Friday, April 24, 2009

"Criminalizing Conservatism"? Oh, Please....

How do these guys get it so wrong?

Many liberals don't just want to defeat conservatives at the polls, they want to send them to jail. Toward that end, they have sometimes tried to criminalize what are essentially policy differences.

President Obama hinted at another step in that direction when he said today that he is open to the idea of bringing criminal charges against the Justice Department lawyers who wrote opinions to the effect that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods could legally be used on al Qaeda detainees. Obama said the question was a complicated one, and the decision will ultimately be made by Attorney General Eric Holder.

The idea of prosecuting a lawyer because a wrote a legal analysis with which the current Attorney General disagrees is so outrageous that I can't believe it would be seriously considered.
"Policy differences"? Oh, please, let's call them what they are. Let's, at the very least, admit that they are accused of aiding and abetting war crimes...

Maybe this guy should have a look at what was decided at Nuremberg:
International law professor Kevin Jon Heller -- who questioned the applicability of that precedent -- today writes about a separate set of prosecutions by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, as part of The Ministries Case, in which German officials were prosecuted for doing nothing other than stating, when asked, that they had no objection to the deportation of 5,000 Jews from France. Those officials, who were convicted at Nuremberg, did not order the deportation or carry it out; rather, they merely failed, when asked, to object to the policy on the ground that it violated international law. Professor Heller argues that this case provides an almost perfect precedent for holding OLC torture-authorizing officials accountable (emphasis in original):

The parallels between the Foreign Office’s role in the SS deportations and the OLC’s role in the CIA’s torture regime are uncanny. Nothing is lost if we simply substitute "Yoo, Bybee, and Bradbury" for "Woermann and von Weizsaecker," "OLC" for "Foreign Office," and "torture" for "deportations."
Indeed, in one critical respect, the case against the authors of the OLC memos is even stronger than the case against von Weizsaecker and Woermann. The latter’s criminal participation in the deportations consisted solely of omissions -- failing to point out that the deportations violated international law. The former’s criminal participation in the CIA’s torture regime, by contrast, consists of both acts and omissions, because Yoo, Bybee, and Bradbury not only failed to point out that the torture regime violated international law (and US law, as well), they crafted legal arguments to conceal the illegality of that regime.

The criminality in the failure of lawyers to point out to leaders that they are about to break international law is already well established.

Yoo, Bybee and Bradbury went much further than even the prosecuted Nazis. They not only failed to point out to their leaders that they were about to violate international law, they actually distorted what the law said, in order to tell their masters what they wanted to hear, and to enable the law breaking to assume a veneer of respectability.

That's criminal. And has been established as such since the Nuremberg trials.

Then comes the latest Republican threat:
Is Obama also "open to" criminal investigation and prosecution of the members of the House and Senate leadership and Intelligence committees who were repeatedly briefed on the interrogation tactics that were used by the CIA?
I don't know if Obama is, but the rest of the progressives certainly are. This is not a purely party issue, no matter how many times the Republicans might try to portray it as such. If Democrats enabled torture, then they should be prosecuted as well.

Although I notice that Nancy Pelosi, who the Republicans always claim knew what was going on, is all for a full criminal investigation.

I don't think the Republican supporters - who think the Dems were briefed - are on anywhere near as strong ground as they think they are.

Click title for source.

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