Monday, April 20, 2009

Rahm Emanuel says NO Bush officials should be prosecuted over the torture memos.

Oh God, it would appear to be official.

The Obama administration, according to Rahm Emanuel, have no intention of prosecuting any Bush officials for torture, not even Bybee or John Yoo.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What about those who devised policy?

EMANUEL: Yes, but those who devised policy, he believes that they were -- should not be prosecuted either, and that's not the place that we go -- as he said in that letter, and I would really recommend people look at the full statement -- not the letter, the statement -- in that second paragraph, "this is not a time for retribution." It's time for reflection. It's not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back and any sense of anger and retribution.
We have a lot to do to protect America. What people need to know, this practice and technique, we don't use anymore. He banned it.
The Obama administration must realise that America's reputation will not be restored simply by stating that such practices are no longer in effect.

Obama has promised that the US is "a nation of laws" and, under the US Constitution, that makes international laws which the US have agreed to abide by, "the supreme law of the land."

International law DEMANDS prosecutions.
  1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
  2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
The fact that this might be difficult for Obama politically simply can't be invoked as a serious reason for failure to comply with international law. And Obama certainly can't claim that the US is "a nation of laws" whilst he protects war criminals. That is simply ludicrous.

The US either is or isn't a nation of laws. At the moment it would appear that Obama and his party are unwilling to apply the law equally to all persons and that some people are considered to be above the law simply because of the political price of applying the law in some cases.

You can call that many things; "political reality", the way things are in "the real world", etc, etc. But you can't seriously, and with a straight face, say that these are the actions of "a nation of laws".

Because they simply are not. Period.


Andrew Sullivan:
And why, pray, is breaking the law in such a grave matter as a war crime no longer subject to prosecution or even investigation in the United States?

The US is a banana republic if this stuff is allowed to go unpunished. A banana republic with a torture apparatus.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.


nunya said...

So disappointing. I'm hoping he just doesn't want to mess with it until he can figure out how to extricate us from Iraq.

Kel said...


He's creating problems for himself because, even though the Spanish prosecution fell apart, others will inevitably follow once it becomes clear that Obama is not going to prosecute.

The international community will not sit idly by whilst the US condones war crimes.