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View Diary: Another JAG Officer Resigns Over Bush Torture Policy (287 comments)

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  •  First Criminal Trials (13+ / 0-)

    No reconciliation with unrepentant and unpunished war criminals and their supporters.

    •  You know... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oceanview, Gary Norton, Topaz7, Wary, Matt Z, JeffW

      I would just be happy to know who the underlings were that executed this plan, so we can keep them out of politics in the future.

      While I would love to see Bush and his crew in the Hague, I don't think it's gonna happen.

      -6.5, -7.59. Is there a hyphen in anal retentive?

      by DrWolfy on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 08:24:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and no democratic candidates who will not pledge (4+ / 0-)

      to prosecute War Crimes, High Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity. None. Unacceptable to me is the move-along-here-we'll patch-it-up next term attitude from the democrats- lawyers, Governors, and Senators that they are. These are people who should know crime when they see it and crusade against it- not enable it. Dennis called them War "Enablers," and allowers of the illegal Bush Doctrine. If you agree he's right, then no other candidate than Kucinich himself will Represent you.

    •  A moment, please (6+ / 0-)

      I understand and share your outrage. As American citizens, these crimes were committed in our names. We have the right to demand retribution.

      But here's my question: would you willingly lay down that right in order to know the full truth?

      What if the only way we'll ever know the truth is to-- conditionally, based on full disclosure-- grant amnesty to those who committed these crimes? What if the fear of criminal prosecution is the excuse that keeps the doors closed and the truth untold?

      What if, as Tutu said regarding the torture and murder committed under apartheid, the choice is between amnesty and amnesia?

      The opposite of 'liberal' isn't 'conservative', its 'authoritarian'.

      by kingubu on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 10:44:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. It would be nice to have (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kingubu, NonnyO, Matt Z, trivium

        both, but there is little chance of individual justice. In the end, I will be satisfied if these people are publicly shamed and condemned by history.

        •  Its not an easy choice. (5+ / 0-)

          But I'm convinced that insisting on criminal prosecution is keeping us stuck. Stuck with wealthy criminals who will certainly circle the wagons and use their vast resources to avoid the light of day. Stuck with weak-kneed "champions" of justice who won't follow through for fear of political backlash. Stuck in a false duality where any prosecution can be dismissed as partisan payback.

          Nuremberg was justice, but it was victor's justice, possible only when one side has fully crushed the other. That pattern doesn't and won't apply here.

          I'm convinced that the only path to the truth is a commission modeled after S. Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The path back to our national humanity lies in placing the knowledge of the truth above the right to retribution.

          Its true, even under such a commission, its ridiculous to imagine that we would ever see Cheney pour what's left of his heart out in tearful repentance; but we can repudiate him by finding the path to our national humanity.

          The opposite of 'liberal' isn't 'conservative', its 'authoritarian'.

          by kingubu on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:13:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is it possible ... perhaps far-fetched, but still (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... within the distant pale of fetchability ... to persecute the war criminals and war crimes from the bottom up, in the fashion of mafiosos and other organized crime "families"?  I'm suggesting another way to approach this (other than the two you specify:  military victory and a parade of the defeated, and blanket amnesty in exchange for records/confessions of criminality).  Start at the bottom, and flip the criminals all the way to the top.  Like the I. Lewis Libby trial, but this time with the full arsenal of a reformed Dept. of Justice.

            Sigh.  Republican criminality -- how did it ever get even a half-way to war crimes and  crimes against humanity?

            The United States tortures. Now what?

            by Yellow Canary on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:30:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Bear in mind, though... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            farleftcoast, Gary Norton, WarrenS, Fallon

            the Truth and Reconciliation Commission operated on the rule that anyone who did not tell them the complete truth about the crimes they committed, would be prosecuted and, if convicted, punished to the full extent of the law.

            It was carrot and stick.

            You can't have just the carrot. The process doesn't work without the stick.

            Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

            by Canadian Reader on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 05:58:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I have always wanted Truth and Reconciliation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton, WarrenS

        America must follow the path set in South Africa and Rwanda.

        In exchange for the truth--they must confess to all crimes--they will get reconciliation without recrimination.

        I just ain't holding my breath....  

        •  There needs to be a continuous traveling... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gary Norton

          ...T & R Commission, with people like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky on call, with a broad commission to explore the historical connections of our current predicament.  I don't want the airing of our national nastiness to stop with the Bush administration.  If America is to be as great as it could be, people in this country need to hear the truth about our entire history, rather than swallowing the same lies generation after generation.

          Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

          by WarrenS on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:31:41 PM PST

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      •  Death is unavoidable. (5+ / 0-)

        Forgetfulness is avoidable.

        Sad, but true.  Forced to chose, I chose amnesty.  But I will continue to clamor for justice:  reparations for war crimes, and persecution of war criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

        The United States tortures. Now what?

        by Yellow Canary on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:23:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't say that you're wrong, YC (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yellow Canary, Matt Z

          But reading Tutu's No Future Without Forgiveness has had a profound effect on my reasoning.

          My fear is that it will play out like this: Cheney, Inc. digs in its heels, the Dems and others will be too scared to follow up, no matter how loud we yell, and thus the whole monstrous business gets shoved down into the darkness of our national Id-- just as we've done before-- ensuring that we will do so again.

          I'm only trying to find a way to change the calculus and, hopefully, the outcome.

          The opposite of 'liberal' isn't 'conservative', its 'authoritarian'.

          by kingubu on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:40:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I just don't know. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wonmug, farleftcoast, kingubu, Matt Z, Scubaval

            The situations are quite different (those who suffered under Apartheid couldn't vote, among much that is different).  Non-Republican-Americans have much more to lose -- and much less to gain -- than non-white South Africans had.

            And the parties were rather easy to tell apart.

            I am willing to forgive Republicans for supporting war crimes committed by war criminals they worked to elect.  I am willing to forgive armed service members who were lied to.  I do not yet find it in me to forgive those who ordered war crimes and crimes against humanity to be committed.

            The biggest difference is, imho, that Apartheid was ended.  The criminality that today defines the Republican Party will not end with forgiveness or amnesty -- it will simply count it's money, and bide it's time with whores and minor strong-arming until it seizes (or creates) another opportunity.

            The goal is to end the commitment of war crimes and crimes against humanity by those funded by the taxes collected by the United States.  I don't see any Truth and Reconciliation commission bringing us any closer to that goal.

            The United States tortures. Now what?

            by Yellow Canary on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:58:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I do think it moves us closer. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gary Norton, Yellow Canary

              Its true that apartheid had officially ended, but the abusive structures and badge-wearing criminals who committed the worst abuses were still in place; still, in many cases, respectable members of society.

              In a way, the TRC wasn't really about apartheid; it was about the invisible, extra-legal system of state-sanctioned murder and torture that was justified in the name of apartheid. The torture and murder perpetrated against "terrorists" were not officially part of the law so changing the law wouldn't never have brought them to an end.

              What did bring them to an end was seeing respected members of the Security Police confess their involvement. In many cases, even the the SP's families didn't even know that dad was off torturing and killing "terrorists" when the sun went down. It made the truth undeniable. It forced the nation to look itself in the eye in a way that couldn't be written off by the Afrikaners as "victor's justice".

              That's what I'm hoping for here.

              The opposite of 'liberal' isn't 'conservative', its 'authoritarian'.

              by kingubu on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 12:23:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the comments ... (3+ / 0-)

                ... I understand and can support the idea now.

                I think it will have to be a massive truth-telling.  We need "undeniable truth" not only from the bullies with electrodes and waterboards, but also from the psychologists who helped hone torture techniques, from the doctors who helped keep victims alive to be tortured anew, from the generals who arranged it, from the pilots who flew secret missions, from the mechanics who kept their planes working, from the concrete workers who helped build the black sites, from the upper level generals who ran them, and of course from the President and Vice President of the United States who ordered torture.

                And then we can move on to the war of aggression committed by the war criminals George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney.

                And along the way perhaps we will find out where all our money has gone.

                The United States tortures. Now what?

                by Yellow Canary on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 12:39:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Nothing to figure out... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO, Randgrithr

            ...the calculus or Nuremberg precedence already exists. It's all a matter of how long the rest of the world will sit idly by while we muster the courage, guts, and determination to right our own ship of state. The universe tries to stay in equilibrium at all times. The pendulum swings, as it were. This tyranny cannot stand. Either we will end it on our own, or the world will end it for us. It's that simple.

            "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 02:33:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Either we will end it on our own, or the world will end it for us. It's that simple.

              The only thing that surprises me is that someone hasn't done a pre-emptive strike against us as the most dangerous threat to world peace already.  If we don't right the ship of state on or before election day '08 (with impeachment proceedings, at the very least, and punishment for the war criminals after that), the future does not look bright for us....


              by NonnyO on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 06:48:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  If the victims of these criminals (6+ / 0-)

        were primarily Americans, we would have the right to seek "truth and reconciliation"... and to consider that sufficient. But the victims - in their millions - were citizens of a country we invaded and occupied illegally.

        And unlike South Africa, we have a Constitution that guarantees not truth, not reconciliation, but equal justice under the law.  I'm not ready to concede yet that The Constitution is "just a piece of paper." - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:26:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Justice is only justice when... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... it includes some form of punishment?

          I'm not trying to be obtuse, only trying to see things from your POV.

          The opposite of 'liberal' isn't 'conservative', its 'authoritarian'.

          by kingubu on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:31:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The rule of law (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kingubu, NonnyO

            requires adjudication.  The punishment phase of the process is almost irrelevant in that respect, although there are probably many Iraqis, Gitmo prisoners and Muslim Americans who would take exception to that.

            More important than the personal fates of the busheviks, is the survival of the idea that America is a nation of laws.

            Aside from that, yes, I think these murdering bastards deserve punishment.  Apartheid was a system in which tens of thousands of South Africans, several generations of South Africans were complicit.  A totally different situation.

   - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

            by chuckvw on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:45:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Its different, that's true. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw, Lesser Dane

              But there are parallels and I think the TRC model fits better than the Nuremberg model.

              And let me be clear, I'm not suggesting that we merely throw the law and the constitution aside. Amnesty means amnesty from prosecution under those laws, and would only be granted on a case-by-case basis, in exchange for full disclosure. Evidence given in amnesty-protected testimony would be used in prosecutions against those who refused to come clean.

              The opposite of 'liberal' isn't 'conservative', its 'authoritarian'.

              by kingubu on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:58:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  When you break the law... (0+ / 0-)

            ...the LAW requires a penalty or "the payment of a debt to society". It's really quite clear to me. Bush has violated several domestic and international laws, which are THE LAWS OF THE LAND under our Constitution: The 1996 War Crimes Act makes it a WAR CRIME to violate either/or the Nuremberg Protocols and the Geneva Conventions General Article III, as well as several other war criminal codes I don't have at my fingertips right now.

            So even IF he escapes the World Court at the Hague, he is still in violation of our domestic laws. Congress has been complicit, they have been derelict in carryong-out their sworn oaths to defend the Constitution and uphold the law, as well as every appointed or elected FEDERAL OFFICER who holds their office in disobeyance of the law!

            They are just as guilty as he is in the eyes of the law!

            "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 02:44:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  US Code, War Crimes (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ImpeachKingBushII, Fallon

              US Code, Title 18 has to do with war crimes.


              by NonnyO on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 06:52:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks Nonny, got it! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

                by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 06:57:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  :-) (0+ / 0-)


                  I've posted the link many times, as have many others, along with the links for the Nuremberg Judgment, Geneva Conventions, the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  :-)  Google is our friend!  :-)  I just couldn't find the document with the links to all of them quickly, so replied with the info off the top of my head.

                  The most encouraging thing about our most valuable historical and legal documents is the fact that they are written in elementary English and are easy to understand.  They are not written in any convoluted and mangled legalese like the current "lawyers" who work with Dickie and Georgie in their "legal judgments," but are clearly worded, actually elegant in their simplicity.


                  by NonnyO on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:12:12 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  They already have amnesia (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton

        think AG AG.

        And the truth is being shredded, erased, mutilated as we speak.

        "The earth has a fever, and the fever is rising." Al Gore

        by Scubaval on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 12:20:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, I want retribution. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        To have "truth and reconciliation" the perpetrators must first have a conscience and be willing to confess their crimes and ask for forgiveness.  People of conscience do not normally willingly commit crimes, although some can be threatened with harm to themselves or their families if they do not.

        Dickie and Georgie and their evil minions are persons who were born without a conscience.  As such, they believe might is right and they believe they have every right to do exactly as they damned well please, and the rest of us peons can go to hell or serve them without questioning their decisions.  They really do not care.

        They do not believe they have done anything wrong to set themselves up as de facto dictators with the assumed 'unitary executive' power (Google Carl Schmitt, he's the one who invented the theory and that's what helped get Hitler into power)... and if they think they can get by with it, they will set up a fake 'ter'rist attack,' declare martial law, and cancel next year's elections, which will make us a full-blown fascist dictatorship, with corporations in charge, including corporate mercenaries to replace our US military.

        We KNOW most of what they've done; it's in the impeachment papers against them (Kucinich's are gathering dust in the House Judiciary Committee, and Conyers' papers have never been filed, although he even wrote a book about it), and many of the lies alone are recorded in Lamestream Media sound bytes, including the admission by Georgie that he illegally wiretapped US citizens.

        To know the truth would require the next president (if we get one) to issue an executive order repealing Georgie's executive order that sealed executive papers and put control of them in the hands of their families after they die.  That could lead to additional war crimes charges and uncovering even more lies.

        We deserve to know the truth and Georgie and Dickie and their evil minions deserve punishment, but there can be no 'truth and reconciliation' when dealing with psychopaths who genuinely do not believe they have done anything wrong.  They will never apologize.


        by NonnyO on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 06:44:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  no... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton

        It isn't the choice.  The US has the capacity to investigate and punish.  This is not something that is woven into the fabric of our society the was apartheid was.  There are a large, but limited, number of actors from Bush on down who are fully culpable in these actions.  We can indeed investigate in punish if we the American people insist on it.

        What upsets me is that most Americans just aren't interested in whether the US is committing war crimes.  A large majority of Americans just aeren't willing to hold ourselves to a higher standard anymore.

        Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

        by Guinho on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:51:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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