that CIA torturers would not be prosecuted for their crimes.

Life in Washington is one damn paradox after another.

Kudos to the American Civil Liberties Union for their lawsuit that compelled the disclosure of the torture memos yesterday. But these are probably only the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and supporters of disclosing Bush-era crimes will have sufficient clout to force the government to reveal far more information on the torture scandal. Obama becomes complicit for all the crimes he covers up.

I will be curious to see if the revelations of how the Justice Department tortured the law and rationality to set loose the CIA will have any broader impact on how Americans view the federal government. I ain’t holdin’ my breath.

18 thoughts on “Obama’s “Nation of Laws””

  1. We ARE a nation of laws, It’s just too bad that there happens to be two sets. One for them and one for us.

    “Hopefully the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and supporters of disclosing Bush-era crimes will have sufficient clout to force the government to reveal far more information on the torture scandal”. Yah sure right, when pigs fly! When is the last time anyone has been able to “force” these criminals to do anything? If they do release anything it will be for political reasons and in no way representitive of justice.

    Hopefully the Sheeple will wake up but I won’t be holding my breath either. Actually at this point I think it’s simply too late. Most people have been hoodwinked into believing that we have a two party system and all we need do is vote in a new Republicrat each 4 to 8 years.

    The Tea Parties are a great idea, accept did anyone notice who showed up. Pro-war Repbublicans for the most part, thats who. Somehow these idiots think they can have their cake and eat it too. All war all the time and lower taxes! Of course most of these morons believe that you can blame it all on welfare (not that I am for that either) but the amount of welfare that goes to the people of the US is dwarfed by the corporate welfare, bailouts, and warfare.

    Peace!

    1. Welfare and warfare, a very bad mix indeed. Isn’t it amazing that America a country of over 300 million people has only “two” significant parties while countries in Europe not a tenth as populous might have half a dozen or more. Imagine a malevolent entity that amoeba-like splits into two equal and identical parts. That’s our Republicrats rulers.

  2. While I’m no fan of immunizing criminals, I have to acknowledge that it would be pretty damn difficult for the DOJ to prosecute individuals who acted, or who can claim with a straight face that they acted, in reliance on written authorizations from that very same DOJ.

    Now a special prosecutor is another question. Maybe even a really, really good idea.

    1. Well it would be a good idea, if you could find a special prosecutor with authority and who isn’t already bought and paid for. Remember that they are appointed by Congress or the Attorney General. I remember how many people thought that Patrick Fitzgerald would get something done. What did we get for that? Sorry but “special prosecutors” are not independent, they are insiders just like the rest. I wish I were wrong and I could be. But I would bet dollars for donuts that I’m not.

      As for the DOJ they will do what they want. If that means throwing a few foot soldiers (like Lynndie England) to the wolves. No problem with that at all.

      Peace!

    2. The DOJ can immunize lower level CIA employees who thought they were acting legally, and then use thier testimony to go after the big guys who were responsible for making torture the policy of the US government. This is a common tactic used in prosecutions. Immunize the little fish in order to net the big fish.

      1. Of course your right that they can do this. But will they? I very much doubt it. I would love to eat my words on this. However, I’m far to sceptical to give in to any optimistic hope about anything our “rulers” do at this point in time.

        Peace!

  3. Former Bush officials slam release of torture memos

    But in an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, former CIA director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Michael Mukasey charged that disclosure of the memos “was unnecessary as a legal matter, and is unsound as a matter of policy.”

    “Its effect will be to invite the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened intelligence gathering in the past, and that we came sorely to regret on September 11, 2001.”

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090417/usa/us_attacks_politics_torture_effect_1

    Medical Personnel Accused of Helping CIA Torture Prisoners

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Ethics/13669

    “The logic is obvious. If Obama goes after CIA torture, he goes after Bush. That president – along with our own little Blairs and Browns and Milibands – has denied flatly, repeatedly, passionately, that the abuse of prisoners was ever condoned, encouraged, allowed. Official: it didn’t happen. But happen it did. The good guys did their share of the bad stuff. It’s what we used to call a fact.

    As it turns out, they even wrote a damnable manual. You can do this, but not that: the White House says so. The difference between Us and Them is that We have rules. We even made it legal. We defined a defining issue, with West Wing counsels’ advice. A cheer for our side. Remember it, then, when your lungs fill with cold water.

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/features/display.var.2502731.0.The_best_are_held_to_a_higher_standard.php

  4. “In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

    Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664.html

  5. Investigators should look into the motivations and actions and writings of the Cheneys, the Yoos, and other assorted parties who may have excused or authorized “enhanced interrogation techniques.” And, for one last time, they should be authorized to use those techniques to get to the bottom of just what went on. You say torture does not yield reliable information? Well, just for this one last time, who cares?

  6. America a nation of law? Ridiculous! America is a nation of the political expedient. Waterboard Eric Holder.

  7. President Obama The Divine released the torture memos (and that’s praiseworthy). Trouble is, he blows a lot of smoke about how the CIA personnel shouldn’t be prosecuted because they relied on “Justice” Department advice, and it’s time to move on, blah blah blah.

    Bullshit.

    Not only should the CIA degenerates who carried out this filth be prosecuted, it’s vital to go after the “Justice” Department cretins who justified it. Scum like Jay Bybee, John Yoo, Steven Bradbury et al. aren’t fit to grace the company of good men. And what about the former Chickenhawk-in-Chief and his equally chickenhawk Vice President, “Five Deferments Dick” Cheney? They ordered it, didn’t they?

    Shit, at Nuremberg they strung guys up who issued orders, directives, and decrees authorizing killing and torture. Nazi Minister of Justice Wilhelm Frick, Governor General of Poland Hans Frank, and their colleagues didn’t personally kill or torture anyone, but they issued the orders that led to it.

    As long as this goes unpunished, the U.S. Government had better not lecture ANYBODY about ANYTHING. (At the very least, couldn’t Bush, Cheney, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzales, Bradbury
    be waterboarded? I mean, it’s a start!)

  8. I just read that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in one month while being held at Gitmo. We are an evil empire. Everyone act surprised when we collapse under the burden of our moral shortcomings (as evil empires are want to do).

  9. America, no different than any other country in this world, is NOT a nation of laws as such and never was.

    Granted that there is a plethora of laws for controling every aspect of the regular citizens life and in that regard one can claim that America is a nation of “laws and not of men”. Yet, those in the “elite class” make the laws and have never ever been, except for a few glaring examples, subject to those laws. They are a law unto themselves and thus, America is not really a nation of laws and never was.

    Tha mass murdering Bush and his criminal thugs will get away with it because the bought and paid for emerging thigs like Obama merely obey the dictates of whomever it is that in fact does control the government from behind the scenes.

    The most sickening reason given for not prosecuting is that, in effect, “they were merely following orders”…….. Does the title “Nuremburg Trials” come to mind where all those tried as war criminals were merely following orders like good soldiers do?

  10. “things” in the third paragraph above should read “thugs” although “things” might actually be appropriate….. sorry.

  11. Of course, we are a nation of laws – it is just that the laws that prevail at the highest level are not the laws that are publically revered. The laws that are revered deal with truth, justice and equality. The laws that prevail at the governing level include:
    1. Money usually trumps morality, big money is supreme
    2 The greediest always demand the most and usually get the most
    3. Some crimes are too big to punish
    4. Don’t prosecute anyone who may be in a position someday to prosecute you

  12. Spanish AG: No torture probe of ‘Bush 6’
    Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido told reporters that the case was without merit because the officials were not present when the alleged torture took place and that a trial would turn Spain’s National Court into “a plaything” for political ends.”

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Spanish_attorney_general_will_recommend_against_0416.html

    “the officials were not present when the alleged torture took place”

    It was a Spanish judge who ordered the arrest of Augusto Pinochet ,the former dictator of Chile,for humane rights abuses.Pinochet was not present when these abuses took place either!
    Was there arm twisting of Spain in this case!? I would endeed there was.After all the victims of the abuse were ‘rag-heads’ after all!Or did Spain play part in these abuses?

  13. If Obama really does believe the United States is a nation governed under the rule of law then he must reconsider his decision not to prosecute those complicit in the Bush torture regime. The following, I think, are relevant quotes from the Convention Against Torture, which is a treaty lawfully enacted by the US Senate. According to the constitution of the United States that treaty is binding law in the United States.

    Convention Against Torture Part I Article 2:

    1. Each state party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial, or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

    2. NO EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, WHETHER A STATE OF WAR, OR A THREAT OF WAR, INTERNAL POLITICAL INSTABILITY OR ANY OTHER PUBLIC EMERGENCY, MAY BE INVOKED AS A JUSTIFICATION OF TORTURE.

    3. AN ORDER FROM A SUPERIOR OFFICER OR A PUBLIC AUTHORITY MAY NOT BE INVOKED AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR TORTURE.

    Obama should also be put on notice that if he continues the policy of renditioning persons suspected of terrorism to countries that are known to torture he is violating US Law.

    Convention Against Torture Part I Article 3

    1. No state party shall expel, return, or extradite a person to another state where there are substansial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subject to torture.

    If Obama continues his obstructionist tactics to prevent the criminal prosecution of those who engaged in torture or constructed outlandish legal arguments to justify torture he should be impeached. The grounds for impeachment would be a failure to faithfully execute the laws of the United States. If Obama renditions one more person to be tortured he should be impeached for violating relevant US law. After impeachment he should be criminally prosecuted for his actions.

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