Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Olbermann: Obama MUST Prosecute Bush Officials Guilty of Torture–Or It Will Happen Again

In a Countdown “Special Comment” Keith Olbermann tells President Obama that he MUST prosecute Bush officials guilty of torture. He won’t want to do this because it will eat political capital (looking like revenge) that he needs for other things.  He would rather just end these practices and look to the future. A special prosecutor with public investigations and trials (which may include even former Pres. Bush and former VP Cheney since they both seem to have admitted to authorizing torture) will be a huge distraction from ending two wars and fixing the economy (and greening the economy), etc.  But when we as Americans have tried to “just move on” regarding Watergate, etc., we have seen future administrations do even worse.  This can’t just be “policy differences.” These are war crimes and crimes against humanity and must be prosecuted accordingly.

See the video below:

January 21, 2009 - Posted by | human rights., torture, U.S. politics


  1. I seriously doubt that Bush and Cheney will ever be charged with any crimes. John Conyers (D-Mi.) wants it to happen, but the leadership fears that it might open up a Pandora’s Box as regards prosecutions.It may not be right, but that is the way Washington politics goes.

    Comment by Paul | January 22, 2009

  2. The problem is, Paul, that if the U.S. doesn’t try them, we are in violation of our international treaty obligations–including the UN Treaty Against Torture, signed by Reagan and finally ratified in ’94 by a GOP controlled Senate. The Constitution specifically states that all ratified treaties share with the Constitution the status of “highest law of the land.” And, if we don’t try the Bushies, the international community will. The International Criminal Court at the Hague could issue subpoenas for them and Obama would be faced with the hard choice of either turning them over–or defying international law like Bush did. And Bush and Cheney could be picked up under “universal jurisdiction” warrants for crimes against humanity any time leaving the country. (This is why former globetrotter Henry Kissinger never travels abroad, btw.)

    It’s a huge mess. Obama would lose either way. So, better to set up a special counsel to convene an independent grand jury and then just get out of the way and let it do its job.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | January 22, 2009

  3. The question is, “Will justice be served?’ No one knows that answer yet.If GWB and DC did something criminal then they should be prosecuted ; however,I doubt that a prosecutuion will ever occur.

    Comment by Paul | January 23, 2009

  4. Those who hate President Bush can see nothing good or noble in this fine American. The desire to punish George Bush and the inability to say anything kind about him reveals a flaw in the character of those who say such things. Why? Because it’s human nature to accuse others of what we are guilty of. It’s an attempt to quiet our own guilt by creating a monster ( in our own minds) that is worse than we are.
    President Obama was wise when he said that he wanted to go forward, not waste time in the past. You cannot prosecute someone just because you don’t agree with their politics. Not in America anyway. Not yet.

    Comment by Steve | February 17, 2009

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