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UPDATE: Hey, it's really late here, so I gotta get to bed. Keep on posting comments if you want, and I'll respond later. This is, in my opinion, a super important event that happened, so I probably shouldn't have put this up at this time of day. Oh, and of course everyone who looks at this diary is welcome to Rec it. Yeah, that's what you should do... get this thing on the Rec List and make me look like a fool for giving up and going to bed!

In the Q&A part of the press conference tonight, Barack Obama, the president of the United States, pretty much guaranteed that prosecutions against Bush, Cheney, and the others will go forward.

I'm pretty sure...

Unless I'm missing something here....

Is it just me?

I know there's been at least one diary dealing with this (RobertinWisconsin has one on the recent diaries list right now), and I assume there've been others. Why none have made it to the Rec List is beyond me, though, since this seems like a HUGE deal.

Jake Tapper, ABC: You've said in the past that waterboarding, in your opinion, is torture. Torture is a violation of international law and of the Geneva Conventions. Do you believe that the previous administration sanctioned torture?

President Obama: What I've said, and I will repeat, is that waterboarding violates our ideals and our values. I do believe that it is torture. I don't think that's just my opinion, that's the opinion of many who have examined the topic. And that's why I put an end to these practices"

He then went on to explain why he thinks it's wrong, why he stopped the practice, etc. Then, at the end, there was a follow-up.

Tapper: So you believe that the previous administration sanctioned torture?

Obama: I believe that waterboarding was torture. And I think that whatever legal rational that was used, it was a mistake.

Tapper of course forgot to mention that there's also U.S. laws outlawing torture. But my point is not really about that. It's about the Geneva Conventions, which the U.S. is REQUIRED by U.S. law and our own Constitution, to uphold.

Here's the requirement in the Constitution:

U.S. Constitution, Article VI

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding

And here's the relevant parts of the Geneva Conventions:

CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Article 2

  1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
  1. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
  1. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture. . . .

Article 4

  1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Article 7

  1. The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.

And notice that even if they DID manage to get out of calling this "torture", that might not help much. This Convention also prohibits "Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment."


But the main points I'm making are these:

  1. The Constitution REQUIRES us to consider treaties the "supreme law of the land".
  1. The Geneva Conventions is a treaty (actually several) that we've signed on to.
  1. The GC bans torture ABSOLUTELY and ALWAYS. "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever."
  1. The GC REQUIRE us to prosecute: The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
  1. Tonight, in the press conference, our PRESIDENT declared that waterboarding is, indeed, TORTURE.
  1. While he didn't specifically say, "Yes, Bush ordered waterboarding," he didn't disagree when asked, "So you believe that the previous administration sanctioned torture?" And he DID say, "I believe that waterboarding was torture. And I think that whatever legal rational that was used, it was a mistake."
  1. It doesn't really matter whether Obama believes Bush and Cheney "sanctioned torture". From THEIR OWN LIPS, both Bush and Cheney have admitted they authorized waterboarding. Obama has declared waterboarding is torture, so...

8) Obama has just committed (LEGALLY committed) himself and his country, to prosecute George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and others.


If there's something wrong with my analysis, I'm all ears.

Originally posted to ratmach on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 12:47 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I want to believe that as well but call me (10+ / 0-)

      cynical but when you have the President use that many words instead of a simple "yes" I get the heebies about any prosecution.

      Now I can understand why he might want to do that little dance around the yes and I can even think it is smart from a political perspective and agree with it... that being said I would still feel a fuck load more comfortable if I KNEW  that some one in the administration could be gotten a hold of and made aware of exactly the world of shit that they will be in if they DO NOT!

      If there is not accountability for the crimes, and an accounting that comes out of the United States at that; then it will have substantial blowback on us from a national security perspective... it is the perfect recruitment tool for terrorists.

      It will call into question everyone of our treaty commitments overseas.. if they can't count on us to live up to a treaty we essentially crafted and pushed for then the can't count on us for pretty damn near anything now can they?

      And it will call into question domestically the very nature of our criminal justice system.. are the powerful really accountable for their crimes or is the justice system really only a "just us" system as in only we the common folk go to jail?

      And when I say a world of shit... I mean pushing for candidates in the future that will hold HIM and his administration criminally culpable for their lack of prosecutions; up to charging them with aiding and abetting.

      If he is intent upon letting them skate for this because it would be politically difficult to achieve then we have little choice but to seek that, and we must do it openly and well ahead of time so that the Quivering Quisling wing of the party can see it coming.

      Sow the wind reap the whirlwind.

      And letting two chucklefucks who had the audacity to on TAPE say that they ordered this and are proud of it off without so much as a slap on the wrist for something that not only you, but your AG and the ICRC are all in agreement WAS torture; something that we are required by law to prosecute... that is as bad as signing off on it yourself since it acts as a passive endorsement of the acts or a de facto preemptive pardon of them.

  •  I found the tone and the (9+ / 0-)

    abruptness of the way he said "it was a mistake" to be about more than just saying the torture was a mistake.

    I heard in it a sense of Obama saying it was a mistake for Cheney to gamble on being able to get away with it.

    Maybe they figured McCain was a lock to win the next election back when they started torturing, that he'd been promised it for years and with his "moderate credentials," he would be able to win and clean up their mess. Sweep it under the rug. That's what McCain is for.

    But then it all went way more wrong than they imagined. The Iraq lies. Their popularity. It all came apart. And Obama won.

    I get the sense that when Obama said it was a mistake, he was saying it was also a mistake for Cheney to bet America's reputation on the idea that he'd never be held accountable...

    that letting Cheney get away with torture  just isn't something Obama can let happen.

    Maybe I read more into it than there is. Probably so. But the tone seemed to me to be about more than just saying the torture was a mistake.

    •  I agree that he meant it in that way (8+ / 0-)

      "You guys made a BIG mistake."

      But just wondering... how come you keep saying "Cheney"? There's one other person who is just as, if not more, responsible for what's happened to this country. The name's George W. Bush.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 01:14:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right. (5+ / 0-)

        I just always think of Cheney being in charge, but of course the President is the final word and I don't think things like a torture program can happen without him knowing and approving.

      •  I, personally, admit to being more focused (6+ / 0-)

        on Cheney for a couple reasons.

        One is that Bush never was The Decider, he was a pliable puppet-boy who did what he was told.  He doesn't currently pose a threat.

        He was having fun playing President Tough-Guy, just like he had fun playing Cowboy Governor, and Oil Man, and BallTeam Owner.

        Left to his own devices in a Rove free world, Bush would be nothing but a rich douche-bag fishing a stocked pond, driving around in a speedboat, and making really bad business decisions at some company that had given him a job as favor to his dad.  

        There's about half a million of those guys in this country.

        Cheney, however, is power-mad nutcase who is still trying to advance his plans for creating wars he can profit from.

        It's not that I have any love for Bush, but the guy isn't a threat to anyone anymore.

        Crush the Horror.

        by JesseCW on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 03:18:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good soldiers were ordered to commit ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rsie, Piaffe, ratmach

          ... war crimes by the Chimperor ... of his own free will.

          I have zero sympathy for that human wreck.  He was, arguable, the single most previleged son born in the twentieth century, and he rose to become the titular and legal head of an organized criminal syndicate which defrauded America of trillions of dollars, mass murdered many tens of thousands in a deliberate war crime of Aggressive War, and built a worldwide secret prison/torture complex.

          There are not "half a million of those guys in this country".  There is one, George Walker Bush, first-born son of former President George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife Barbara Pierce Bush.

          Justice is not a zero-sum game.  No mass murderer, no torturer, no war criminal should ever walk free.

          If torture is OK in retrospect, it is OK in prospect as well. That is who we now are.

          by Yellow Canary on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 06:09:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think they counted on the fact that the next (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratmach

      admin would either be rethuglican and so would continue the program out of principle, or if Democrat they would be too afraid of appearing weak or partisan to dare to open up the issue. Like HRC and McCain they clearly underestimate Obama.

      "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" Aristotle

      by polticoscott on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 04:07:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ed Shulz and Roger Simon pretty much correct (5+ / 0-)

    Matthews is nuts.
       Sloppy though at the very end when Ed said the a-bombing of Japan was a 'shortcut', the same idea that was used to describe what torture is, a shortcut.....and also a war crime imo.

    That 'ticking time bomb ' thing is such bullshit....

    Hear is "one of them" edscan 3/27/09

    by KenBee on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 01:22:06 AM PDT

    •  The ticking bomb is an opening for a death blow (9+ / 0-)

      to their argument but nobody in our talking head class has had the whit or balls to do it....

      The answer to the question is of course YOU would torture the guy because you have to take that shot; but you would be man enough to serve the sentence for the crime of torturing the prisoner.  Because it is still an evil that the nation must never do and her President must never, ever order.

      Because then the whole nation pays the price of the crime.

      •  I don't see this argument nearly enough. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, snackdoodle

        I personally don't believe torture is the most effective means of interrogation.

        But if Jack Bauer really thinks he needs to torture someone to save hundreds of thousands of lives, he's man enough to face the potential for prison time.

        Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. And it went Democratic.

        by Anarchofascist on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 03:58:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe Spain will make us (6+ / 0-)

    act like Americans.  

    "The object of torture is torture." --George Orwell

    by big spoiled baby on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 01:25:57 AM PDT

  •  When he said "it was a mistake" (5+ / 0-)

    I think he meant it was a mistake to use the legal rational... not just a mistake to torture.

    From the tone, I got the sense that yes...

    it's pretty much now inevitable.

    Bush/Cheney boxed him in.

    I dunno if they always figured McCain would win the next election and sweep up their mess, since he was somehow moderate and above reproach on torture... and they figured somehow conditions would have been different back in 2008 when they started torturing... but they definitely made a mistake.

    And I get the sense that Obama was saying that. It seems awfully inevitable at this point.

  •  I Heard it That Way. (5+ / 0-)

    It is Torture.
    It Happened.

    Sub-text... "I am not the attorney-general.  I don't plan to play one on TV".

  •  Sorry, but you are wrong (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bin Bin, Anarchofascist, stella0710

    NO convention overrides prosecutorial discretion in a free society. Prosecutors always have the right not to prosecute.  

    And you would not want it any other way.

    All my IP addresses have been banned from Redstate.com.

    by charliehall on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 02:56:15 AM PDT

  •  i think i know why obama doesn't want to prosecute (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polticoscott
    because, if bush appeals and goes to the supream court, bush might win.

    and becuz i don't know if torture is illegal under united states law and not international law, or if bush could escape because he didn't define waterboarding as torture

    •  sadly there is every reason to believe that a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bin Bin

      an appeal would be uneccessary because it is unlikely that an initial conviction would be obtained. What are the chances that 2 or 3 members of any jury will just be set on voting not guilty no matter what.....pretty certain in my mind.

      "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" Aristotle

      by polticoscott on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 04:09:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No jury would convict them. Ever. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        siduri

        Plain and simple.

        Whatever Will Bewilder Me.

        by Bin Bin on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 04:40:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Conviction is not absolutely necessary. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bin Bin, ratmach

          OJ wasn't convicted the first time, but he became a pariah.

          What is necessary is the public airing of all the facts about Bush's torture policy. State the full facts during proper legal proceedings - and let the public decide what it will.

          BTW, I wouldn't be so sure that no jury would convict that gang given that all the facts are known. Seriously, who knows what horrors might still be classified?

          •  I hear you, but this aint OJ (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skeptiq

            if the Fed prosecutor isn't 99% (s)he'll get a conviction, they won't go thru with it.  

            Sorry, but these guys will have lawyers good enough to muddy this up just enough to cause one or two jurors to be uncomfortable with convicting.  It's just the way it is.  Unfortunately.  If justice is to come, it will be internationally.  

            Whatever Will Bewilder Me.

            by Bin Bin on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 05:06:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It is unclear to me whether Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratmach

      wants to prosecute or not.

      But if he doesn't this would be related to issues of political expediency more than for any of the three reasons you cite.

      First, about the Supreme Court - if Bush is investigated, prosecuted, and found guilty there would be no issue for the Supreme Court to address so it is unclear what you're getting at with this one.

      Second, about torture being illegal under US law:

      The use of torture also violates U.S. law. In 1994, Congress passed a new federal law which specifically provides for penalties including fines and up to 20 years' imprisonment for acts of torture committed by American or other officials outside the United States. In cases where torture results in death of the victim, the sentence is life imprisonment or execution.2

      U.S. Law Prohibits Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

      Torture is, indeed, illegal under US law.

      Third, about Bush being able to "escape" because he, personally, doesn't define waterboarding as torture - this is the exact argument advanced in the torture memos and the exact arguement which needs to be debunked in a court of law.  Many legal scholars have examined the torture memos and have found them to be flawed.

      The US has successfully investigated and prosecuted others who have committed waterboarding in the past.  There is clearly established precedent, itself based on previously established understandings of waterboarding, which points to the fact that under US law waterboarding is torture and, as such, is illegal.

      "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

      by Edgewater on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 04:11:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Memo to President Obama on Torture (4+ / 0-)

    By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
    April 29, 2009
    MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

    FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

    SUBJECT: Torture

    This memorandum is VIPS’ first attempt to inform you on a major intelligence issue, as we did your predecessor; thus, some background might be helpful.

    Five former CIA officers established Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) in January 2003, when we saw our profession being corrupted to justify an attack on Iraq. Since then, our numbers have grown to 70 intelligence professionals, mostly retired, who have served in virtually all U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies.

    In our first Memorandum for the President (George W. Bush), dated February 5, 2002, we provided a same-day commentary on Colin Powell’s U.N. speech. We warned the president that "an invasion of Iraq would ensure overflowing recruitment centers for terrorists into the indefinite future [and that] far from eliminating the [terrorist] threat, it would enhance it exponentially."

    We strongly urged the former president to widen the discussion on Iraq "beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic." >>>>>Much More Here

    "The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable and am radio."

    by jimstaro on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 03:47:27 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratmach

      this should be printed on the front page of every newspaper in the country IMO.  Here are experts in the field going on record demanding that the criminal justice process be begun against BushCo.

      I dread seeing and hearing what is still to come out after reading this article:

      No doubt you appreciate better than anyone that the official Department of Justice memoranda you insisted be released last week are a national disgrace. Worse still are the first-hand accounts by young soldiers at Guantanamo of perversions like "rape by instrumentality."

      You should be aware that this was a practice adamantly defended by former White House lawyers when Congress attempted to draft legislation expressly prohibiting it. Asked to explain their objection, Bush administration lawyers acknowledged that they were worried that such legislation might subject practitioners to prosecution under state and federal criminal statutes.

      but I'm more sure than ever that investigation and prosecution, where evidence suggests crimes were committed, is necessary to uproot the criminal precedent set by BushCo.

      "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

      by Edgewater on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 04:26:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'Torture Team' and the 'Torture Memo's' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratmach, Edgewater

    Spanish Court To Investigate Bush's 'Torture Team'

    A book about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay has led to an investigation by the Spanish court. In Torture Team, Philippe Sands alleges that high-ranking members of the Bush administration were responsible for instituting harsh interrogation tactics.

    Rest Here with Audio to Listen

    His Book ' Torture Team '

    Reporter Scott Shane On 'Torture Memo' News

    New York Times writer covers national security issues; he discusses what the newly discovered documents reveal about Bush Administration policy, and what the fallout from their release may be.

    Rest Here with Audio to Listen

    The 'Torture Memo's'

    "The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable and am radio."

    by jimstaro on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 03:53:27 AM PDT

  •  I got a bad feeling about this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, mochajava13, Edgewater

    It's clear that waterboarding is torture, and thus is a violation of US law. And it's clear that Bush's people approved it. But watch Obama when he's asked if 1+1=2, he can't say yes.

    He hems and haws, and says that "waterboarding violates our ideals and our values..."

    Yeah, Mr president, and those who approved torture also violated the law. There's no need to single out waterboarding, or to dance around the obvious legal question. Obama knows how to be direct, and he knows that dancing around like this looks like shit.

    IMO the man is not going to do it. For some reason, he can't. I don't know why, and it almost doesn't matter. Because whatever it is, Obama is probably giving the next Republican carte blanche. We have as clear-cut a case as we've ever seen of a criminal act by an administration, and the next president is hemming and hawing.

    Not good.

    We must press the issue, hard.

    "we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization" - Al Gore

    by racerx on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 04:07:59 AM PDT

    •  I think it's possible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phrogge prince

      That Obama's playing this smart... again.  If he comes out with some "strongly worded statement" (above and beyond what he has) then you'll hear nothing be three words repeated by the right over and over and over: Partisan Witch Hunt.

      Besides a Special Prosecutor is who should be doing this and according to Congressman Wexler, he's working on that.

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 05:15:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let the right yell witch hunt (0+ / 0-)

        They have zero credibility.

        ZERO.

        Having them call us witch hunters is a badge of honor, given their recent political prosecutions. If they DIDN'T yell witch hunt, that would mean the Democrats were falling down on the job.

        Which they are.

        "we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization" - Al Gore

        by racerx on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 11:54:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't like that either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      racerx

      I really wish Obama could just come and and say what the whole world knows: Bush and his buddies are war criminals, for torture, for lying us into Iraq, for any number of crimes.

      I'm not 100% certain where Obama is going with all this. But here's what I think is going on:

      I don't know if you're old enough to remember the Tate/LaBianca trial... you know, Charlie Manson and the "family", "Helter Skelter", all that. Well, in the middle of the trial, some reporter asked Nixon something, and he came back with something like, "Right now there's a man on trial who has murdered a lot of people, and...."

      Well, that made headlines, as you might expect. "Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares". Even while the trial was going on, the president had already declared the defendants guilty. Oh, and importantly, the jury had been sequestered... they weren't allowed to see any news or talk to anyone else.

      Whatever you think about Charlie Manson, one thing he's NOT is dumb. So the next day in court, as the jury was brought in, Charlie held up a copy of the newspaper so that the jurors could see it. A bailiff grabbed it away from him, but too late. The defense argued that this was cause for mistrial, and so the judge asked the jurors about it. He was satisfied that it hadn't influenced anyone (yeah right), and so let the trial go forward. But the point is, this could easily have caused the whole trial to collapse.

      I'm wondering if maybe THAT is part of the reason Obama is sounding so seemingly uninterested in pursuing justice? Maybe he doesn't wanna give Bush and his buddies ANY excuses like, "See! Even the president already thinks we're guilty! No way can we get fair trials!"

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 12:09:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope that's it (0+ / 0-)

        But when Rahm came out and flat-out handed BushCo's criminal lawyers a pass on the issue, that stank on ice and the air has been pretty smelly ever since. They could say something along the lines of "we will let the congress investigate whether there were any crimes committed or not" or "if the congress requests a special prosecutor I will appoint a very fair one and lets see where that goes"

        But we've had nothing like that. They have backed away from Rahm's blanket pardons, but that to me smells like a stalling tactic rather than an honest rethinking of the issue. IMHO they're hoping we forget about it.

        We will not.

        "we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization" - Al Gore

        by racerx on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 08:47:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think we did submit it for prosecution. (0+ / 0-)

    if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.

    I assume the DOJ has its dossier going.  Since the CAT requires submission, not prosecution, we've done what we're required to do.

    We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

    by burrow owl on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 04:34:28 AM PDT

  •  Obama owes it not only to the US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratmach

    but to the whole world.

    Because currently any criticisms of human rights abuses by the US ring hollow - the state that tortured and did not punish the perpetrators has little to no moral authority.

    It's like when Rice was meeting with human rights activists around the world (e.g. in Russia), expressing her support for their cause. Then it turned out that she was one of those who sanctioned the torture policy... "Hypocrisy" does not even begin to describe the situation.

    And that's bad, because intervention by the US can help many people around the world whose rights are being abused. So the US - as a state - should come to terms with its recent past, however tortuous that may be. Petty political games should be set aside.

  •  We can deal with it, OR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratmach

    I found these encouraging words on TPMMuckraker

    "Let me take the direct line backwards....Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld all part of the Nixionan Age....political power, unitary power....absolute power. Their trouble now is that we cannot pardon crimes against humanity. International Law is slow, unweilding and eventually forces the rogue country to come to terms and give up their criminals. Either we do it or they do it."

    It seems that there is no statute of limitations on crimes against humanity and such crimes may not be pardoned.  This can not be stopped.  It is much bigger than Watergate since Watergate only shamed the Republican Party while Torturegate shamed the entire Nation.

  •  Geneva Convention not applicable (0+ / 0-)

    See Glenn Greenwald's interview with the U.N. special torture guy -- Geneva Convention is applicable in a war, and Gitmo etc probably isn't a result of "war" by international standards, says the UN guy.  However, the US is a signatory to the convention against torture, which is specifically applicable.  So you have the right idea, but you're citing the wrong treaty.

  •  Military Lawyers: Release Gitmo Youths (0+ / 0-)

    Attorneys Say Obama Administration Obligated Under Child-Soldier Pact To Free Teen Terror Detainees
    Military lawyers for two young Guantanamo detainees urged the United States on Wednesday to follow the legally binding protocols it signed in 2002 on child soldiers and release the juveniles now being held at the U.S. military prison in Cuba.

    U.S. Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz and Marine Maj. Eric Montalvo timed their press conference to a day-long open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on children and armed conflict. They singled out U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice's statement reiterating American opposition to child soldiers and support for council action against those governments and militias that persist in recruiting and using them. >>>>>Rest Here w/Video

    "The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable and am radio."

    by jimstaro on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 05:21:26 AM PDT

  •  Cheney is coming from a different era (0+ / 0-)

    and refuses to believe that he is not above the law.

    He is also part of the band of sissy warriors who did not serve this country in the military but imagines that civilians can and should determine military policy.  

    He is daring President Obama to move prosecutions forward and continually hits on the 'weak' theme.  He cannot imagine being without power, which he is, nor can he believe that President Obama has the power and the will to verbally respond in the typical thuggish way the Bush/Cheney admin did.  If the situation were reversed, the Bush/Cheney gang would have been talking tough from day one.

    I believe the Presiden Obama is exercising extreme restraint, relying on his own legal training and playing a waiting game.

    An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Mohandas Gandhi

    by msmacgyver on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 06:12:03 AM PDT

  •  Richard Nixon Lives On (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratmach

    Did everyone see the disturbing Condi Rice quotes about torture?

    http://wwwdemocracity.blogspot.com/

    by pmorlan on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 06:16:16 AM PDT

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