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Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, is once again calling for a special prosecutor to look into the crimes (alright, the alleged crimes) of Bush, Cheney, and their fascist buddies. The big difference is that his previous calls were when Bush was still in office.

Now it's up to Obama and Holder...

It's not like Obama himself is pushing this, so he's got "political cover" if he feels he needs it. All Barack needs to do is GET OUT OF THE WAY and let others do this, if he doesn't want to be involved. "Alright Jerrold, here's your special prosecutor... knock yourself out."

UPDATE:

Rep. John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, on Friday raised the prospect of prosecutions of senior Bush Administration officials and Justice Department lawyers who authorized the harsh interrogations.

"If our leaders are found to have violated the strict laws against torture, either by ordering these techniques without proper legal authority or by knowingly crafting legal fictions to justify torture, they should be criminally prosecuted," he said in a written statement.

He chairs the committee that Nadler's is a sub-committee of, possibly making this even more important and relevant.

----------------------------------------------

Nadler's statement (emphasis mine)

"While I applaud the Obama administration for releasing these torture memos in the spirit of openness and transparency, the memos' alarming content requires further action. These memos, without a shadow of a doubt, authorized torture and gave explicit instruction on how to carry it out, all the while carefully attempting to maintain a legal fig leaf.

"These memos make it abundantly clear that the Bush administration engaged in torture. Because torture is illegal under American law – as the U.S. is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture – we are legally required to investigate and, when appropriate, to prosecute those responsible for these crimes.

"I commend President Obama for his unequivocal rejection of torture and for his resolve to move forward. The President's intentions are honorable, but don't go far enough. All history teaches us that simply shining a light on criminal acts without holding the responsible people accountable will not prevent repetition of those acts.

"I have previously urged Attorneys General Gonzalez and Mukasey to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the torture abuses of the Bush administration, and now I will convey that same necessity to President Obama and Attorney General Holder. We sorely need an independent investigation that will provide accountability for these terrible crimes. This investigation should not be a witch-hunt to punish those rank-and-file C.I.A. operatives who acted in good faith on Justice Department instructions. At the very least, those who wrote and authorized the memos knowing full well that they were instructing others to torture must be held accountable to the law.

"We must have a criminal investigation if the U.S. is to reclaim its moral authority and prevent repetition of these crimes.

"As Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights said yesterday, ‘Whether or not to prosecute law breakers is not a political decision. Laws were broken and crimes were committed. If we are truly a nation of laws . . . a prosecutor needs to be appointed and the decisions regarding the guilt of those involved in the torture program should be decided in a court of law.’

"Furthermore, the revelations contained in these memos make it abundantly clear that we need additional Congressional oversight hearings on this matter. We intend to hold such hearings.

"Finally, I particularly want to thank the American Civil Liberties Union for their role in bringing these memos to light and for their vigilant efforts to ensure that the United States government does not engage in torture."

Originally posted to ratmach on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 12:57 PM PDT.

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