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There is a disturbing narrative running unchecked across the web. This same narrative is not even mentioned in the traditional media. For the last 20 or more years this country has filled jails and prison, clogged the courts, and ruined many a life all in the name of Law and Order. It is only slightly ironic that after all of this, something that has change to US for the worse, when it should be applied for one of the best reasons, has been judged as politically bad for the nation.

It the recent Newsweek, Dahlia Lithwick, a gifted writer who has focused on the real truths all through this Administration, joined the same dangerous narrative. Glenn Greenwald, a kind of web hero to many of the Progressives against the last 7 yrs responded to me during a Q&A at Firedoglake, that he felt the same way as laid in Dahlias article. To be very clear, Glenn also said if he were appointed our new Atty. Gen., his first act would be the opposite. Have you figured out the narrative yet ?

Below is the question I asked Glenn, and it is also the question I want to put to all of you. Another thing I would like to know is if you are willing to accept the same outcome as it appears is becoming the narrative ?

I’ve been reading a few of the legal blogs lately and they don’t seem to think anyone will ever be prosecuted from this current Admin. People like Yoo, Bybee, all the way up to Bush. For as many times as I’ve read your blogs I don’t think I’ve seen you state a opinion on the likelihood. Balkin said last week the chances a slim to none, do you feel that way also ?

Glenn's Answer to my question:

Yes, I feel the same way. We’ve decided as a country that "war crimes" are things that other people commit, that international law and punishment applies only to other countries, and that because we are inherently Good, even our bad acts are just "mistakes," never "criminal."

We also have embraced the principle that "moving on beyond partisan warfare" is a higher value than "punishing felonies and high crimes committed by government officials" — Ford pardoned Nixon, the Iran-contra criminals were protected, there has been no accountability for any Bush lawbreaking, etc. etc.

I think we ought not give up on the idea of holding our political leaders accountable for the war crimes and other atrocities they deliberately perpetrated, but the likelihood is extremely low. FDL Book Salon Welcomes Glenn Greenwald

That question and his answer is what struck me about Dahlias article because we as Americans seem willing to just let this all slide on by.

Yet despite the fact that senior members of the Bush administration may have violated the War Crimes Act of 1996, the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, there is scant serious talk of legal accountability. The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating whether agency attorneys provided the White House and CIA with faulty legal advice. That's a bit like setting the local meter maid on them.

Few believe the high-level architects of the American torture policy will ever face domestic prosecution. As Yale Law School's Jack Balkin pointed out, the political costs are too high: "One can imagine the screaming of countless pundits arguing that the Democrats were trying to criminalize political disagreements about foreign policy."

High-ranking administration officials and enemy combatants may have broken the law, and their legal situations are weirdly parallel. Both show how the rule of law can fracture under the strain of politics. Those alleged lawbreakers at Guantánamo can never be acquitted for purely political—as opposed to legal—reasons. The alleged lawbreakers in the Bush administration will never be held to account on precisely the same grounds.

Getting Away With Torture

The other day I wrote a pretty poor diary along the same lines. In it I was trying to make some sense of a recent hearing Rep. Nadler held on the topic of Torture and some of the Memos Yoo and others have written. Dan Froomkin over at the WaPo, in his piece called Torture Showdown Coming?,has the following quote among many others we should read.

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris writes on "While I was working on Standard Operating Procedure, many people asked about 'the smoking gun.' 'Have you found the smoking gun? Have you found the smoking gun? -- presumably linking the abuses to the upper levels of the Defense Department and to the White House?' The question puzzles me. There are smoking guns everywhere but people don't see them, refuse to see them or pretend they don't exist. How many torture memos does an administration have to promulgate before the public gets the idea they are promulgating torture? Bush has recently admitted that he was present at these meetings and approved 'harsh interrogation techniques.' And yet this has scarcely been a news story. Well-documented attempts to subvert the Constitution, abrogation of the Geneva Conventions and simple human decency. What does it take?

"We are surrounded by smoking guns on all sides. Crimes have been committed; we have ample evidence of them. But there can be no justice if there is a failure to stand up for it, if we fail to demand it. . . .

"It is easy to dismiss all of this as the unfortunate product of war. But this is not about war, it is about us. How complacent have we become? What does it take? Each day that we allow these crimes to go unanswered erodes the very ideals that this country stands for."

 Are we willing to let this all just fade away because of fear of the waves it will cause or will we stand for what is right, no matter what the political costs ? That question is one every US Citizen must ask themselves because it goes to the core of who we are and who we will become as a nation.

Soon some of the architects of this Torture program are suppose to appear before Congress. Yoo, Addington, and even former Atty Gen. Ashcroft have been called to testify. If they will tell the truth, claim the right of the 5th Amend. or make excuses is not yet known. We can expect Rep. Conyers, and Nadler to ask some very pointed questions about their roles. I'm sure there will also be the apologists from the Right claiming exactly what Dahlia has pointed out, that the Democrats are just making political hay, or running a witch hunt. I would hope this is more of a true fact-finding mission leading to prosecutions and hopefully punishment. One of the things we know because of the Hearing Rep. Nadler held the other day is that other nations are holding their own investigations. Two of the witnesses revealed that they had been asked to help in those investigation by turning of their research. Even tonight on Bill Moyer's during a piece about author Phillippe Sands, expert on Pinochet, this came up. The following is from the transcript of that show. Please read it slowly.

BILL MOYERS:The legal affairs correspondent of The National Journal, a very respected fellow named Stuart Taylor, says that we should focus on amending the law to prevent future abuse of torture, but not hold those responsible for past interrogations of questionable legality. What do you think about that?


BILL MOYERS:I mean, some people have said that the committee that you appeared before is on a witch hunt to go after these lawyers and the politicians. And some of the critics on the blogs are saying that you're aiding and abetting that.

PHILIPPE SANDS:I think the crucial issue is you've got to ascertain the facts. I was asked by the committee what should happen. My answer to that question was, "Let's sort out the facts. Once we've sorted out the facts, then it will be for others to decide what to do."

PHILIPPE SANDS:I'm satisfied here a crime was committed.


PHILIPPE SANDS:A crime was committed.


PHILIPPE SANDS: The Geneva Conventions were plainly violated in relation to this man. And in our system laws, if a man violates the law and commits a crime, he is punishable.

BILL MOYERS:So who violated the law?

PHILIPPE SANDS:I think it goes to the top. And I think that the lawyers contributed to the violation of the law-


PHILIPPE SANDS:And the lawyers themselves face exposure. But just coming back to this bigger point, I'm not saying there, I'm not on a witch hunt. I'm not saying that there should be a campaign of investigation and prosecution and sentencing, and conviction, and so on and so forth. What I'm saying is let's start by sorting out the facts. Once the facts have been sorted out, let's see exactly what they say, and it will be for others to decide what needs to be done. But until that's done, you can't close on the past and you can't move forward.

BILL MOYERS:But David Rifkin says in the hearing, "I think it would be madness to prosecute anybody, given the facts involved." ... "The efforts to go-- the efforts to go after the lawyers borders, to put it mildly, on madness. Those lawyers were not in any chain of command. They had no theoretical or practical ability to direct actions of anyone who engaged in abusive conduct."

PHILIPPE SANDS:He's just wrong. The lawyers were deeply involved in the decision making process. The lawyers that I've identified, from John Yoo at Department of Justice, preparing a legal memorandum which abandons American and international definitions of torture, and reintroduces a new definition that has never been passed by any legislature, that is totally unacceptable. What was he doing there? Was he really giving legal advice? No he wasn't. He was rubber stamping a policy decision. This is not careful, independent legal advice. What was Jim Haynes doing when he recommended to Donald Rumsfeld the authorization for the approval of 15 techniques of interrogation? He was saying to the Secretary of Defense, I'm your lawyer. I'm telling you this is fine. You can do it. If he hadn't done that, Mr. Rumsfeld would not have signed the piece of paper that Jim Haynes wrote. Jim Haynes is directly involved in the decision making process. And the lawyers, as such, play an absolutely key role. Now, at the end of the day, they're not the most important people. The most important people are the people whose signatures are actually appended. They are the politicians who actually decided the issue. But in this case, without the lawyers, they would never have had a piece of paper to sign.

Bill Moyer and Phillippe Sands You can watch the video or read the transcript at this link.

I'm going to close the same way Bill Moyer did. He asked the question we should search our hearts for the answer of. WHile this part of the transcript is about the Lawyers, remember that we now know this was all caused from the top down, not the bottom up. Meaning it started with Bush and Cheney and migrated downward.

BILL MOYERS:Do you think that people like David Addington and John Yoo and Jim Haynes, and the other lawyers you've mentioned who advised and were on the torture team, should ultimately be held responsible in court for what they did in government at this period of time?

PHILIPPE SANDS:If they were complicit in the commission of a crime, then they should be investigated. And if the facts show that there is a sufficient basis for proceeding to a prosecution, then they should be prosecuted. Lawyers are gatekeepers to legality and constitutionality. If the lawyers become complicit in a common plan to get around the law, to allow abuse, then yes, they should be liable.

BILL MOYERS:There are people who say, "I don't want to hear about this." A lot of Americans say, "I don't want to hear about this." It's like being diagnosed with cancer. You don't really want to hear the terrible news. You know, this is something that was done in a particular period of intense fear and uncertainty. We had been attacked, 3,000 people killed right here in New York. And I just want the government to take care of it. I don't want to hear about the cruelty, the torture, the enhanced interrogation techniques. Do you understand why they would say that?

PHILIPPE SANDS:I do understand that. And here's what I'd say. I would want the government to take care of it in a way that is going to protect me over the long term. And if understand that using abuse produces pictures of the kind that have appeared at Abu Ghraib, and of the kind that have appeared at Guantanamo and are going to make it more difficult for me to protect the American public, I want to know about that. And if it is indeed the case that those pictures are going to make it more difficult to protect the American public, I want to sort it out, that we remove that obstacle to protecting the American public, and we ensure that it doesn't happen again in the future, and as necessary, make sure that those who erred in putting in policies that allow that to happen, face appropriate responsibility.

It is up to us how this narrative ends, with or without Justice. You choose.

Originally posted to SmileySam on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:04 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipjar (25+ / 0-)

    If you have only the time do read or watch one thing, please view the video of the Moyer interview. It is a clear, concise and sane narrative of what we must do going forward.

    Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

    by SmileySam on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:06:41 PM PDT

  •  Video of Sands at the hearing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, jnhobbs, MooseHB, nolabelle

    Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

    by SmileySam on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:08:01 PM PDT

    •  Okay, let me try to give the American response. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Goes something like this:
      We appreciate the U.K. as good friends who have stood next to us in world events. They are America's parents and we love them.  Unfortunately, they just don't understand today's world like we do.  When the U.K. tells us that their experience of torture wasn't productive, it is only because they didn't apply that torture as America does.  That is, America carries the authority of God behind its actions.  God is never wrong.  
      Your lessons are not our lessons, England.  America is blessed and, as such, is above such reproach.  Oh, and we call everything "a war".  War on terror, war on drugs, war on gas prices, war on education, war on abortion, war on...well, you get the point.  So take your soft talk and fall in--we're having a war on Iran.

      "I am here because of Ashley." - Unknown Obama supporter.

      by rainmanjr on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:07:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  while America has been at (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, SmileySam, ArtSchmart

      the forefront  of many great movements, the arrogance that as a country it is above any other, that it doesnt have to follow the same rules is sickening. Sands is on the mark, learn from the mistakes of others.
      Its been proven over and over agin that torture techniques dont actually work effectively, yet they are approved over and over, one has to question what monster holding the reigns has to gain from this? Why would anyone ever think its ok to torture?  
      Then we must ask....  Do we as a nation of tolerance and justice have the testicles to do something about it?
      To show the international community that we are not above any law, and that criminals get punished, no matter what level of government those criminals represent?

      One can only HOPE that we do.

      •  Sands sounds almost too civilized (0+ / 0-)

        when I let my feeling run free, but then I remember something I learned a long time ago. Unless we act differently than they did, we are no better than them. We won't find justice if we go searching for revenge.
        Sands has laid out the road map for us to follow.

        Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

        by SmileySam on Fri May 09, 2008 at 11:12:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This a better video from the hearing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, jnhobbs, MooseHB

    with a Hat Tip to Think Progress.

    Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

    by SmileySam on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:16:39 PM PDT

  •  Scott Peck found us guilty as a people (6+ / 0-)

    after he helped in vestigate the attrocities of Viet Nam.  It is so much worse this time.  Talk about chickens coming home to roost.  If they ever do....

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:18:06 PM PDT

  •  My intuition is that criminal charges shouldn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    be brought, although it's a very difficult intuition to justify.  For me, it's one of those areas where my strong intuition is wrong.  Given the broad refusal across the country to even entertain the notion of criminal prosecution of the administration heads, I'm guessing it's a fairly common intuition.  

    "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

    by burrow owl on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:26:44 PM PDT

    •  I understand the feelings but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, ZAP210

      as I mentioned in the diary, sooner or later another nation can and will bring charges if we don't. It is not and matter of "if" anymore, it is a matter of "When". Is that what we want to happen ? A International Trial proving exactly what everyone else thinks, that Americans can't or won't clean their own house ?

      Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

      by SmileySam on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:40:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think they will. (0+ / 0-)

        That'd be risking a lot.  ie, we would obliterate them.  I don't mind saying it.

        "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

        by burrow owl on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:48:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Burrow Owl, even when I disagree with you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SmileySam, MooseHB, nolabelle

          I usually find wisdom in your comments.

          "We would obliterate them"?

          Holy moley, Batwoman, what are you saying? Scares hell out of me. Are you suggesting that the U.S. has gone so far beyond the notion of international rules of law that we would militarily attack anyone who tried to hold us to it?
          I know GWB and his puppet master are there, but do you really believe that America is as well?

          60+ White dude for Obama

          by DaNang65 on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:03:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A threat of retaliatory oblteration (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is only further cause to put those up before international trial who broke international law.

            I understand how too many Americans would stand by such a threat, but it only makes the deeds that much more criminal, akin to the brainwashing Germany took at the hands of the Nazis.

            Quite Goebbelian.

            Go Hemp!

            Twilight Bark is nothing more than a gossip chain.

            by MooseHB on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:43:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Bomb Germany and France ? (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe Italy or the whole EU ? At this moment Italy is trying many members of our CIA for Kidnapping and more.

          Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

          by SmileySam on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:38:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We would obliterate Germany??? n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          People on ludes should not drive. Jeff Spicoli

          by ZAP210 on Sat May 10, 2008 at 08:49:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Singing to the choir, Sam. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm all for putting these bastards in prison.  I'd even put them up for the death penalty.  I believe that is the appropriate punishment, in Texas and Wyoming, for 1st degree murder of hundreds of thousands of people.
    I hear talk of the U.N. wanting to try them in the Hague for violating International Law.  I support that, too.  If the American people refused to hand over these criminals, to IPOL, then we should have sanctions placed against us.
    But none of this will happen.  For the very reasons Glenn stated.  We are not a nation of law.  We are a nation of self-adorizing moralists who believe we are best at handling our own affairs.
    Barack may go a long way toward getting our nation back on some kind of track, but he won't change the fundamental belief that we are above the world's law.  Americans hate the U.N. for a reason.  That reason is that they might hold us responsible for our actions.  That, my dear boy, is unacceptable.  

    "I am here because of Ashley." - Unknown Obama supporter.

    by rainmanjr on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:40:53 PM PDT

  •  Torture is a Family Value? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yellow Canary, oxon, SmileySam, MooseHB

    Throw the book at them

  •  As for me and my house we shall.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, oxon, SmileySam, MooseHB, ArtSchmart

    stand for what is right.

    Are we willing to let this all just fade away because of fear of the waves it will cause or will we stand for what is right, no matter what the political costs ? That question is one every US Citizen must ask themselves because it goes to the core of who we are and who we will become as a nation.

    And I hope our example will give others courage to do the same......  at a minimum it will allow me to look myself in the eye in the mirror each morning.

    Thank you for the diary.

    At the core of the human spirit there is a voice stronger than violence and fear - S. dianna ortiz

    by Rachel Griffiths on Fri May 09, 2008 at 09:52:48 PM PDT

    •  I have no problem doing that now. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rachel Griffiths

      I can look myself in the eye because I didn't vote for these thugs.  In fact, in 2004, I campaigned against them and spoke very publicly to stop their election.  I begged people in 1990 to abandon war and move toward renewable energy as the solution.  I begged them again in 2002.  In 2000, I switched my planned vote for Nader to Gore in order to stop this mistake.
      I have nothing to feel ashamed of, here.  I know you don't, either, or those of most of DKos.  It is the general populace of this country that will have a hard time looking in their eye.  Most seem to be sorry for their fury, now, but that doesn't change what has been done.  

      "I am here because of Ashley." - Unknown Obama supporter.

      by rainmanjr on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:16:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama has said, and it is one of three reasons (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, Lovo, SmileySam, MooseHB

    why I've supported him, is that we must first ascertain the facts in detail, then if prosecutions are warranted, so be it.  It will fall to us, again, to keep the feet of the new administration and the new congress to the fire.

    We cannot be a society governed by law if crime is consistently unpunished at the highest levels of government.

    If we have the facts, then prosecutions will not be as liable to being interpreted as witch hunts.

    Losing Pelosi wouldn't hurt, either.

  •  Dividing the question (0+ / 0-)

    Torture is one thing, the war itself is another.  I'm for the potential for prosecutions over torture, but against any potential for prosecutions over the decision to go to war.  It's legal to lie to people to justify a war.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:18:15 PM PDT

  •  I wrote my congresswoman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, ColoTim, SmileySam

    asking for accountability from the administration for crimes committed, specifically extraordinary renditions and enhanced interrogations. Got this back from Nancy Pelosi

    Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the actions of the current Administration. I agree that the Administration must be held accountable, and I am working with the Congress to do so.


    The Democratic majority in Congress is working to take the country in a New Direction - change the failed policy in Iraq, make America safer and more secure, raise the minimum wage, promote energy independence, address global warming, make college more affordable, respond to the health care crisis and make government more accountable.

    We are continuing to fight for change every day on these and other issues to improve the lives of all Americans. There is no more important task before us than to bring our troops home safely and soon, and we will continue to work to do so. However, I believe impeachment proceedings against the President or the Vice President will not contribute to attaining that goal.

    Congressional Oversight

    The Constitution gives the Congress a crucial role in overseeing the Executive Branch in order to protect the American people against overreaching, incompetence, and corruption.

    For the last six years, under Republican leadership, Congress failed to conduct its proper oversight role and did not take action to address the extent of the mismanagement of our Iraq policy, widespread corruption by contractors in Iraq, and the failed response to Hurricane Katrina.

    The House is committed to conducting vigorous oversight, and have already passed legislation to clean up government contracting abuses and 'no bid' contracts that companies like Halliburton and KBR have made infamous, protect the public's right to know by strengthening

    The Freedom of Information Act, and restore "checks and balances" by investigating the military health care crisis, Iraq and Hurricane Katrina reconstruction failures, and the firing of U.S. Attorneys. Since the beginning of the 110th Congress, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has conducted many oversight hearings to look into allegations of fraud, waste and government corruption throughout the Bush Administration, and to demand changes in policies promoted by special interests and corrupt officials.

    In the 110th Congress, Democrats in the House and Senate will continue to hold the Bush administration accountable for its actions. Please be assured that upholding Congress' constitutional responsibility to oversee the activities of the Executive Branch will continue to be among my highest priorities.

    For more information on this and other issues affecting our country, I invite you to visit my website at Thank you again for taking the time to express your views on this important subject. I hope you will continue to communicate with me on matters of concern to you.


    Nancy Pelosi
    Member of Congress

    I blocked the entire letter to make an important point. NOWHERE in the text does Ms. Pelosi mention torture, extraordary rendition, habeus corpus or illegal detentions.

    Like Ms. Pelosi, I don't believe that the issues she lists in her response warrant impeachment. And I agree that impeachment proceedings would surely delay and impede pressing legislation (which will just as certainly be vetoed if it contains any real value).

    But I am deeply disappointed that the leader of the majority opposition would not consider illegal detention and torture by her own government matters of concern.

    People on ludes should not drive. Jeff Spicoli

    by ZAP210 on Sat May 10, 2008 at 09:19:23 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for her letter, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      One of my most impeachable charges is the acknowledged spying on Americans and violations of several of the articles of the US Constitution.  That's what I see as obvious and easy things that absolutely have to be changed if we're to exist as a free and open society and not as some fascist society at the mercy of whoever is in the Oval Office.

      Yes, torture and illegal detention are impeachable, but so are the other violations of the Constitution that she so conviently ignores.

  •  Missed this. Caught on the rescue. (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks, SSam.  Keep pressing the issue forward.  There is no reason Americans, or citizens of other countries, should allow war criminals to command the world's largest, most expensive, and most lethal military.

    Vote TORTURE. Vote DEATH. Vote REPUBLICAN: the party of torturers and war criminals.

    by Yellow Canary on Sat May 10, 2008 at 09:20:14 PM PDT

    •  Don't forget that it sets precedent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SmileySam, maxzj05

      for the next cabal.  Obama's not going to be president forever (hopefully he will be there 8 years) and there's no telling what he's able to get accomplished, but the meanness and cruelty of the right-wing has been increasing steadily from Nixon through Reagan and both Bushes.  If we don't stop and punish those who have done this to us, we're going to get it visited upon us again in an even more vicious manner next time by those who learned that they can get away with things if they just do it so big nobody can stop it all.

  •  What is America (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, SmileySam, maxzj05

    This issue will cut to the very heart of the problem facing America.  There was a time when we saw ourselves as an experiment in freedom, where I might disagree with every word you speak, but would defend to the death your right to speak, where the practice of our rights and freedoms lead to a dialog and a process the was the creation of a nation unlike any ever seen before.  A nation that would show show the way to a better world. That was the dream of the founding fathers.

    But I'm not sure that is what most Americans understand this nation to be.

    We don't teach this in our schools - the curriculum has been stripped of these ideas in the fear of offending some group; it isn't espoused by our politicians, and it isn't a part of our current culture - when was the last time you saw some idea like this in a movie or TV show?

    And without such ideals the prosecution of the bad actors would appear to be a witch hunt. It comes down to whether Americans think that America is a nation that must rise above acts of torture and the violation of basic human rights or not.

    I am afraid that we have been on the wrong path for so long, that we, as a nation, may not be able to understand the need to prosecute the crimes of the current administration.

  •  America won't make the decision... (3+ / 0-)

    A foreign country will.  It's only a matter of time before one of these responsible parties is on vacation someplace- Italy, Austria, Germany, etc. - and gets arrested and put before the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.  It will happen, and Americans will have no say or approval/disapproval.  If only we could clean up our own house rather than waiting for someone else to do it for us.  

    Of course, that's why King George is heading to Paraguay once his term is over- no extradition there.  

  •  The ball is in Obama's court. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, SmileySam, maxzj05

    Ask him.

  •  Thank you so much for posting this. (4+ / 0-)

    The dissonance of Bush/Cheney admittedly, even proudly, having committed massive conspiracy to murder and torture while they face almost zero prospect of real accountability is driving me livid nuts.

    As a side note, you might be interested in a moment at YearlyKos 2006 when I asked Greenwald about impeachment advocacy.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:33:22 AM PDT

    •  Just read you comment re Glenn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I fully agree with all of it, except the purity part, of course.

      His answer to me at FDL about how he would act if appointed the next Atty. Gen. showed his passion for Justice which makes some of his posts even more of a puzzle

      Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

      by SmileySam on Sun May 11, 2008 at 09:30:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is more at stake than America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Most here also want to solve global crises that have the potential to change life as we know it (nuclear proliferation, environment, etc.)

    The US is potentially still the country to lead the rest of the world on these issues. China and Russia won't. Europe and others don't have the clout. Right now, we have little credibility on the global stage because of what we've done. The only way to regain a position in which we lead nations towards sane global policies is by showing that we apply laws and accountability to our own leaders.

    How ridiculous Bush sounds when he chides Myanmar's leaders, or suggests that Asia cut its carbon footprint. Why should anyone listen to US leaders right now? But they have listened in the past and would again if they saw that we hold ourselves to the same standards we demand of them.

    I think our press is key to changing American minds. Lobbying Congress is necessary, but we also must demand of our local and national papers that they cover torture, war, etc. on the front page.

  •   With a Hat Tip to Think Progress (0+ / 0-)

    Here is a clip from the Moyers interview with Sands.

    Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

    by SmileySam on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:50:02 PM PDT

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