Action Alert: Congess Must Reassert Itself On War Powers Now, BEFORE We Get Worse Than Bush
August 31, 2009
Even in appointing a special counsel to look into torture, Eric Holder essentially directed him to IGNORE whether a crime was committed in ordering torture. The only mandate lifelong Republican prosecutor John Durham has been given is about whether personnel EXCEEDED the instructions. The fact is that NO member of these agencies could have believed in good faith that torture techniques condemned when used by every other totalitarian regime were suddenly acceptable behavior.
Not Even Obama Will Give Up
The Illegal War Powers Seized By Bush
Unless Congress Makes Him Do It
(August 30, 2009) — Even in appointing a special counsel last week to look into torture, Eric Holder essentially directed him to IGNORE whether a crime was committed in ordering torture in the first place.
The only mandate lifelong Republican prosecutor John Durham has been given is about whether department personnel EXCEEDED the instructions they were given. The "just following orders defense" rejected at Nuremberg has been resurrected by our new Attorney General.
With Holder doing such a weak job of enforcing the law on his own, it is all the more important to get Congress to reassert itself in all these matters, in particular the abuse of war powers under which all the torture happened in the first place. And HR 104, To establish a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties, appears to be a good step in this direction.
We should not preemptively exclude congressional commissions or investigations as a route to real justice, for that is what Watergate was all about. Congress must act NOW to constrain ALL future presidents, including Obama, lest we end up with worse than Bush before we know it.
Presidential War Powers Action Page:
How all those Nazi war criminals would have wished for a standard like that set by Eric Holder. Legal opinions no matter how corruptly or self-servingly drafted become get out of prison free cards. Never might that there were many valiant, patriotic people in the CIA and the FBI, the vast majority, who STRENUOUSLY objected to the adoption of torture as accepted U.S. policy.
The fact is that NO member of any one of these agencies could have believed in good faith that the torture techniques condemned when used by every other totalitarian regime were suddenly squeaky clean in their hands.
That is what is so disingenuous about Holder's posture, a refusal to actually confront the real issue. Either we are a nation of laws or else we are not. And if the Justice Department was issuing opinions that were patently bogus in defense of torture, it is corruption in HIS OWN department that must be rooted out, and all involved in such outrages must be held fully responsible.
Instead, Holder's suggestion is essentially that a couple so-called "bad apples" should be scapegoated, just as the contractors directing the torture at Abu Grahib, under orders that came direct from the White House, were allowed to skate away, while the lowest level grunts were given 10 years of hard time. At this point, the best way to pressure Holder to actually do his job is to pressure Congress to do theirs, and execute their own investigation into the abuse of war powers.
Presidential War Powers Action Page:
And yes, we will continue to hear lies about how splendidly well torture worked, even though it did not, to try to seduce the American people into endorsing the abominable. Cheney was all over the TV over the last couple months asserting that the recently released CIA report would absolve him, by showing how torture led to all kinds of great intelligence breakthroughs.
There was nothing like that in there. Instead, there were detailed specific instructions on executing torture, adopted from and imitating the worst dictatorships in history, in clinical detail like something out of World War II Nazi bureaucracy.
The Washington Post is in up to their hips with this disinformation campaign, running a story over the weekend with a headline suggesting that waterboarding and sleep deprivation were a boon to intelligence. And yet when you actually read it you find that WHILE Khalid Sheik Mohammed was being waterboarded 183 times he was giving false intelligence that was harmfully counterproductive. It is only AFTER the criminal mistreatment stopped, and much later, that he actually started to cooperate.
So let us make no mistake, the people who did these things on our name were a handful of true sickos, getting in their own sadistic jollies to the disgrace of the good name of the United States of America. And not just those few who willingly went along with it without objection, those who authorized, justified it, and ordered it must also be held responsible, right back to the desk of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and his go along patsy, George Bush.
If Holder is so anxious to relieve CIA employees of responsibility, let them testify against the real criminal kingpins in the White House, as the price of their immunity.
So again, if want a "Convict Dick & W" cap we'll be shipping more of those this week, we'll have more of the "Single Payer Health Care" caps at the same time. And you can request either of these or any other of our progressive advocacy gifts from the return page of the action page above, or directly from this link.
And yes, you can also respond to this action through the new Twitter gateway. Just send the following Twitter reply, and add any personal comment you like.
And if you want a step by step explanation of how to set up the Twitter thing here is the link for that.
≤b>• Twitter Activism Step-By-Step: http://tcxs.net/step_by_step.php
Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.
If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at http://www.peaceteam.net/in.htm