Further thoughts on the crimes of George W. Bush

We’ve had several spirited discussions over the past week about anger towards lame duck President George W. Bush, hate in general in Internet discussion (in blogs, comments to stories, discussion forums, et. al) and a desire on the part of many Americans to extract some form of punishment from Bush and his administration.

MSNBC’s Keith Olberman devoted a segment of "Countdown" to the subject Friday night, interviewing former White House counsel John Dean of Watergate fame.

Dean feels that if America doesn’t do something about prisoner abuses, including torture that clearly violated the terms of the Geneva Convention, then another country is liable to pursue the case and embarrass this country and the new administration of Barack Obama:



From the video report above it is obvious that the Obama administration is tiptoeing around the idea of taking the Bush administration to task or court over torture. Obama, to his credit, is stating publicly that torture will not be allowed in his administration and his pick for CIA Director, Leon Panetta, is a loud and vocal critic of torture.

But Vice President Joe Biden seems to favor "moving on" in comments quoted in the Olbermann piece.

When the nation needs to focus so much of its energy on restoring economic health and finding a way to deal with wars on two fronts, can it afford the detraction of going after a former President and his administration on a case that may or may not be winnable?

I don’t have the answer to that. I wish I did. Of all the questionable actions of the Bush administration during the past years, the treatment of prisoners, the use of torture and the abandonment of basic human rights through excesses of Gitmo and rendition come the closest to crimes that might be provable in court.

But at what cost to the nation’s psyche? Some argue that punishment is necessary to make sure future Presidents don’t abuse the law so openly. Others believe that Presidents — particularly in times of war — can go around the law if they feel it is in the best interests of the nation and national security.

I don’t believe that any nation or its leaders can ever justify torture of human beings on legal, ethical or moral grounds. But war itself is torture. The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have died from Bush’s invasion of that nation died in horrible, torturous ways.  Some feel war itself is a crime.

Perhaps a case can be made against the President of the United States for his involvement in the torture of others. If so, then we should pursue that case. If we can indeed prove that crimes were committed then we should do so and punish those responsible for those crimes.

But such an investigation must be driven by facts and reason, not politics or bloodlust. If it turns into just another political witchhunt then it will be just another distraction from the more urgent problems this nation faces.

Many Presidents have abused the powers ot office. Two have been impeached but not convicted. One was forced to resign from office in disgrace to avoid impeachment and almost certain conviction. His pardon by his successor sparked national outrage at the time but was later viewed by historians as necessary for a nation that needed to heal and move on.

Some battles should be fought. Some should not. Sometimes it’s best to keep your powder dry and live to fight another day.


  1. silentSCREAM

    I am not pissed-off…

    I’m an observer and a reflection. If there is an emotion in the equation, it would be more akin to disgust.

    Perhaps a minor rewrite is in order.

    In today’s reality, they unwittingly volunteered to be a hired gun for the most militant nation state the world has ever known; to do the bidding of an arrogant hegemonic plutocracy that values nothing more than the riches and power that sustain its self-important delusions of glory.

  2. AustinRanter

    “Punishment is now unfashionable… because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.” ~Thomas Szasz~

    We have about 300 million people in the U.S. who have turned over due process to 3 people. Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi can pass this issue off on the next Attorney General if they wish. And “We the People” just settle for, “Thy will be done.”

    So now, apparently Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi have become King and Queen of America.

  3. AustinRanter

    Paolo…good point.

    Thomas Paine argued in Common Sense, “For as in absolute governments the King is law.” Of course that’s to say in law is king, or in our case, the laws of the land rule.

    But again, now that we’ve had experienced a somewhat historical presidential election in numbers and of course voting in an African-American president, then our job as citizens is over. We can now all set back on our buns and return to our apathetic ways and let the government go back to what it does best…running our lives and charging us outrageous wages for it.

    I want to post the following just one more time. I know, I know…it’s a waste of typing power, but how about just for grins:

    Madison argues in Federalist No. 10, Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Thinking constitutionally means looking ahead and realizing that future executives will likely claim the same authority as their predecessors. Claims to power ratchet up; they do not swing like a pendulum unless the other two branches protect their own constitutional authorities. The rule of law is fundamental to a free society and to democracy, because neither can exist without it.

    Amazing how simple rocket science is, huh?

  4. Doug Thompson

    I suspect the whole issue here is about to be moot. Here’s the transcript from Barack Obama’s appearance last Sunday on ABC’s This Week:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: The most popular question on your own website is related to this. On change.gov it comes from Bob Fertik of New York City and he asks, "Will you appoint a special prosecutor ideally Patrick Fitzgerald to independently investigate the greatest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping."

    OBAMA: We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. And part of my job is to make sure that for example at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders and lawyering (ph).

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So, no 9/11 commission with Independence subpoena power?

    OBAMA: We have not made final decisions, but my instinct is for us to focus on how do we make sure that moving forward we are doing the right thing. That doesn’t mean that if somebody has blatantly broken the law, that they are above the law. But my orientation’s going to be to move forward.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So, let me just press that one more time. You’re not ruling out prosecution, but will you tell your Justice Department to investigate these cases and follow the evidence wherever it leads?

    OBAMA: What I — I think my general view when it comes to my attorney general is he is the people’s lawyer. Eric Holder’s been nominated. His job is to uphold the Constitution and look after the interests of the American people, not to be swayed by my day-to-day politics. So, ultimately, he’s going to be making some calls, but my general belief is that when it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed looking at what we got wrong in the past.

    I suspect prosecuting any members of the Bush Administration will fall into the same category as incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s declaration in 2006 that "impeachment is off the table." Obama does not appear to want to pursue any real investigation into past actions.

  5. claypigeonbx

    Paolo, what you said. And if some or all of the Democrats in Congress turn out to be complicit, so be it. We need our country back and we need our collective moral compass back more than we need a pack of corporately-owned Democrats in Congress.

    Freedom and Justice for All!

  6. Paolo

    Doug, we’ve been fighting against the “Divine Right of Kings” doctrine for centuries now. A corollary of this insidious doctrine is that there is one set of rules for kings, and a far stricter set of rules for everyone else (that is, you and me).

    It’s time to enforce the revolutionary doctrine that no one–not even the king (or president) is above the law.

  7. Kibitzer

    Ladywolf makes a major point: After all, the Congress let him get away with his ‘unitary executive’ excesses. They would have to be put in the dock along with him, as accessories; and that ain’t gonna happen. I think the best we could hope for (unless the current Congress can be persuaded to call Cheney on his arrogance, and try him for knowingly condoning torture AS torture; whether that charge can be traced up to the Oval Office as well or not) would be to get the current Congress – which is far more amenable than the last one to a reining-in of a potential ‘unitary executive’ (one would hope) – to say the last one went too far in condoning the executive in its excesses, and to pass some hopefully bipartisan legislation to DRAW SOME MORE CLEAR LINES than have ever heretofore been laid down (citing Madison, Mason et al). Or a ‘war-time president’ in the future is going to build on Dubya’s precedent and become a REAL bad-ass dictator.

    This may be expecting too much of even the strong Democratic Congress of today – since they are subject to the same corporate financial control as their predecessors – but there’s enough of a groundswell of feeling in the body politic on this issue that they can be ‘persuaded’ to hammer out some hard legislation in this regard, I feel; and take back the power of Congress in such issues regarding the declaration of war, and its prosecution (the financial strings in particular). And this way the Repubs (at least the TRUE conservatives amongst them, who recognize these dangers) could be brought on board as well, rather than this thing being considered simply a partisan maneuver, which will never get anywhere, and might indeed cause a major rip in the social fabric of the nation.

    Let the dead bury the dead – and let’s make sure this sort of thing never happens again – this business of thumbing one’s nose at the rule of law, and declaring ‘I am the law’, Hitler style.

  8. spartacus

    Sherry: My above posting wasn’t meant for you (except for the Clinton reference), it was primarily aimed at Doug Thompson.

    Not only has Dick Cheney admitted to having willingly and knowingly permitted torture and other crimes, but now so has George Bush. It’s as if the two of them are daring the Obama administration and the rest of the world to go after them or even to come and get them. What that tells me is that they know they’re criminals, and they believe they’ll simply skate. Since these crimes were, according to George Bush, approved by the very top (Bush), then they SHOULD AND MUST BE THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED. Not only are they criminals, but they’re smug enough to believe that they’ll be left unpunished. What their own videotaped confessions have done is make sure that if the new administration doesn’t take care of our mutual problem (Bush, Cheney, and their co-conspirators), the worldwide community undoubtedly will. After all the damage of the last eight years, that would indeed be the ultimate black eye.

  9. jharry

    George and Dick and cohorts are understandable and predictable. They are primitive hunters. If they want something, they take it. If they feel threatened by something, they destroy it.

    In the case of Iraq, control of the large oil reserves was their prey, aside from changing a government that was an anathema to Israel. In Afghanistan, the same applies. According to sources, there are more oil reserves and necessary access via pipelines. And again, hunting in this country kills many Israeli, now US, foes, and curtails, perhaps, the proliferation of Pakistani nucleur weapons with the usual implications and consequences.

    We can argue from ethical points of view, but ethics has little to do with the conflicts. To our leaders, these wars are existential, necessary, and beyond good and evil.

    However, a light may be flickering from this heart of darkness and thus we may be slightly optimistic. According to D. Boone Pickens and others,to solve our economic and resulting military problems, we must solve our energy needs locally. Once resolved fully or partially, then we can correct our own government. This can be achieved, I think, by ridding ourselves of undistinguished reps and unworkable policies through well-recognized and accepted means.

  10. rporter314

    I don;t know if any crimes had been committed but there is an appearance that such may be the case. If so then it is incumbent upon the next legal authority to pursue the issue. If not then I guess what Pres Nixon said is true … the Pres is above the law.

  11. AustinRanter

    Who will set the standards for future politicians and all members of all the branches of government?

    With no action taken to ascertain justice through common law then our political system…our government will know, without doubt, it is the supreme power over the people. They will finally know that "We the People" have surrendered to tyranny.

    In my opinion it is way worth the cost of money and distraction to bring the purpose and meaning of our government back to the people.

    President Bush’s crimes were the product of his erroneous thinking about the president’s Constitutional rights of those over the laws of the land.

    As stated by Prof. J. Pfiffner, Prof. Public Policy, George Mason University in his speech to American Political Science Association Convention, Chicago, August 29, 2007:

    "1. Geneva Conventions and torture: President Bush acted as lawmaker in suspending the treaty, which according to the Constitution is “the supreme Law of the Land,” executive in carrying out the policy by interrogating prisoners with harsh interrogation practices, and he acted as judge by keeping the proceedings secret and asserting that any appeal could only be to him and that the courts had no jurisdiction to hear appeals.

    2. Military tribunals: President Bush acted as lawmaker in creating the commissions himself, not in accord with enacted laws, executive in detaining suspects in prisons, and he acted as judge in conducting the trials, imposing sentences, and serving as the final appeal.

    3. NSA warrantless wiretapping: President Bush acted as lawmaker by determining that he could ignore the regularly enacted law and impose his own rules in order to conduct surveillance in the United States, executive in ordering NSA to carry out his policies, and he acted as judge by arguing that it was his inherent right as president to do it in secret and prevent any review by the courts.

    4. Signing Statements: President Bush was undermining the rule of law itself by claiming the authority to ignore those parts of the law that he claimed impinged on his own prerogatives and refusing to accept the legitimacy of either Congress or the Courts to limit his authority. The president should have enough power to accomplish reasonable policy goals, but not enough to override the other two branches unilaterally, acting merely on the basis of his own judgment.

    In these cases of extraordinary claims to executive authority, President Bush was claiming that the checks and balances in the Constitution were not binding on him.

    The United States Constitution created a system in which the concentration of power in one branch would be countered by actions of the other two branches. This may very well happen in the case of President Bush, but his claims have severely challenged the balance of constitutional authority. The principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law are basic to the United States polity. Insofar as President Bush, in cases such as these, refused to acknowledge the constitutional limits on his executive authority, he undermined both of these fundamental principles.""

    Professor Pfiffner goes on in his speech to remind us:

    James Madison put it this way in Federalist 47: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

  12. Sylvester

    I read a book written by Ayi Kwe Amah titled The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born. I remember him talking about legal nets spread by governments to catch culprits and how this net was crafted to catch small time criminals and let big shots swim through.

    What´s the use of spending multi-billions to support a congress and the judiciary when a president makes and practise his own laws?

  13. claypigeonbx

    I think I must be having a nightmare. Given the gravity of the crimes of which Bushco stands accused, or even of the ones which various members of the administration have admitted in public, how is it possible that there should be any reservations about whether or not to prosecute? Yes, I know that in this country, people are supposed to be presumed “innocent” until they are proven “guilty.” But if Bush knows that, he doesn’t seem to apply it to anyone except himself and his friends. What is it? Stockholm syndrome?

    Freedom and Justice for All!

  14. Ladywolf55

    My husband was just saying tonight, he never dreamed (when becoming a USA citizen) the USA would have concentration camps in the manner of Hitler. He then went on to say, “How can anyone not see that Guantanamo is no different than Buchenwald?” (My husband was born and reared in Germany)

    If we do not prosecute the persons responsible for this, then we should let every prisoner in every prison in the USA out. If there is not justice for ALL, there is justice for NONE. And that’s the bottom line.

    The USA is being run by corporations, not the government itself. The powerful men in government are owned by these corporations. Bring down the corporations, and prosecute the corporation-owned members of Congress, the Legislative, AND the Executive branch, and you will be able to rebuild the USA as a free nation again. A poorer nation, for sure, but once again free. If you do not follow through on this, say “bye-bye” to the USA, because it is for certain a police state run by Corporate America, with the people’s blessing, via their votes. Get some cajone’s, Americans, or you’re not worthy of the moniker “citizen”.

  15. DejaVuAllOver

    I think you’re getting close to the heart of the matter, Doug. It’s true that fighting battles of any kind requires energy and LOTS of it, if done right. But it seems to me that fighting for JUSTICE is the most important battle of all. Certainly more important that the battles we (as a country) have fought lately; wars for defense contractors, bankers, real estate privileges for God’s Chosen people, access to oilfields, etc. While not everyone has the same idea of what justice consists of, that’s the beauty of our legal system. It is a reasonably democratic way for our culture to define what justice is; a constantly-changing body of thought about what is or isn’t moral behavior. But it doesn’t evolve unless we USE it. Legal precedents (which ARE laws) don’t happen unless we make it so by filing (and winning) lawsuits. It’s unlikely that every charge brought against the Bushies and neocons would result in convictions, but some would. This can only strengthen the cause of justice and the US as a moral culture.
    And on a more personal level, I for one am SICK AND TIRED of being ashamed of my country. I think many agree with me. For those people, seeing a modicum of justice restored to this land would be the most inspiring antidote I can think of to the near-constant, ever increasing depression and nausea we’ve been feeling for so long.

  16. silentSCREAM

    Not as accurate a statement as many think.

    …the Private Englands that volunteered to protect us from all enemies foreign or domestic.

    In today’s reality, they volunteered to be a hired gun for the most militant nation state the world has ever known; to do the bidding of an arrogant hegemonic plutocracy that values nothing more than the riches and power that sustain its self-important delusions of glory.

    America’s founders opposed a standing Army for good reason. But as with so many other terms of the Constitution, men of privilege and power have applied the ‘law of the land’ to their own liking.

    Constitution of the United States
    Article I Section 8—Powers of Congress; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

  17. silentSCREAM

    If our [high-minded] principles are transient… dispensable in the heat of fire, then they’re not really principles at all.

    Impunity for the ruling-class is and always has been the way of the world. We all know BushCo. will walk unblemished by the force of law. Sad but true. Too bad man’s greater aspiration for an equitable existence will not be so fortunate. The gains so many dreamed America realized are but an illusion.

    American justice – another meaningless slogan romanticized and consumed in mass by a still ignorant [New World] labor-class… same as it ever was.

    Principles? Yeah, we got some ‘lofty’ American principles. Our most favored. Say one thing… do another.

  18. AustinRanter

    Sherry, you are correcto-mundo…we are, after all, a nation of laws. But it’s obvious that our nation is filled with a substantial number of people who believe that we need to, “turn the other check” with Bush and a few of his administration’s behaviors.

    Madison argues in Federalist No. 10, “Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.” Thinking constitutionally means looking ahead and realizing that future executives will likely claim the same authority as their predecessors. Claims to power ratchet up; they do not swing like a pendulum unless the other two branches protect their own constitutional authorities. The rule of law is fundamental to a free society and to democracy, because neither can exist without it.

  19. TeeBone

    Liberia’s former President, Charles Taylor’s son Emanuel “Chuckie” Taylor was just sentenced in a Federal courtroom in Miami last week to 97 years in prison for committing torture and authorizing it. Why shouldn’t the same charges and prosecution apply to George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield when they have admitted as much?

  20. sherry

    I didn’t actually forget, it’s just that the list is so darned long and there is only so much space here!
    That said, I was not comparing the Clinton impeachment to the Bush crimes. Merely stated if we can impeach a guy for Lewinski, surely we could convict Bush and the administration on a host of charges. If we went down that road, where would we even start?
    I don’t want to leave this to the World Court, We should handle our own justice.
    Maybe we do need to deal with the distraction. Perhaps in spite of everything that is going on, we really must pursue this.
    We are, after all, a nation of laws. They apply to the president.

  21. spartacus

    It seems you’ve forgotten that Dick Cheney admitted in 2 national tv interviews that: the United States tortured people; they were aware of it; the orders came from them. He pretty much convicted himself out of his own big, nasty mouth as if daring someone to come and get him, or to actually bring him to justice! If we don’t investigate him and the Bush administration, I have no doubt that John Dean is absolutely right in that others will either force us to do so or will do it for us.

    Comparing George Bush’s crimes, and what should have been his impeachment years ago, to Bill Clinton’s impeachment is farcical. Torture, shredding the Constitution, war crimes, unjustified war, souped up intel as a pretext to war, spygate, etc., are the very definition of high crimes and misdemeanors. What Clinton did doesn’t even come close.

    I think Obama’s probably stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one, but hopefully, since he is a Constitutional lawyer and scholar, he will do what he knows is not only the right thing but the moral and Contitutional thing: fully and vigorously investigate the Bush administration and prosecute the criminals no matter who they are, however highly placed they may be.

    We will never regain our place in the world until the lawlessness of this administration is exposed and brought to justice before the rest of the world.

  22. sherry

    Comments on this subject have been thoughtful and I can’t disagree with any of them.
    I DO believe crimes were committed. I beleived that about the Plame case, and yet due to some legalese in the law, the Bush administration didn’t break the law. So what if untold affected people suffered because of an administration vendetta against Valerie Plame’s husband?
    Personally, I had some real trouble with that one.
    Apparently it was ok for the administration to lie about the real cost of the Medicare Drug bill, which is such a dismal failure on many levels.
    Oops, poor intel on the WMD and we are spending how many billion a month for the war in Iraq? That we don’t have?
    I haven’t even scratched the surface. It almost feels like a case of battle fatigue. We can impeach a POTUS for lying about a Lewinski, but we can’t impeach for any of the above?
    All that being said, we have a tough road ahead of us. Can we really afford the distraction it would take to prosecute the administration?
    We lost a lot of ground prosecuting Clinton. I am not saying the impeachment was just or not, I am just saying it came at a huge price.
    If there was a way to prosecute without it becoming a distraction to the current government, that would be justice. I am just not sure we can do that.

  23. John1172002

    Agreed, Mr. Wouk.

    And the best way of giving the nation’s psyche a good hard kick in the ass, is, IMHO, to surrender these criminals to the World Court to answer for their war crimes.

    Then, and only then, will we be redeemed in the eyes of the world. A trial in our own courts is tantamount to giving them a pardon. If their only crimes were within our country, impeachment proceedings would be enough. But their crimes were against humanity, and were war crimes against the world, as well as crimes against our own country. Let them answer to the world.


    Some Texas village is missing its’ idiot. However, they just called and offered us money to keep him.

  24. Walter F. Wouk

    “But at what cost to the nation’s psyche?”

    The nation’s psyche is in desperate need of a kick in the ass. With rare exception rank and file Republicans gave their unquestioning support to George Bush and the dirty deeds of his regime. Most still support Bush’s policies and consider the folks who had the courage to speak out against the regime as liberal scum.

    Giving the Bush regime a pass on their misdeeds would be regarded as a symbolic stamp of approval by their supporters and that is unacceptable.

  25. Elmo

    The time has passed.

    The proper time to have addressed the issues of malfeasance in office, high crimes, and miscellaneous misdemeanors was while George Walker Bush was in office. Nancy Pelosi, for whatever reason decided that there would be no hearings that might lead to impeachment. But, if I were Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, or any of the other miscreants who performed these tasks, I’d think twice about leaving the country.

  26. ChescoRes

    I’m having a little trouble following you today Doug.

    Is your opinion…

    Perhaps a case can be made against the President of the United States for his involvement in the torture of others. If so, then we should pursue that case. If we can indeed prove that crimes were committed then we should do so and punish those responsible for those crimes.


    Sometimes it’s best to keep your powder dry and live to fight another day.

    I fully support the FIRST statement above.

    As for the second quote, exactly WHY should I be “keeping my powder dry”? In case someone breaks the law? In case someone in my gov’t grossly violates the Geneva conventions? In case the Constitution starts getting shredded?

    If the obvious and numerous crimes committed by George Bush are not enough to make the rest of America stand up and say “no more”; if these crimes are not enough to cause the Congress to act, then what WILL be enough?

  27. 33rdSt

    There are a number of areas of our government that warrant thorough investigation by the appropriate oversight committee in Congress. These investigations are necessary to ensure that any violations of our Constitution through executive order or adherence to signing letters are removed, whether by corrective executive order or statute.

    These hearings are the normal function of the legislative branch and should be undertaken with vigor and as much non-partisanship as the GOP membership of those committees will support. (Early indications from the Senate Minority Leader suggest he may be planning once again to play the filibuster game rather than seeking non-partisan leadership possibilities.)

    Should these hearings uncover any personal wrongdoing, such matters should be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal evaluation and potential prosecution.

    That is the way our system is structured. It requires no extra effort beyond what should be occurring anyway.

  28. Lcoast

    It’s not a question of wondering if it’s appropriate or a “good idea” to prosecute Bushco for its crimes. There is no current analogy to the depth and gravity of Bush crimes–certainly Watergate and Iran/Contra were high crimes under the kindest definitions. But Bush is another case entirely. There’s little question in my mind that the Bush administration was engaged in a defacto coup d’etat. Making the bastards pay will be more therapeutic than turning the other cheek.

    Prosecuting these crimes is an obligation under the Constitution, a moral imperative and the only prophylactic we have against this happening again. Constitutional scholar, Obama, should know this and as far as I’m concerned his actions/non-actions in these matters will be underscore whether or not his promise of change was a slogan or something more deeply felt and tangible.

    Like everything else Obama faces, Bushco investigations and eventual prosecutions are going to be prolonged and painful. But they will be cathartic. For too long, since Nixon and the Watergate plumbers, we’ve turned the other cheek and allowed those in power to transform this country into the world’s most affluent banana republic. As Obama said in Denver, “Enough!”

  29. kate9954

    I am truly sorry, Doug, to be forced to disagree with you, but if these men (and woman) are not brought to justice promptly, we invite this to happen again. It’s not revenge that I am seeking – but I firmly believe that if Nixon had been properly prosecuted, Bush II would never have happened.

    We must learn from this.


  30. Hoggy

    If the incoming administration does not find it reasonable to investigate and/or prosecute those responsible for ordering the torture. Then the administration (Obama) should grant full pardons to the lower ranking enlisted personnel that were tried convicted and are serving time in prison for following orders.

    Such as the Lyndie Englands that were put on display by the Bush administration in show trials while they ramped up Gitmo and other black sites throughout the world.

    You have the VP recently stating that he did authorize torture methods, including water boarding. Who the F was he to authorize a goddamn thing ?

    So far the only people convicted of wrong doing were the Private Englands of the world while the “authorizer” extends his middle finger to all of us, and says there shouldn’t be any pardons given for this behavior because there was no crime.

    If our govt does nothing, then we don’t deserve even the memory of the freedom we once had, that was given to us by the Private Englands that volunteered to protect us from all enemies foreign or domestic.

  31. Hoggy

    Wow that was exactly what I was thinking when I signed up at 17. How did you know ?
    Obviously that was a poor attempt a sarcasm on my part.
    I can understand your frustration on the implementation of policies of recent administrations and especially the current administration. I am furious with them as well and wish to see them in jail.
    BUT I DO NOT AGREE with your assessment of the pawns in the game.

    I would argue that most volunteers did so out of a sense of patriotism (especially after 9/11 and then got seriously screwed for it) and duty to country, and that most of them serve with honor.
    I would also argue (without any supporting facts except my own feelings) that none signed up…

    ” …to be a hired gun for the most militant nation state the world has ever known; to do the bidding of an arrogant hegemonic plutocracy that values nothing more than the riches and power that sustain its self-important delusions of glory”

    To paint with such a broad brush would be equally fair of me to say that all those who combine the use of two words together such as hegemonic plutrocracy to attack those who defend with their lives the right to say exactly that and anything else, would best be described as wannbe elitist snobs with an inferiority complex. Either that or 2nd year Poly-Sci students.

    But I’m not 17 anymore, and so I can agree in part with your opinion of US Govt influence around the world, but not on your opinion of those who willingly volunteer their lives if need be.
    I understand that you are pissed off. Me too

  32. ChescoRes

    Have you seen the latest? Didn’t we know this would eventually come out?

    Detainee was tortured, U.S. official says

    WASHINGTON – The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”


    How can we now NOT prosecute these crimes?