Continuing Developments in Torture-gate

When the Obama administration released the OLC torture memos last Thursday, both AG Eric Holder and Pres. Obama said that the CIA agents who carried out these abusive interrogations would not be prosecuted, as long as they acted within a good-faith reliance on the guidelines set forth in the memos.

On Sunday, Rahm Emanuel told George Stephanopoulos that the Bush administration officials who devised and authorized the torture described in the memos would not be prosecuted, either.

Then, yesterday, Obama walked that back:

President Obama left the door open Tuesday to creating a bipartisan commission that would investigate the Bush administration’s use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects, and did not rule out action by the Justice Department against those who fashioned the legal rationale for those techniques.

The remarks, in response to questions from reporters in the Oval Office, amounted to a shift for the White House. The president had repeatedly said that the nation should look forward rather than focusing on the past, and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said Sunday in a television interview that Mr. Obama believed that “those who devised policy” should not be prosecuted.

But under intense pressure from Democrats on Capitol Hill and human rights organizations to investigate, the president suggested Tuesday that he would not stand in the way of a full inquiry into what he has called “a dark and painful chapter” in the nation’s history.

Yes, pressure to investigate is part of it, but there’s also the fact that the decision whether to prosecute and who to prosecute is not Obama’s to make.

3 Responses to “Continuing Developments in Torture-gate”

  1. Chief says:

    “who to prosecute is not Obama’s to make.” While true, the AG serves at the pleasure of the President. I really can’t see POTUS firing Holder, but recall Nixon and the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

  2. Booogie-Mann says:

    Firstly, I don’t see how these Terrorists were ever covered by the Geneva Convention. No flag, no nation, no uniforms … no coverage by the Geneva Convention. Next, according to the documents these Al Qaeda members would not talk before the enhanced interrogation techniques were applied. Lastly, apparently another 9/11 style attack on LA was thwarted thanks to information obtained. So long as Obama opened this box by releasing the Memo’s I say release them all to the Public and let’s see who approved what, including members of Congress. Discomfort is not torture, seems people who hate Bush, who are just out to get him in any way have redefined torture to mean “any discomfort” … a slap in the face, wearing women’s underwear, using scary dogs and bugs.

    This whole outrage is about REVENGE and Politics, has nothing to do with Morality nor the Constitution. Where in this Nations History have terrorists or any foreign enemy forces captured overseas been granted Constitutional Rights?? Been set to trial in US Civilian Courts?? Had these same standards that Liberals want to apply existed during Lincoln or FDR’s time they would both be in jail … 2 of Obama’s Icon’s in jail …

    What this comes down to is criminalizing Policy disagreements. It’s sad and dangerous, seems Liberals are more concerned about these terrorists than the victims of 9/11 or our soldiers lives. Over 60 released Guantanamo Detainee’s have been caught or killed on the battlefield, are now high ranking members of Al Qaeda, or set off bombs killing more people.

  3. Irvin Peckham says:

    The above writer should check out all those assertions–just take one, for instance. Was there really a 9/11 style attack on LA? Just investigate that assertion and determine the degree of factuality. You might also watch Taxi to the Dark Side. This might be only propaganda, but if you are concerned at all with truth–which you seem to be–check all sides and ask yourself why am I predisposed to believe what I believe.

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