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Obama Lets Torturers Walk Free

As the result of the release of official memos from the Bush Administration yesterday, we learned two very important things yesterday:

1. Torture took place under George W. Bush because of orders that originated at the Bush White House itself.

obama abu ghraib2. Barack Obama doesn’t give a damn.

The Obama Administration acknowledges that the interrogation techniques described in memos released yesterday are torture. Yet, President Obama declared that he would block the prosecution of people found to have been involved in the torture.

Obama announced that “those who carried out their duties relying in good faith” as they performed acts of torture will not be punished. In what way can torture be conducted in good faith? How does Obama think that torture is part of the duty of people working for the US government?

It is the duty of soldiers, government agents and government-employed physicians, nurses and psychologists to follow the law. In their training, they’re told that torture is against the law. Being given orders to torture by their superiors does not change that. Department of Justice memos playing word games, asserting that the law is not the law, do not make torture legal. A crime is a crime, no matter who justifies it.

The message President Barack Obama is sending to the victims of torture: We won’t help you. We won’t protect you from the people who tortured you.

The message President Barack Obama is sending to the rest of the world about the USA: We let war criminals of the hook. We allow torturers to walk the streets. Our government won’t follow the laws that it demands other governments comply with. We’re a rogue nation.

The message President Barack Obama wants to send to soldiers, spies, and other people working for the U.S. government: If you torture, it’s okay. You won’t be punished. The government will let you get away with it.

The worst part of it is that President Obama is not just letting yesterday’s torturers off the hook. Obama is encouraging the torture of tomorrow.

Here’s the punchline to the story: If you’re one of those Democrats who demanded that George W. Bush be punished for supporting torture, but you refuse to hold Barack Obama accountable for his support of torture, you’re engaged in the same ugly act as Obama: Saying that torture is okay, so long as it’s our guy who’s doing it.

4 comments to Obama Lets Torturers Walk Free

  • tis i

    no its wrong. but the american people elected bush…… twice. the second time was after the torture was already exposed. obama is just letting the will of the majority play out. just because he isnt going to punish them doesnt mean he is going to engage in the same behavior. lets just let this be a lesson that in the future, no matter how dire the sitiation, we will never ever, no matter what, elect another republican to high office. as for the torture of the bush years, lets just move on and try to do better in the future. if we go after the bush thugs i gurantee you the vile republicans will consider it and act of persecution and it might serve to unite them again. right now even the religous right, a truly evil group, are slightly embaressed by the bush admin. lets keep them demoralized and inefectual as long as possible so that some real good can be accomplished while they keep their heads down in shame at what theyve done to the middle east, to the world at large, and especially, to us.

    • Yes, and for other crimes too, let’s not prosecute anyone. Let’s just move on and learn our lesson. Sure.

      When your brother gets murdered, let’s not prosecute. Let’s learn the lesson that, no matter how dire the situation, we will never ever, no matter what, invite the people who murdered him over for tea.

      When someone steals your car, let’s not try to get the car back or put the people who stole it in prison. Let’s just learn the lesson that, no matter how dire the situation, we will never ever, no matter what, leave the car in the driveway without an armed guard standing sentry.

      Yeah. That’ll work.

  • Jim

    How is it “keeping them demoralized and ineffectual as long as possible by”… letting them get away with torture? It seems to me that’s keeping people who care about torture demoralized and ineffectual.

  • Tom

    Well, as i mentioned before, a court case of Bush administration officials who sanctioned these illegal and immoral policies wouldn’t get too far with a stacked, right-wing Supreme Court. So i think it would be a waste of time and politically Obama would get a negative backlash out of it. Even the Spanish court basically threw in the towel yesterday. This is sad for the whole world and it makes us look extremely conflicted in that we can’t be the “beacons of freedom and democracy” if our system doesn’t even work right and produces this kind of convoluted thinking leading to policies which are not subject to the rule of law. Our day in the sun is over in so many ways. We coulda been somethin’ but we totally caved in to corporate greed and corruption, allowing non-human entities to affect our governing bodies, to the extent now that we the people are no longer represented by our “elected” leaders and our government policies are decidedly NOT what we (or the “founding fathers”, for that matter, would) want. They actually work against our interests as citizens and for the vested interest groups (basically corporate Amerikkka).

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