Saturday, April 18, 2009

CIA and Torture

That high-ranking criminals are getting a pass by the generous Obama is repugnant to me. Why should a president get to decide that breaking the law is ok? That seeking justice for sadistic, malevolent, anti-American, criminal behavior is not "going backward" or taking "retribution" on past administration officials who supported such activities, but it is justice, and it moves us forward. When criminals get their due, THEN, ONLY THEN can we drop the matter. Once justice has been served, not before. We don't forgive petty criminals without examining the crime and issuing a punishment, why would we allow the powerful in the CIA to go scott free?

Here's a more persuasive editorial post by a reader of the New York Times:

Re “Memos Spell Out Brutal C.I.A. Mode of Interrogation” (front page, April 17):

President Obama has decided that the C.I.A. employees involved in the torture of terrorism suspects will not be prosecuted and has justified his position by stating that “this is a time for reflection, not retribution.”

I find it hard to believe that a man as intelligent as Mr. Obama, who once taught constitutional law, would equate the pursuit of justice with retribution. It makes it appear as if his decision is one of political expediency.

If holding the C.I.A. operatives accountable for violating federal or international laws is retribution, then the prosecution of ordinary citizens for crimes is also retribution.

The president does not have the authority to be selective about who should or should not be charged with a crime, and he has made a grievous error by confusing the pursuit of justice with retribution or retaliation.

If the president reached his conclusion not to prosecute because the C.I.A. agents were merely following orders, I would remind him that that defense did not hold up at the Nuremberg trials. Those involved must be tried and held accountable regardless of the political consequences.

Seeking justice is moving forward, not backward. The whole world is watching.

Chase Webb
Gresham, Ore., April 17, 2009

And from Keith Olbermann who gets it right:

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