May 31, 2023

Should the AG Probe Bush-Era Terror Techniques?

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President Obama has been reluctant to look at the past.  It’s not, so much, that I believe that he wants to let what happened in the past stay there, it’s that if he takes the country there he will exacerbate the split that now exists, polarizing the nation further, and he will jeopardize his current agenda.  He needs people to get along, or at least act like they are getting along, in order to continue to pass things with razor-like margins.

However, his Attorney General (Eric Holder), might take him there anyway.

These are not just the philosophical musings of a new attorney general. Holder, 58, may be on the verge of asserting his independence in a profound way. Four knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that he is now leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation practices, something the president has been reluctant to do. While no final decision has been made, an announcement could come in a matter of weeks, say these sources, who decline to be identified discussing a sensitive law-enforcement matter. Such a decision would roil the country, would likely plunge Washington into a new round of partisan warfare, and could even imperil Obama’s domestic priorities, including health care and energy reform. Holder knows all this, and he has been wrestling with the question for months. “I hope that whatever decision I make would not have a negative impact on the president’s agenda,” he says. “But that can’t be a part of my decision.” [Attorney General May Probe Bush Torture Policy – Newsweek]

And I believe he’s right.  His first loyalty must be to the Constitution and to the rule of law.

You see, one of the things that makes us the most different from any society up to this present moment is that we the people actually believe that we are all held to the same standard, to the same law.  Well, we used to believe this anyway.  There have been a number of cases and things that have shown us that there are some people that act as if they are above the law, but that doesn’t change the ideal or the principle.

So in this case, I believe that the AG is right in contemplating the move, but I think it goes further than that.  I think that if you start walking down this road you need to be ready to look into things from both parties, not to elevate certain things to high levels simply because they come from the GOP.

If you walk down this road, which I believe he should, he should also look into things that happened in the Clinton era—pardons and other things that were cast aside in an attempt to help the country move on.

I believe it’s only right and just.  However, while I’m sure the AG can wrestle with whether to go after the opposing party’s least popular President at this juncture, I’m sure he’s not wasting many brain cycles wondering what may have been hidden and buried prior to that.

There’s just no benefit or news going there, now is there?

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2 thoughts on “Should the AG Probe Bush-Era Terror Techniques?

  1. As with all criminal investigations, nothing should be off the table including alleged crimes of previous administrations. But as in any undertaking of this magnitude, it is important to set priorities and those must be the most serious allegations – those that if proven would be the most serious crimes.

    I really don’t expect a serious no-holds-barred investigation here because there are far too many crimes that reach far too deeply into the bowels of our government. If we start looking at torture of the war on terror prisoners, we might need to continue and investigate the lies that (allegedly) got us into the Iraq War, the warrantless wiretapping of the phone calls of American citizens, the destruction of evidence in the 9/11 attacks, and God only knows what else – and that’s only the Bush Administration. As you point out, we could keep going back into Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, and Nixon finding similar crimes, and keep on until we get to the point where all the witnesses are already dead.

    If we value the rule of law, our Constitution, and the integrity of our Republic we should push for as much investigation, disclosure and prosecution as possible regardless of the party in power. Just don’t hold your breath.

    1. As I stated in my post, I’m in agreement that crimes should be prosecuted. I’m not sure that either party could be unbiased enough to carry out a sweeping enough program. I also believe that if you break the law by speeding you should be prosecuted.

      But we both know that the former and the latter will be difficult to accomplish at best. I would, instead, prefer a campaign to scale down and remove power from government– particularly the Federal Government. With the amount of power that the Federal Government has over our daily lives, it is so easy for them to violate the law and believe they are above the law. Whether it’s state governors that cheat with prostitutes or women overseas to Presidents that believe that they don’t need to submit valid birth certificates or use torture, if these officials didn’t have the power that we gave them, they wouldn’t be in this position.

      We the people should take the power and responsibility back– these people that we’ve entrusted our powers in have proven time and again that they aren’t able to handle it judiciously.

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