Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Closing In on the Torturers

By Ray McGovern
August 26, 2009

Do you think the wardens will let George Tenet wear his Presidential Medal of Freedom over the orange coverall?

Read on.

2 comments:

Bill from Saginaw said...

Time to do the time line.

On May 7, 2004, the CIA Inspector General issues this super secret, highly classified report. The report concerns the actions taken by CIA and CIA contract employee interrogators during the time frame of September, 2001 through October, 2003.

On August 24, 2009, a redacted version of this IG report is released into the public domain. The disclosure is accompanied by an announcement that Attorney General Holder is appointing a special prosecutor to do a preliminary examination into possible criminal prosecution of some persons who acted outside the highly elastic, secret Bush/Cheney guidelines that rebranded torture as "enhanced interrogation techniques."

The ordinary statute of limitations under the federal Criminal Code is five years (yes, there are exceptions, and possible tolling loopholes).

You do the calendar math.

Small wonder Dick Cheney keeps rambling on about the injustice of engaging in a partisan witch hunt into events of the now far distant, immediately post-911 past, when perhaps a few bad apples or overzealous patriots may have stepped over a blurry line or two.

Small wonder the Bushies, and the dark sider black ops boys within the intelligence community, keep emphasizing how whatever excesses may have been committed, those programs were reined in, terminated, and pulled within the confines of the law by 2004.

Like I say, you do the calendar math.

Bill from Saginaw

George said...

Ray,

There's a plethora of information about reprehensible CIA conduct that shocked the conscience prior to the Bush Cheney era. Overthrowing democratically elected leaders, paling around with ruthless dictators, entering the narcotics trade, with all the evils that implies, to fund illegal off-the-books atrocities in Latin America, involuntary drug and mind altering experiments that destoryed "minds' and led to suicide.... these escapades only seem tame by comparison with more recent wanton behavior, egged on by Bush Cheney or not.

Even without the statutory loophole you describe, it's clear that the CIA has too often been antithetical to democracy around the world. That the CIA may incidentally have acted heroically and have included heroes and honest people in its ranks does not foreclose the question as to whether it has wreaked greater tragedy than good and may be a major factor in the conclusion that there has been a coup hereabouts. A quick google search on CIA's socre on the benevolence/malevolence scale suggests that many consider the issue too close to call.

Why should Holder and Obama deserve even a tip of the hat for the tentative, narrow investigation that Holder apparently is authorizing. Obama not only seems opposed to investigation, he's on record as explicitly opposed to enforcing national and international law so that he can attend to his agenda.

Given his IQ and time as a constitutional law professor, what excuse can be given to Obama's trip to CIA headquarters to assure the ranks they need not worry about investigation. His message gives the lie to the nostrum that we are governed by laws not men...

Some scholars suggest that opposition to investigating our nationals' war crimes is malfeasance of office and constitutes a war crime in its own right.

If Mueller is to be damned for his groundless fear mongering about the apparently phantom al Qaeda cells stateside, why is Obama not damnable for the pseudo rationale for our warfare in Afghanistan?

Cheers,

George Collins