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No Accountability On Torture

The Department of Justice has just closed the loop on the last chance for accountability on the widespread torture that took place under George W Bush. Obama has declared that the people who actually conducted the torture will not be prosecuted for their crimes – because they were just following orders. The people who gave those orders – George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their aides – won’t be prosecuted either, Obama says, because we need to look forward and not dwell in the past.

jcliffordWho does that leave? It leaves us with the people in the middle, the Bush Administration figures who didn’t come up with the idea for torture, and didn’t actually do the torture, but set up the administrative framework in which the torture could take place. Now comes the news that these people are going to be let off the hook too. The Department of Justice has decided not to prosecute the lawyers who crafted the twisted justifications that enabled the orders for torture to be given.

Is this how serious crime will be dealt with under President Obama? There isn’t any crime more grave than torture. You could reasonably argue that it’s even more serious than murder. Are we now to let all serious criminals off the hook?

If that’s the case, there are some serious crimes I’d love to commit. I’d really like to have a top of the line Apple desktop computer, along with new graphics software. Why don’t I just walk into the nearest Apple store today, and grab a computer and some fun software, then, and walk out the door? If someone stops me, I can just say that I was operating under orders from a secret program, and urge the police to look forward, and not dwell on the past.

Oh, but that wouldn’t work, would it? No, that’s because President Obama is confirming that there are now two systems of law in the United States: One for the powerful and their crimes, and another for the rest of us.

By refusing to hold anyone accountable for torture conducted by the U.S. government, Barack Obama is not just making torture more likely in the future. He’s also undermining the foundations of liberty in the present.

12 thoughts on “No Accountability On Torture”

  1. Tom says:

    Oh, but the “bad apples” like Ms. England and her b/f and fellow torturer are behind bars for carrying out the orders.
    Another fine example of the hypocracy that is the “law” in the U.S. – double standards and connections count for everything while the little people get punished.

    Revolution anyone?

  2. qs says:

    Imperial presidency is above all laws.

    That’s why we shouldn’t have a “president”

  3. qs says:

    Is the actual “end” of the torture stuff?

  4. Jacob says:

    There has always been two sets of laws, one for the powerful and one for the rest. Are you just now seeing this? Its a rare occurance to see a powerful person pay for a crime.

  5. qs says:

    Anyone have knowledge of whether or not the War Crimes Act of 1996 applies to non-combatants?

  6. qs says:

    Justin Raimondo attacks John Stewart apology in new column:
    Jclifford or Jim,

    Who is worse: Bush or Truman?

    Jon Stewart: Wimp, Wuss, Moral Coward
    “It was clearly the execs who reined in the freethinking Stewart and laid down the law, and the first law of “controversial,” “provocative,” and indubitably “edgy” television commentary is to never – ever, ever! – allow a deviation from the conventional wisdom that falls outside the contemporary Left/Right paradigm. …

    In any case, Stewart’s apology was embarrassing: for him, for the studio audience (which giggled nervously, and inappropriately, at awkward intervals), and for me. As he looked into the camera and babbled about how wrong he was – without giving a single reason, never mind a good one – you could almost see his strings being pulled by his corporate masters.”

    1. Jim says:

      Both bad.

    2. J. Clifford says:

      Good question. I don’t have an immediate answer. Truman clearly did the wrong thing, and it had terrible consequences. Same goes for Bush, but more in a shotgun blast approach.

      John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have ceased to be interesting to me. They’re too inside, and too conventional.

  7. qs says:

    San Fran nan knew about water boarding from day 1

    Maybe this is why the dems are quiet on water boarding?

    1. Peregrin Wood says:

      Yep – and an article on that, and on Nancy Pelosi’s knowledge of George W. Bush’s torture conspiracy, is on the way.

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