Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Torture Memos: A Question of Justice

Regarding the release of the torture memos: The CRIMINAL Bush regime is putting forward a full-court press -- Dick Cheney (former acting president who has a hard time LETTING GO), Michael Hayden (former NSA chief), and Michael Mukasey (last GWB AG) -- to spread lies, propaganda, and misinformation pounding the false premise that the knowledge imparted of their "enhanced interrogation techniques," a.k.a. TORTURE, makes the U.S. less safe. That is patently FALSE.

First, these TORTURE techniques had already been out there in the public domain and President Obama had already ordered that they are not to be used, therefore the information could be declassified.

Second, the revelation that the 9/11 mastermind was waterboarded 183 times, for an average of 6 times a days every day for 31 days, and another Al Queda suspect 83 times, for a total of 266 waterboarding sessions, raises questions not only about the purported effectiveness of such torture, but debunks any argument that torture is an effective interrogation "technique" in the first place.

Third, there's been some misunderstanding about who can authorize and/or prosecute or investigate these torture incidents. Michael Izikoff of Newsweek noted that his sources close to the President informed him that this authority rests squarely in the Justice Department, and that Attorney General Eric Holder is seriously considering whether or not to open a criminal investigation into the Bush regime's use of torture.

Fourth, Congress has a parallel responsibility, under the separation of powers, as the legislative branch of government to conduct its own investigation and hold hearings on the matter. One issue that is clearly a prerogative of Congress is the impeachment of federal judge Jay Bybee for authoring one of the torture memos when he was Assistant AG in the Bush regime. Among other things, Bybee wrote "waterboarding could not be said to inflict severe suffering." The New York Times has called for Congress to impeach Bybee in a 4/19 editorial:

The investigation should start with the lawyers who wrote these sickening memos, including John Yoo, who now teaches law in California; Steven Bradbury, who was job-hunting when we last heard; and Mr. Bybee, who holds the lifetime seat on the federal appeals court that Mr. Bush rewarded him with.

These memos make it clear that Mr. Bybee is unfit for a job that requires legal judgment and a respect for the Constitution. Congress should impeach him. And if the administration will not conduct a thorough investigation of these issues, then Congress has a constitutional duty to hold the executive branch accountable. If that means putting Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales on the stand, even Dick Cheney, we are sure Americans can handle it.


Lula O said...

Where do you find these pictures of Cheney? Is there some secret place that stores these beauties? How do I find out where it is? I must know.

Carlos said...

They're my own creations ... Thanks for the thumbs up. Feel free to use them. FYI, two of the best sources for progressive news and humor with an edge are: buzzflash.com and bartcop.com. :)

Now Peter has to tell me how he does those faux Cubs marquee pics!