Sunday, February 08, 2009

Investigate Bush for War Crimes? We Don't Have A Choice - We Must

A great deal of Americans have been kicking around this notion of "well, Bush and crew may have committed war crimes, but we really don't have the time and/or inclination to investigate him for war crimes", or it would "be too divisive", etc.

I wonder if people would be able to use this same logic on, say, the trial of OJ Simpson? Wasn't that also "divisive"?

I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Besides, as Jack Clark's podcast points out, we are legally obligated, as a country, to investigate Bush and crew for possible war crimes he committed.

The transcript is here: Rule Of Law: A Criminal Investigation Of The Bush Administration's Torture Program Is Legally Required

...and the mp3 is here.

Happy reading/listening. Here's a taste:

To start off with, listen to Attorney General Eric Holder being questioned at his confirmation hearing by Vermont Senator Pat Leahy:

audio: Eric Holder and Pat Leahy

LEAHY: Water boarding has been recognized to be torture since the time of Spanish Inquisition. The United States has prosecuted American soldiers for using this technique. Earlier in the last century, they prosecuted Japanese soldiers for using it on Americans in World War II. But the two most recent nominees to serve as attorney general of the United States hedged on the question of water boarding.

They would not say that if an American were water boarded by some other government or terrorist anywhere in the world, whether it would be torture and illegal. They maintained it would depend upon the circumstances.

Do you agree with me that water boarding is torture and illegal?

HOLDER: If you look at the history of the use of that technique used by the Khmer Rouge, used in the Inquisition, used by the Japanese and prosecuted by us as war crimes. We prosecuted our own soldiers for using it in Vietnam.

I agree with you, Mr. Chairman, water boarding is torture.

OK, got that? Holder says point blank, water boarding is torture.

Now listen to excerpts of Dick Cheney recently being interviewed by ABC News:

audio: Dick Cheney

KARL: Did you authorize the tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

CHENEY: I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, that is the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do. And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.

KARL: In hindsight, do you think any of those tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others went too far?

CHENEY: I don't.


KARL: [O]n KSM, one of those tactics, of course, widely reported was waterboarding. And that seems to be a tactic we no longer use. Even that you think was appropriate?


Sounds like an admission to me. Doesn’t it to you?

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