It would be good if the US banned war criminals, too.
The Great Orange Satan tells us:
In light of that claim, it’s interesting to consider the foreign policy advisers with whom Jeb Bush has, as his own man, chosen to surround himself. Like Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, George W.’s two homeland security secretaries. And Porter Goss and Michael Hayden, two of George W.’s CIA directors. And Iraq War architects Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Hadley, and Meghan O’Sullivan. The list goes on.
UPDATE: Stolen from the inestimable Digby:
Arkansas state Senator Jason Rapert:
“With ISIS spreading all over the Middle East and Africa and Islamic Extremists carrying out violence in Europe, the United Kingdom and even in the United States, I wonder why the civilized world just sits by when we have weapons that could wipe out these barbarians where they are concentrated?”
“I believe it is time to annihilate the strongholds and pursue the rest till we have them all captured or killed. A strategically placed nuclear weapon would save the lives of our soldiers and quickly turn things around.”
“It is time for the insanity to be stopped.”
We’re guessing Arkansas state Senator Jason Rapert’s never played Risk or Stratego.
NYTimes Editorial: “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses”
The two greatest disappointments I have had with the Obama Administration have been that they never investigated/prosecuted The Bush Administration for war crimes that Chimpy and Blam-blam have all admitted—if not bragged about—committing; and that not a single bankster has had to suffer a moment in court for wrecking the economy.
One of the snarkier, on-going criticisms on this blog has been to urge the administration to hold a mirror under the nose of AG Holder to find out if he is still breathing. It sounds like the NYTimes is joining us.
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.