THE UN’S SPECIAL Rapporteur on Human Rights is stepping up his calls for senior US officials including former president George W Bush to be prosecuted for war crimes.
Ben Emmerson, a British expert on human rights and counterterrorism, suggested that anyone implicated by this week’s damning US Senate report on torture, could and should face arrest and prosecution if they leave America.
Allegedly today the long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report is supposed to be released today, with heavy censorship, you know to protect the names of the innocent-until-never-proven guilty.
Already Wingnuttia’s mighty Wurlitzer is warmed up telling us simultaneously that there was no torture and that this will cause the middle east to blow up again. One side or the other boys, it cannot be both.
One of the sadder and stranger side-effect of this happening now six-plus years after Chimpy and Darth’s Excellent Adventure slunk off into history, is the idea floated by the ACLU that President Obama should issue Presidential Pardons to whole crew.
There is actually some reasoning behind it:
My organization and others have spent 13 years arguing for accountability for these crimes. We have called for the appointment of a special prosecutor or the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission, or both. But those calls have gone unheeded. And now, many of those responsible for torture can’t be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run out.
Shorter ACLU: the only way to get into the record books that indeed the US tortured prisoners is to pardon the torturers. The statute of limitations was run-out (thanks Congress), and now the rat bastard torturers who have crapped on what little is left of our moral high-ground, they we are giving themselves fist bumps.
Personally, I find pardoning Chimpy & Co. repellant. You set a precedence, and ensure absolutely that it will happen again. My preference would be to release the whole, damn report into the public record, uncensored. Let the people who tortured (water boarded? electric shocked? finger nailed? who knows what?) face the consequences, let them be shunned at all the best village cocktail parties, and let decent people spit on them when they appear in public, point and throw rotted vegetables at them; let their friends be worried that they will be tainted too if seen with these monsters; they tortured people in our name and so they’ve earned our scorn.
UPDATED: The Torture report is here. It’s upsetting to say the least, so you’ve been warned.
We learned today of the resignation of US AG Eric Holder:
Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.
Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.
Holder’s work on Civil Rights was outstanding, but he was also beholden to the status quo when it came to people with power: Holder never found a single person to prosecute for Wall Street’s criminal looting of the global economy, and never brought charges against the admitted war criminals of the Bush Administration.
I’m not sure we would notice the difference if he left today, which is probably a good thing: it is unlikely that the Republicans would approve a replacement, especially if they gain control of the Senate in 2014 as many pundits are predicting.
Paul Constant at the SLOG says it so much better than I ever could.
I didn’t have one single reaction upon reading this morning that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning… Holder has a spotty record on civil liberties—he’s taken heat from both the left and the far right as an enemy of freedom of the press and a fearsome enforcer when it comes to whistleblowers. He let Wall Street and the big banks trample the middle class. He deserves all that criticism—Holder has done a lot to keep George W. Bush’s paranoid, power-obsessed America alive for another eight years—but he’s taken a lot of criticism that he doesn’t deserve, too. The New York Times, for instance, describes Holder as a “lightning rod” for “partisan venom,” which is a decidedly mixed metaphor that somehow works perfectly.
He’s also been a force for good. Holder has been a strong supporter of civil rights, gay marriage, and reduced prison time for nonviolent drug offenders. He’s been permissive of Washington and Colorado’s experiments with legalized marijuana. We just got an e-mail from Christian ninnies Morality in Media saying Holder’s resignation “can only give hope to those suffering the ravages of the pornography pandemic in America.” Anyone painting him as a faux-liberal is intentionally obscuring half the man’s record. Anyone trying to paint him as a strictly liberal politician is missing the point, too.
Alaska’s part-time governor and full-time grifter Sarah Palin must have spent some time at Annapolis as one of her five of so colleges from which she did not earn her degree, and she takes to the awesome power of her MyFacePlace page to offer her sound, professional, and winning advice to Commander-in-Chief (and Kenyan Usurper) Barack HUSSEIN O’Bummer on how to defeat ISIS (emphasis mine):
War is hell. So go big or go home, Mr. President. Big means bold, confident, wise assurance from a trustworthy Commander-in-Chief that it shall all be worth it. Charge in, strike hard, get out. Win.
Being Mooselini, she whines her usual grievances and then having lost track of her thesis (“Charge in, strike hard, get out”), contradicts herself (emphasis mine):
The rise of the animalistic terror group, ISIS, is the result of Obama’s lead-from-behind foreign policy. He had broadcast his war strategy for all the enemy to see in Iraq, so the enemy could wait us out and strike as soon as America turned tail and turned away from all we’d sacrificed there. Terrorists who we had under control got to regroup and grow after Obama’s premature pull out.
War is hell, Generalissimo Mooselini. But your writing seems to be hellish.
Famous plagiarist, immigrant-dodging land-speed record holder and shag-carpet topped SEN. RAND PAUL, the Aqua Buddhist, tells us how he would deal with ISIS:
Speaking to a ballroom later, some of the loudest applause for Paul came when he quipped: “If the president has no strategy, maybe it’s time for a new president.”
In an emailed comment, however, Paul elaborated by saying: “If I were President, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.”
Thanks for that, Patton.
Growing up, the young Aqua Buddhist must have heard the phrase “If I were president…” and assumed it was a common way to begin every declarative sentence. But that aside, the Do-Something Crowd (from the Do-Nothing Congress) seems to be confusing cause with effect again: You can bomb the rubble into smaller rubble and then into dust, but if Chimpy’s Excellent Adventure didn’t teach us anything else, it should have taught us that You Need A Plan.
And in related news, Tom Cruise is looking for a wife again.
Famous comb-licking war criminal Paul Wolfowitz weighs in on the new turmoil in Iraq:
When asked his thoughts about the current situation in Iraq and whether the war was a mistake, Wolfowitz replied, “We have won it — in 2009.”
First, he needs his meds upped. Second, why is anyone asking Wolfowitz anything except for what the inseam should be on his prison uniform?
“This president is an utter disgrace. He’s got a situation where, as your last two reports showed, you’ve got crises erupting around the world. And he is expending more time, more energy, more passion, more aggressive activity in targeting and going after patriots, heroes, CIA officers and others who kept us safe after 9/11.”
“He’s lying about what they did, he’s slandering them, he went to Cairo and did it in 2009. Today he did it from the podium of the Oval Office. It’s a disgrace. It’s despicable.”
–The most important Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in our nation’s history, maybe ever Liz Cheney , daughter of War Criminal (unindicted) Dick Cheney, who
quite literally cannot probably cannot leave North America without being arrested.
Anyway, her quibble seems to be with semantics, not with actual deeds and actions.
I just want to get this right:
“Even before I came into office, I was very clear that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values. I understand why it happened. I think it’s important when we look back to recall how afraid people were after the twin towers fell and the Pentagon had been hit and the plane in Pennsylvania had fallen and people did not know whether more attacks were imminent and there was enormous pressure on our law enforcement and our national security teams to try to deal with this. And, you know, it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots, but having said all that, we did some things that were wrong. And that’s what that report reflects.”
And then President Obama told us that he has full confidence in John Brennan, who, not to mince words, was part of Team Torture and who found no qualms in spying on the Senate. The only confidence that I have in the CIA or John Brennan is that they are professional liars, they lie for a living and they will lie to us again.
Sure, Obama used the forbidden word torture but he didn’t follow it up with the word indictments. The Bush junta are not patriots, they are war criminals, and they tortured people in our names, which makes all of us accessories to war crimes.
Blam-Blam and his little Squirt, the most important Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in our nation’s history, maybe ever Liz Cheney wrote an editorial: here’s an excerpt –
Those who say the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a mistake are essentially saying we would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power. That’s a difficult position to sustain. It is undisputed, and has been confirmed repeatedly in Iraqi government documents captured after the invasion, that Saddam had deep, longstanding, far-reaching relationships with terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda and its affiliates. It is undisputed that Saddam’s Iraq was a state based on terror, overseeing a coordinated program to support global jihadist terrorist organizations. Ansar al Islam, an al Qaeda-linked organization, operated training camps in northern Iraq before the invasion. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the future leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, funneled weapons and fighters into these camps, before the invasion, from his location in Baghdad. We also know, again confirmed in documents captured after the war, that Saddam provided funding, training, and other support to numerous terrorist organizations and individuals over decades, including to Ayman al Zawahiri, the man who leads al Qaeda today.
It is also undisputed that Saddam Hussein had the technology, equipment, facilities, and scientists in place to construct the world’s worst weapons. We know he intended to reconstitute these programs as soon as the international sanctions regime collapsed. He had an advanced nuclear program in place prior to Operation Desert Storm in 1991. In 1998, he kicked the international weapons inspectors out of Iraq. He violated every one of the 17 U.N. Security Council Resolutions passed against him.