...Surprising turn of the events: GWB and Cheney, just perhaps, may be held accountable for their mess of regime

Kevin R Brown
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...Surprising turn of the events: GWB and Cheney, just perhaps, may be held accountable for their mess of regime

...Obama has managed to actually shock me in a way that surpasses all of the pleasant surprises he's tossed-out thus far:

He released the torture memos. And now, apparently, there will be consequences for them - and these consequences will not be owned by the agents who were under orders to torture.

Nothing has been specifically said about holding former administrators accountable, but it hasn't been ruled out. I won't allow myself to hope that justice might actually be done... but, still. I'm just stunned.

You can read these memos for yourself right here.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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Vastet
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Amazing.I'll believe it when

Amazing.

I'll believe it when I see it though. I may be an optimist in many respects, but I'm quite cynical when the US is concerned.

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Vastet
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FFS. First memo I open,

FFS. First memo I open, first paragraph, blatantly obvious and inexplicable spelling error: letter spelled as jetter. Now I'm not a spelling nazi by any stretch. I generally only mention it if someone else brings it up first, since noone on Earth can spell perfectly. But this is an official document for the US government, and someone couldn't run a spell checker? Pathetic.

"This Jetter memorializes our previous oral advice, given on July 24, 2002 and July 26,violate this prohibition."

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nigelTheBold
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Unfortunately, he's stated

Unfortunately, he's stated he doesn't intend to pursue the criminals repsonsible for this great American dishonour. Some of the more cynical think it's because he appreciates that Bush has given the office of US President carte blanche in these matters. I believe it's because he realizes it will only serve to polarize the country even more, but there is a cynic in me, as well, screaming to get out.

We can hope, though, Kevin. We can hope.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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 I've only read the first

 I've only read the first one on the page, so my comments must be taken with a grain of salt.  To my reading, the issue is whether or not a series of escalating procedures (culminating in waterboarding) constitute a violation of the prohibition against torture found at Section 2340A of title 18 of the United States Code.  The assistant attorney general advised that they do not appear to constitute such a violation.

The big issue is whether waterboarding constitutes an intentional attempt to cause severe pain or long term mental trauma.  The AAG advised that since waterboarding causes the sensation of drowning, but not actual intense pain, and because physical relief is virtually instantaneous when the procedure is finished, it does not constitute severe pain.  The part about severe long term mental harm is a bit more wishy-washy, but it seems to me that the intention is to create plausible deniability.  They consulted psychologists familiar with the procedure who said, "Search me, fella.  Nobody's ever complained to me about it."

The document didn't address international law at all, so at least in this case, the memo in a nutshell says, "As long as you're talking about U.S. courts, it doesn't look to me like you could be convicted of torture."

Anyway, Obama clearly isn't interested in pursuing justice in this matter, for various reasons.  I feel like his release of the memos is similar to the televising of the OJ trial.  Everybody knew he was guilty, and there was a certain catharsis from everybody knowing it.  It was like America collectively thought, "Well, the courts didn't do their jobs, but see if I let that asshole into my place of business.  Hell... I'll spit on him if I ever see him in person."

Then again, maybe Obama is more clever than we think.  It appears from my reading of this first memo that nobody would get convicted in a U.S. court even if they were brought to trial.  Maybe Obama's killing two birds with one stone -- he's justifying himself for not bringing anyone to trial, and also paving the way for an international tribunal by releasing documents that could be used to convict certain persons of crimes under international law.

I don't want to read any more of the documents right now.  Maybe I'll prove or disprove my speculations as I continue reading later.

 

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Quote:Unfortunately, he's

Quote:
Unfortunately, he's stated he doesn't intend to pursue the criminals repsonsible

*Frowns*

That's fucked-up.

 

I'm terribly disappointed, now.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Vastet
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That's Obama's political

That's Obama's political stance, and I can't disagree with it due to political reasoning. But his attorney general has stated that if laws were broken, he would persue the matter himself, so the story hasn't ended yet.

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Hambydammit
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 I think I agree with you,

 I think I agree with you, Vastet.  I don't think anyone will get prosecuted under U.S. law, but I suspect there's a more intricate game going on here, in which Obama is paving the way for an outside party.  I'm having a hard time thinking of a way that this whole fiasco isn't the biggest threat to Geneva faced by the international community.  If the country with the baddest army in the world can just ignore Geneva at its whim, then why do we have Geneva?

When the dust settles a little more, there will (I hope) be international interests who are willing to pursue this.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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