As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Chief Of Staff Of Looking Forward Not Backward

Rahm Emanuel wants us all to just forget about the people who tortured in our name, those who authorized it, the ones who created the justifications and underpinnings for it, the entire torture regime:

Never mind the moral backflips you have to make to let people off the hook for torture. Never mind the fact that the interrogators did not even follow the guidelines and meager safeguards set out in the OLC memos - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in one month. Let's put all of that aside for a second. Rahm Emanuel is calling on the President and the Justice Department to willingly break the law.

US President Barack Obama's decision not to prosecute CIA agents who used torture tactics is a violation of international law, a UN expert says.

The UN special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, says the US is bound under the UN Convention against Torture to prosecute those who engage in it.

Mr Obama released four "torture memos" outlining harsh interrogation methods sanctioned by the Bush administration.
Mr Nowak has called for an independent review and compensation for victims.

"The United States, like all other states that are part of the UN convention against torture, is committed to conducting criminal investigations of torture and to bringing all persons against whom there is sound evidence to court," Mr Nowak told the Austrian daily Der Standard.

Maybe the President should clarify his position. According to his chief of staff, the President and the Attorney General are committed to breaking international law. Once again, we see that covering up past crimes does nothing but entangle the current executive in the crimes themselves.

Meanwhile, regarding the impeachment of Torture Judge Jay Bybee, Claire McCaskill is now on the record considering it.

What’s scary to me, Chris, is that one of them got a lifetime appointment on a federal bench. Yikes! You know, a lawyer that’s responsible for this kind of advice that clearly went too far in terms of stretching what our law is. It worries me that he’s sitting on the federal bench right now.

She then said she doesn’t want to “look in the rearview mirror.” Asked by host Chris Wallace whether she would favor the impeachment of the judge, Jay Bybee, McCaskill responded, “I don’t know. I think we have to look at it.”

McCaskill is not a wild-eyed lefty. Like any American with a conscience, she understands the failing of having the man who signed those memos sitting judgment on the federal bench. It is time to impeach.

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