April 22, 2009

Prosecution: Obama's Achilles' Heel?

The lid is off the Pandora's Box of Bush torture secrets and the evils are coming to light, almost moment by moment, as we watch in disgust and horror.

We learned this week that suspected Al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were tortured 266 times. Mohammed was tortured on average more than six times per day during a one-month period. Next, we learned that the reason for this torture was to coerce a statement "confirming" a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. In other words, CYA for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest.

The irony is, of course, that Zubaydah and Mohammed are likely sources of highly valuable information about Al Qaeda and 9/11. Did the US get anything valuable from them? Hell, no. The Bushies didn't even get the false confessions they sought so desperately. They completely and utterly failed to gather any meaningful information.

And now, more evidence of Bush Administration lies. An AP story released this evening points to Condoleeza Rice:

Condoleezza Rice verbally OK'd the CIA's request to subject alleged al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002. . . .

Rice's role was detailed in a narrative released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It provides the most detailed timeline yet for how the CIA's harsh interrogation program was conceived and approved at the highest levels in the Bush White House.

The new timeline shows that Rice played a greater role than she admitted last fall in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

This story is rapidly gaining momentum; more disturbing revelations are certain.

Thom Hartmann made an important point today on his radio talk show: The worst actors in the Bush administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al) were principal subjects in previous criminal/corruption revelations, from Watergate to Iran Contra, but they were not prosecuted. They got nothing but a wink, a nod, and a license to move on to far worse misdeeds. They are serial criminals who are wholly convinced that power and influence renders them immune from law and consequences. So what happens next time their friends run the White House or Congress? What else do they have in store for us?

The bottom line is this: prosecution is not optional. No matter what President Obama may accomplish during his presidency, a failure to prosecute Bush administration crimes would be a severe blight on Obama's legacy and on the future of this country.
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Timeline of Interrogation Techniques


Jackie Sheeler said...

you are 100% on the money with this post. and the pressure is mounting on obama. i've signed the holder petition, as well as several others, some calling for the removal of jay bybee from his california judgeship based on his authoring one of the now-infamous torture-approval memos.

i cannot believe that we even need to have these conversations in the US of A. but we have to. however we got here, we have to emphatically take another path. anyone who aided, abetted, approved or administered torture belongs in prison. untortured, of course.

Recent blog post: april is the cruelest month

1-Observer said...

Jackie: Thanks for the info about Bybee. I'll look for one of those petitions. You are so right that we should not even be having these conversations about torture. Yet, the media and the right wing go insane because Obama shakes Hugo Chavez' hand. It's ludicrous beyond belief.

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