Trying To Prosecute The Bush Administration For “Torture” Would Be Extremely Dangerous

Barack Obama may like the idea of trumped up, vindictive prosecutions of his political opponents for “torture,” but initially, even he was smart enough to see where it would lead.

If George Bush or Dick Cheney were sent to jail for “torture,” why couldn’t Barack Obama be sent to jail by a future Republican Congress for taking over corporations or for some other similar allegation? In fact, if Republicans were to do otherwise, it would be nothing less than an open invitation for Democrats to criminalize Republican beliefs.

But as anyone who has watched him knows, Barack Obama is a political coward and when his fellow fascists on the Left complained that he was closing the door to putting the Bush administration in jail for disagreeing with them, Obama quickly said it might be considered. It was typical Obama: voting “present” on a tough call.

However, the charges are ridiculous. Many people, myself included, consider none of the tactics used at Gitmo to even remotely approach the standard of torture. Moreover, the Bush Administration wouldn’t have gone forward with techniques like waterboarding if they hadn’t received legal opinions saying they were permissable. In addition, it’s worth noting that Democrats like Nancy Pelosi knew about these tactics as far back as 2002 and approved of their usage.

So, to come back in 2009 and try to criminalize what was done based on a few contrasting legal opinions and kvetching liberals who are desperate to find any reason to jail their hated political foes may be one of the most foolish and counterproductive acts in the history of our country.

At best, it’s scaring the CIA into not doing their jobs, which could lead to another 9/11.

At worst, well, let’s just say that history is full of examples where trying to criminalize opposing political views led to similar retaliatory acts and even widescale violence. There are, at a minimum, tens of millions of people in this country who would consider it to be far beyond the pale and even dangerous to democracy to attempt to jail members of the Bush Administration for waterboarding terrorists. Obama and Company would be very wise to take heed of that sentiment before they do something extremely foolish that we may all end up regretting before it’s over.

Update #1: From Congressman Peter Hoekstra,

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

Last week, Mr. Obama argued that those who implemented this program should not be prosecuted — even though the release of the memos still places many individuals at other forms of unfair legal risk. It appeared that Mr. Obama understood it would be unfair to prosecute U.S. government employees for carrying out a policy that had been fully vetted and approved by the executive branch and Congress. The president explained this decision with these gracious words: “nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.” I agreed.

Unfortunately, on April 21, Mr. Obama backtracked and opened the door to possible prosecution of Justice Department attorneys who provided legal advice with respect to the enhanced interrogations program. The president also signaled that he may support some kind of independent inquiry into the program. It seems that he has capitulated to left-wing groups and some in Congress who are demanding show trials over this program.

Members of Congress calling for an investigation of the enhanced interrogation program should remember that such an investigation can’t be a selective review of information, or solely focus on the lawyers who wrote the memos, or the low-level employees who carried out this program. I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.

…Perhaps we need an investigation not of the enhanced interrogation program, but of what the Obama administration may be doing to endanger the security our nation has enjoyed because of interrogations and other antiterrorism measures implemented since Sept. 12, 2001.

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