It has become obvious that left to her own devices Nancy Pelosi WILL let them get away with it….no matter what they do or how horrendous “it” is. She is the only one with the real authority to stop them. And she, apparently, will not. The answer then, seems to be: Yes, they will. And a new administration is not the answer either.
The implications here are truly chilling. If the Democrats won’t pursue prosecution….We are faced with a government with NO internal or external checks. A government not subject to the law. A government which can wage aggressive war and torture with complete impunity. That is NOT hyperbole, it is where we stand at this very moment in time.
A I wrote yesterday and wish to emphasize:
The latest revelations from ABC News clearly point to a high level, willful conspiracy to commit torture:
Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.
The high-level discussions about these “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.
At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
CLEARLY a conspiracy to commit illegal acts, and not a technical conspiracy, see my bolding above.
I am not a lawyer, but if you are charged, as the Democrats are as the alleged Opposition Party, with the duty and responsibility of oversight and holding the government accountable for illegal acts…..indeed, if you are the only one capable of it….and you choose not to act, the you become part of the conspiracy to commit illegal acts.
If both Parties are conspirators, our government can do whatever it wants with complete impunity, with no responsibility or accountability. They can, and so far have, literally get away with murder.
Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, IS the only one who can decide to prosecute these criminals. If she fails to do so, she IS part of the conspiracy to allow torture. Especially since she was at least partially informed that it was occurring. If it was JUST Pelosi however, there is a slim chance that pressure could be brought to bear on her. It is not just Pelosi, though. It is in fact the entire Democratic Party establishment, aside from a few voices raised in the wilderness.
Any sane person would ask why. Aside from their years of culpability in not stopping or prosecuting what it is now apparent to anyone who has even cursory knowledge of the issue, an entire network purposeful and willfully developed to facilitate, endorse, and carry out torture from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib to the secret torture prisons in Europe, there is another, objectively stunning, reason.
Political expediency …and political gain. For the entire Democratic establishment. Including two sitting Senators charged with oversight and holding the government accountable. Who are now running for president, running to take the reigns of a government that they are allowing to break the law…and every moral code….without challenge.
Jack Balkin from Balkinization
And putting aside the purely legal obstacles to a prosecution for war crimes, there’s also the political cost. Why would an Obama or Clinton Administration waste precious political capital early on with a politically divisive prosecution of former government officials? One can imagine the screaming of countless pundits arguing that the Democrats were trying to criminalize political disagreements about foreign policy. Such a prosecution would make politics extremely bitter and derail any chance for bipartisan cooperation on almost any significant issue. Obama or Clinton would rather get a health care bill passed, deal with the economy, or try to solve the Iraq mess, than have the first several years of their Administrations consumed by a prosecution for war crimes by officials in the Bush Administration.
As I noted in a previous post, the most likely prosecution for war crimes will not occur in the United States; if it occurs at all, it will come through the use of universal jurisdiction against Bush Administration officials who make the mistake of traveling outside the United States. There are certainly plenty of people outside this country who would like to try Bush Administration officials for war crimes. However, perhaps predictably, an Obama or Clinton Administration would probably try to exert political influence to nip any such prosecutions in the bud, worried that acquiescing in such prosecutions would set a very bad precedent for American interests.
It’s important to understand the point I’m making here. It is not that certain members of the Bush Administration haven’t committed war crimes. I’m pretty certain that at least some of them have. The point rather is that it is very unlikely that they will ever be brought to justice for it, at least in our own country– despite the fact that there are statutes on the books which assert that the commission of war crimes violates our laws.
If the candidates are willing to allow this administration to conspire to torture with impunity, if they are unwilling to check their illegal acts, what does that say of their morality? This campaign is full of “character issues,” what greater character issue is their than allowing torture to go unchallenged and unprosecuted?
Pelosi says this about torture:
“We are on stronger ground ethically and morally . . . when we do not torture,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, in closing the debate. “Our ability to lead the world depends not only on our military might but on our moral authority.”
Well the, Speaker Pelosi, what does it say to our “moral authority” that you will allow a conspiracy to commit torture right under your nose and do NOTHING to stop it?
And what does it say of the American Citizens who will not, as our system of government is designed for, hold their government accountable?
It is up to us to do what we can. To raise a unignorable din.