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Well, they slow-rolled the decisions not to prosecute anybody for the tortures committed in our names collectively, first ruling out the prosecution of the actual torturers (They thought it was legal) last week, then having Rahm Emmanuel disclose today that those who authorized that torture won't be prosecuted either.

In my opinion, a complete abdication of moral authority for political purposes.

You see, ANY prosecution of these war criminals would have a simply unacceptable side effect: the disclosure of Democratic involvement in allowing the very torture we abhor.

In December 2007, the Washington Post reported that in 2002 Pelosi, who was a member of the House Intelligence Committee during Bush’s first term, Sen. Bob Graham, D-FL, and Rep. Jane Harman, D-CA, and a handful of Republican lawmakers, were "given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make the prisoners talk."

"Among the techniques described [to the lawmakers], said two officials present, was water-boarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill," the Post reported. "But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two US officials said."

The Post story also made identical claims that Hayden and Mukasey leveled in their column: that Pelosi and other Democratic leaders were privately briefed at least 30 times. Those briefings, according to the Post, "included descriptions of [water-boarding] and other harsh interrogations methods."


I have no illusions that Members of Congress, from either Party, were "fully" briefed on this program or the NSA spying or anything else by the Bush Maladministration, but they were co-opted, briefed just enough to make them complicit in what they knew was being done, and did little or nothing to stop.

Personally, I favor vigorous investigation by an impartial Special Prosecutor (Patrick Fitzgerald would suit me) and let the chips fall where the evidence leads, but that is obviously not the path the Obama Administration has chosen.

That choice is not to their credit.

Originally posted to The Baculum King on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 01:13 PM PDT.

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