The Scooter Libby Case and Those Who Authorized Torture! ~ eprof2

President Obama says we should move forward and leave behind the revelations of former President Bush’s policies and practices of torture, telecommunication spying, and other obvious violations of the Constitution, US law, and International law.

I have to respectfully disagree.

I’m appreciative of Mr. Obama’s releasing of the so-called torture memos authored by lawyers in the Bush administration last week. They confirm what we knew from many other sources over the past year or so. But, the release of the memos is not enough.

Senator Patrick Leahy has said there should be an investigation into these gross violations of law. I think there should be a special prosecutor, grand jury investigations and, if enough evidence of violations of law, indictments of those responsible, including the former President and Vice President of the United States. Then, we should move forward with trials and convictions if the evidence and juries find the defendants guilty.

This judicial process is the same as that used in the trial of Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby. A special prosecutor, some evidence to the grand jury, an indictment, a trial, a conviction, and then a commutation of his sentence, not a pardon by the sitting president. While at first I had misgivings about then President Bush giving Scooter Libby a commutation of his sentence, preventing Libby from going to jail, I’ve had to rethink my position. Now, more than ever, we really need a record of misconduct that would not allow the actions of the former administration to go unnoticed in the history books leaving Bush, et al, to virtually write their own historical legacy.

The “Libby Scenario” is what President Obama should use in prosecuting all members of the Bush administration who had a hand in allowing torture and other unconstitutional activities and policies of the United States. First, it follows the rule of law. Second, it will bring to the public attention that no administration can trample the Constitution with abandon. Third, the public will hear and see all of the details of this heretofore punishable crime (witness the Nuremberg trials). Fourth, it will leave an historical record of misdoings for all to see and for all time.

Then, if the Obama administration wants to move forward after a cathartic experience by the American people, let President Obama issue commutations for the offenders. This will leave the historical record for future generations of politicians and others who will know for sure that their legacies will not be created by the offenders but by Constitutional means that they themselves tried to destroy. It will, in my opinion, stop future authorizations of torture by the United States and in the name of the people of the United States.

This post can also be found at eProf2’s web page, www.eprof22.blogspot.com

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40 Comments

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40 responses to “The Scooter Libby Case and Those Who Authorized Torture! ~ eprof2

  1. The truth and reconciliation commission might serve as a non-judicial model. However, to take back the Constitution, law breakers must withstand the judiciary processes.

  2. Well I guess the issue is eprof what will serve history better, getting all the info out there before the public, or tossing a few people into jail.

  3. I’m not sure the proposition is either/or. I fall on the side of getting the information out there through the judicial process. I’m as interested in the process as I am about who goes to jail or how much information gets out there. We’ll never know for sure all of the details but if the process works then the Constitution will be restored.

  4. I understand your point eprof, and I agree with you more than I don’t, but I don’t see it happening. I think the “reconsideration hearings” would go a long way to getting the info into the historical record. Otherwise what we are in store is years and years of court battles. I think the president has pretty much made up his mind that isn’t going to happen under his watch. I can see his point, even if I’m not sure it’s the right course. I think (just speculation on my part) that he doesn’t want his first term dominated by the misdeeds and illegal acts of his predecessor and his administration.

  5. President Obama doesn’t really have a choice in first term domination as it will be the media who will chat about the misdeeds and illegal acts of BushCo. Obama should remember that sometimes it’s not the deed but the cover-up or the appearance of a cover-up that will dominate the news cycles and the blogosphere. I know I won’t let it go and merely look forward.

  6. prof, that’s quite a leap you made there to “cover up”.

  7. dnd

    Interesting thoughts eprof2. Eric Holder has said that no one is above the law and that the Justice Department should be non-political. So Obama doesn’t have to pursue it. Others will.

    Stay tuned.

  8. nannymm

    I’m with you, eprof2, right up to the commutation part. As far as I am concerned, Bush and Cheney should go to jail if they are found guilty. No special treatment. What they did is so damaging to this country that nothing less than a prison sentence will ever be sufficient.

  9. “Bush and Cheney should go to jail if they are found guilty. ”

    Never going to happen!

  10. nannymm

    I can dream, can’t I?

  11. Sebelius nomination passes Senate committee.

  12. More from the wacko zone!

    Obama, Chavez Handshake Was ‘Boyz In The Hood’-Style: Kudlow

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/21/obama-chavez-handshake-wa_n_189412.html

  13. horsedooty

    isn’t the “boyz in the hood” style really called “DAP”?

  14. DAP? don’t know that one.

  15. nannymm

    Hey, Doots. How ya been?

  16. horsedooty

    Excellent Nanny, thanks for asking. Gearing up for a fly fishing trip in a couple of weeks. Excited about that.

    Brian, check this out here

  17. Feingold Unloads On Peggy Noonan: “Never Heard Anything Quite As Disturbing”

    Senator Russ Feingold, one of the harshest critics of the Bush administration’s nation security policies, says he can not bring himself to support President Obama’s apparent decision not to investigate or prosecute illegalities from those years.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/21/feingold-unloads-on-peggy_n_189473.html

  18. dnd

    eprof2,
    Looks like you have a lot of influence on the WH. They’re not precluding investigation of those responsible behind the torture memos.

    ps. Morales v. Petit tonight.

  19. I think the WH is getting a lot of push back on this issue from a lot of Dems.

  20. BevnTempe

    I feel this is Obama’s first mistake. Since the memos have been released, there should be follow-up on who authorized the torture. If it goes to the top of the former administration, then fine. I think it sets a very bad example that the US doesn’t punish their own.

  21. Here are three updates to my post, which I wrote last Saturday:

    Update I: Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says he doesn’t agree with the WH on not prosecuting those who were responsible for allowing torture under US law, including President Obama.

    Update II: The NY Times reports that pressure is building against President Obama’s decision to “move forward” without investigating those responsible for torture in the name of the US.

    Update III: Salon.com columnist, Glenn Greenwald, says Obama recognizes whether to prosecute is not his decision. Update I: Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says he doesn’t agree with the WH on not prosecuting those who were responsible for allowing torture under US law, including President Obama.

    Update II: The NY Times reports that pressure is building against President Obama’s decision to “move forward” without investigating those responsible for torture in the name of the US.

    Update III: Salon.com columnist, Glenn Greenwald, says Obama recognizes whether to prosecute is not his decision.

    dnd, I doubt if it was my influence but the media/blogosphere in general and major stakeholders in particular are driving this pressure.

    Obama shouldn’t have closed the door completely on this issue because not only does the misdeed go unpunished but it allows people like Dick Cheney to continue to speak out against the president. See Cheney’s remarks to Fox News.

  22. Sorry about the double entry.

  23. dnd

    “dnd, I doubt if it was my influence ”

    eprof2,
    I wouldn’t be too sure about that 😉

  24. Teddy’s on MSNBC right now

  25. nannymm

    Ed Schultz is on fire tonight! I wish his show was re-broadcast; it’s so good, I’d watch it twice. He is sticking it to Cheney, saying flat out that Cheney WANTS us to experience another terrorist attack for repug political gain. It’s exactly what I have thought for quite sime time. It’s great to hear a real liberal progressive like Schultz. He’s not a bit afraid to call it as he sees it; no pussy footing around with him.

  26. Yeah, I shouted “right on” at the TV when Ed said that, good for him!

  27. nannymm

    Me too! I was standing there, applauding. My grandson looked at me like I was nuts. LOL

  28. dnd

    Nannymm,
    What’s a “liberal progressive?” Are there “conservative progressives?” 😉

    I’m not a big Ed Schultz fan. Don’t know why. But I do respect him. He makes his points w/o hyperbole, phony “facts,” and sarcasm, unlike his uber right-wing MSNBC colleague.

  29. nannymm

    I should have written liberal/progressive. I prefer the term “liberal”; however, others tend to favor “progressive.” 😉

  30. Steve

    Regarding torture, I cant think of anything more patriotic than for the country to look at itself honestly and bring to light the what happened in the reign of darkness. Its clear that people were tortured and some people violated the Geneva Convention in doing so. An investigation? Yes.

    Eprof your post was great!

  31. Steve

    Brian, enjoyed the NYT article. Thanks

  32. dog's eye view

    eprof: Good to see you writing here! Good column; haven’t followed the news too carefully this week but sure this will play out and we are not even at intermission. I am not sure the country IS in a mood to sweep the torture use, its authorization and legal justification, under the rug. We should look at this again in a week or two; am sure there will be plenty of developments.

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