Skip to main content

Stuart Taylor  exhorts us not to support the prosecution of the worst offenders of the Bush administration  for war crimes. They are not criminals just because they lied about WMD. They are criminals for the way they conducted the war: for torture, kidnappings and assassinatons. The criminality is not excused  by their duty  to keep the country safe: in fact they made us less secure and caused more American casualties in Iraq.

So who are these crazies asking for the appointment of a special prosecutor by the next administration?

Among those calling explicitly or implicitly for criminal investigations are 56 House Democrats; retired Maj. Gen. Anthony Taguba, who headed the Army's investigation into the Abu Ghraib torture scandal; liberal groups including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the ACLU; human-rights lawyers including Scott Horton of New York and Philippe Sands of London; and the New York Times editorial page. Retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, has raised the possibility of prosecuting current and former administration lawyers "in a foreign court, or in an international court."

There are very few people in the American establishment who have clean hands on the Iraq war. The Sept 12 mindset of paranoia and delusion took over almost  the entire national mainstream-executive, Congress, military, journalists. Exceptions are rare and stand out for that reason: a  few  Congressmen like Kucinich and Ron Paul. Senators like Graham. An obscure  State Senator in Illinois named Obama.

Perhaps the most shameful performance-outside of the Bush Adminsitration- was put in by the national media. Some, like Judy Miller spread lies that the administration fed them. You don't expect much from  neo-cons like Kristol or conservatives like Barnes.  But that period exposed Friedman of the NYTimes, Beinart of The New Republic, Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, all as either dumb or spineless. No wonder that the MSM does not want a close examination of the shameful history of the Iraq war. They are just guilty of war mongering as any politician in office at that time.  

Taylor is not  among the worst journalists. At least he insisted back then that  Congress must authorize the war. (Not that it did much good.) Taylor  was definitely for the war. He wrote in Oc 2002,The Hawks Are Scary, the Doves More Dangerous. The dove are more dangerous

because they are blind to three bedrock realities that underlie President Bush's pre-emption doctrine: 1) American cities will sooner or later be erased by anonymously delivered nuclear truck bombs or boat bombs unless we can deter the world's rogue regimes and terrorist groups from developing such weapons. 2) We can deter them only by making the credible threat of pre-emptive military attack. 3) That threat will not be credible unless we can show now that we will attack if necessary to disarm or dethrone Saddam Hussein, even if we cannot get Security Council approval.

And how did that work out for us, Stuart? Bedrock realities,  indeed.

So this is the guy we should listen to for common sense on how to stop another disaster like the  Iraq invasion from happening?. Prosecuting those who committed war crimes in the name of defending us is the only way to make sure that it  won't happen again.

Taylor reports,

Almost 60 House liberals, along with prominent lawyers, journalists, and retired officials and military officers, are lobbing an inflammatory charge--"war crimes"--toward a large number of the Bush administration's most senior current and former officials and lawyers. These critics accuse them of approving torture and other illegal interrogation methods.

We are likely to hear a growing clamor for appointment of a special prosecutor, presumably by the next administration. And human-rights activists are already suggesting that their friends abroad should snatch and prosecute any former members of what they call the Bush "torture team" who dare visit Europe.

He  identifies those needed to be prosecuted correctly. In addition to Colin Powell,

Vice President Cheney; David Addington, Cheney's powerful legal counsel; Condoleezza Rice, Powell's successor; former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; former CIA Director George Tenet; and former Attorney General John Ashcroft. With the approbation of Bush, they all discussed in detail and approved specific interrogation methods, including simulated drowning ("waterboarding"), according to an April 9 ABC News report.

Taylor goes on to defend a lower level official who was part of the Torture Team. He is probably right that the first people to be investigated are likely to be not Cheney, Bush or Rumsfeld, although they  shoulder most of the blame. But that is normal in criminal prosecutions. You start at the bottom and get a few accomplices to flip and testify against those higher up in the food chain. Some of those might be partially sympathetic figures. But if we are to hold the Bush administration accountable for its crimes, some people who took part will suffer. To quote Cheney,


Sen. McCain could have been the voice of decency on torture, given his harrowing personal story. Instead, McCain has rolled over, and is now an apologist for the torturers within the Bush administration.

UPDATED: I have updated the diary to correct the impression that the Bushies made only a mistake about WMD. They lied.

Originally posted to organicdemocrat on Sun Jun 29, 2008 at 12:48 PM PDT.


For or Against War Crimes Trials of Bush Administration Officials?

93%72 votes
6%5 votes

| 77 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site