Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fish or cut bait, Mr. President!

It is time for the Obama administration to look back and reclaim this nation’s honor that was tainted by the Bush administration’s policy of torture. It is time to reclaim for future generations those principals of the Geneva Convention, of Nuremberg and of accountability that were the legacy of a past generation.

President Obama says he wants to look forward and not dwell on the past. That is acceptable only if you subscribe to the idea that there is nothing to be learned from the past and therefore no lessons to be learned for the future.

To suggest, as President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder did, that those carrying out torture techniques should have immunity from prosecution because they were only following orders, is an insult to the legacy of Nuremberg and gives credence to the twisted legal logic of the Bush Justice Department sycophants, John Woo and J.S. Bybee. It is also an insult to the legal profession.

When battered by the sordid details of the Bush White House policy which facilitated the CIA’s water boarding in secret, black site, prisons --- President Obama assured us that anyone exceeding the Woo-Bybee torture guidelines would be prosecuted.

Well, Mr. President, it is time to fish or cut bait.

Recently disclosed internal CIA e-mails not only revealed that the CIA destroyed video tapes of water boarding (which we knew a year ago) but that higher ups including former agency head, Porter Goss, approved of their destruction. (Can anyone spell obstruction of Justice?)Associated Press reported that Jose Rodriguez, the agency’s top clandestine officer thought the tapes would be "devastating" to the CIA.

The AP story further reports that the documents indicate that "the videos showed that interrogators DID NOT FOLLOW the water boarding procedures" handed down by Bush administration.

For more evidence of how far we have drifted towards denial and away from the harsh truth, one need only look at the Associated Press lead paragraph which uses the euphemism, "harsh interrogation" for the word torture.