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Obama, Republicans, Worked to Kill Torture Prosecution

Obama, Republicans, Worked to Kill Torture Prosecution

To date most of the coverage from the recent WikiLeaks disclosures has centered around calls for Julian Assange’s prosecution, or worse, execution.  And perhaps that has been purposeful in order to distract from the few cables that actually contain some damning information for the United States.

Take as an example the revelation that in its first months in office the Obama administration, working hand-in-hand with Republicans in Washington, leaned on Spanish investigators to drop their criminal inquiry into Bush administration officials for war crimes in connection with the torture of detained terror suspects. 

A “confidential” cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department  details just how the case against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney David Addington; former general counsel to the Pentagon William Haynes; former undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith; former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and current federal judge Jay Bybee; and former official in the Office of Legal Counsel John Yoo avoided prosecution for what is universally acknowledged as a fundamental breach and violation of human rights laws.

According to the cables, Republican Senators Judd Gregg  (N.H) and Mel Martinez (Fl) took the lead in pressuring Spanish officials to drop the matter entirely, indicating that the prosecutions would not be accepted in the United States and would have an “enormous impact” on the bilateral relationship of the two countries.

The message was received as almost immediately the Spanish Attorney General publicly declared that he would not support a criminal complaint, calling it “fraudulent and political” and one that should be left to the United States to pursue.

In many ways these revelations, as disappointing as they are, should come as no surprise.  This country has an abysmal record of demanding accountability from its elected officials in the face of criminal action.  However, the extent of the crimes of the Bush administration, combined with the brazen disrespect for both domestic and international law displayed by Cheney, Gonzales, and their enablers, is of a level never before witnessed and hopefully never again repeated.  Unfortunately, the surest and most necessary way to ensure justice for the victims, restoration of the rule of law and faith in the constitutional principles of this country, not to mention the acknowledgment of the dignity of all humankind embraced in human rights jurisprudence is through criminal prosecution.  And that will never happen.

Who says bi-partisanship is dead?

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photo courtesy of takomabibelot via Flickr

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76 comments

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11:05PM PST on Dec 19, 2010

A Message From Your Friends At Code Yellow  Wear a little Yellow (scarf, button, bracelet... anything yellow and visible) and look for others wearing Yellow at concerts, public protests, voting places, political gatherings, shopping malls, churches - ANYWHERE! We are everywhere! We are going to change the world! End Corporatism! People's rights are everything, corporations and governments operate with the permission of the people only. When they cease to serve the people, we TAKE AWAY THEIR FRANCHISE. It is time to take their inventory! JOIN US - WE ARE FREE!

8:40AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Gene W.; What part of the world did Saddam threaten? The chemical attack on Iraq's Kurds was with US materials and with Reagan's approval. Although he devastated the marshes, the real destruction od Iraq, the most westernized country in the Middle East, was the result of Dubya's wanton destructiveness. Now the Christian Iraquis, who have lived there in peace since Christ, are under attack and like others, are heading for the exits. BTW, Dubya wore the uniform . He also left his assigned unit without leave to pursue other interests. This is called DESERTION.

6:52AM PST on Dec 7, 2010

As is the American way, 'shoot the messenger'.

3:36PM PST on Dec 6, 2010

Everythings the same in this world. . noted.

9:03AM PST on Dec 6, 2010

Unlikely this kind of behaviour will disappear when noone is held accountable.

2:42PM PST on Dec 5, 2010

@John E., we will swap him for a player to be named later.

1:28PM PST on Dec 5, 2010

When Barak Obama was elected, many people felt encouraged and believed better times were coming for the US and the world after the disastrous Bush years. However he is only one man ,and the forces arrayed against him are powerful.
It seems the culture in US politics and their ability through certain media outlets to tell the American people how to think, is nigh unstoppable.
Only the American people can save America.

12:50PM PST on Dec 5, 2010

@Charles S., perhaps you missed it, I was responding to Rose's statement much like yours regarding President Bush's service. CBS and their idiotic old fart "journalist" Dan Rather were caught with their collective hands in the cookie jar. Regardless, GWB served and BHO did not.
If GWB lied about WMD in Iraq so did many others including Hil Clinton and many other Democrats and Republicans. I don't know why this is still a talking point; we know that at one time Saddam had WMD because he used them on his own people the Kurds in the 1980's. Why is it so hard to understand that Saddam had defied over 17 U.N. sanctions and the nuclear world organization. Who cares, the world is better off without Saddam in power.

9:46AM PST on Dec 5, 2010

It's time we start considering impeaching President "NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW" Obama. I can't believe I actually donated to his campaign and voted for him.

2:20AM PST on Dec 5, 2010

Much more American behavior of the sort perpetrated by big business abroad and Bush Republicans at home, and this country won't be worth respect or loyalty. Patriotism already begins to ring hollow. I call it meaningless jingoism.

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