Needless to say, I vehemently disagree with anyone -- including Obama -- who believes that prosecutions are unwarranted. These memos describe grotesque war crimes -- legalized by classic banality-of-evil criminals and ordered by pure criminals -- that must be prosecuted if the rule of law is to have any meaning. But the decision of whether to prosecute is not Obama's to make; ultimately, it is Holder's and/or a Special Prosecutor's.I agree. For the Rule of Law in a Constitutional America to be continued, the Americans who authorized and conducted these war crimes must be prosecuted for their crimes. Otherwise, the American Republic given to us by the Founding Fathers (who wrote the Constitution to be the basis of law by which is would be governed, depending on the courts to guarantee the enforcement of the law and the Constitution) is gone.
Bush didn't know what he was doing, but he turned the government over to Dick Cheney who does not want the America the founding Fathers gave us. Cheney directed that the torture be carried out. Bush also appointed his old family attorney, Albert Gonzales, as Attorney General to enforce the law. Three of the memos were written in the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel under Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. The fourth was written in 2002 in the Office of Legal Counsel in the CIA under CIA Director George Tenet. The actual memos are posted on the ACLU site:
- 18-page memo, dated August 1, 2002, from Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.
- A 46-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.
- A 20-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.
- A 40-page memo, dated May 30, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.
By not prosecuting the attorneys who justified the clear War Crimes and not prosecuting the individuals who carried out the crimes justified by John Yoo and his fellow lawyers, the Bush administration will have destroyed the Constitutional Republic of America given to us and fought for by Veterans through two centuries. We have to act to save our national legacy.
The first step is to appoint the public prosecutor. The time for that step is now!
The ACLU has posted the torture memos on their website.
Adendum: April 16, 2009 11:15 PM Digby has a blog post on Hullabaloo That provides a great deal more information on the Bush Administration torture program. Among other things, it reminded me that the John Yoo authored and Jay Bybee signed the 2002 memo that unleashed the CIA torture program. She also goes into its use on Zubaydah as well as how effective it was.