And so it begins…

January 15th, 2009

U.S. Attorney General nominee says waterboarding is torture:

Asked whether a president might have the power to immunize people against criminal charges if they employ waterboarding, viagra see which creates a drowning-like sensation, cialis canada find to obtain intelligence to use against terrorists, ailment Mr. Holder answered unambiguously: “Mr. Chairman, no one is above the law.”

So does that mean he’s going to prosecute C.I.A. officials? Dick Cheney? President Bush?

I know some of my friends on the Left think that’s exactly what should be done, but I will reiterate something I’ve been saying for a while: if an incoming administration attempts to prosecute an outgoing one for policy differences it will be the end of our Republic.

Entry Filed under: Politics

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Chad  |  January 15th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    So, are we supposed to shoot nerf guns at out enemies? Beat them with those water noodle things?

    We’ve seen video time and time again of “infidels” beheaded, and WE’RE the barbarians? Screw that…

  • 2. Nick  |  January 15th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Policy decisions… I agree with you. But I think calling this a simple policy decision is potentially going too far, in light of the fact that torture is illegal by US Code. So having a weighing of whether this is torture important, because then its not prosecution for a policy decision, but for breaking the actual law.

    And in this particular case, the reason why the nominee said it was torture was because the combination of tactics actually threatened the life of the person in detention. I think a good case that the definition of torture applies there.

    However, if you don’t want to talk about torture, I think that President Bush and the rest of the Administration could easily be prosecuted for violating the TARP law in how they handed out money to companies. I think they also broke the FISA laws. The fact that a law was passed after the fact does not forgive that they broke the law beforehand.

    @Chad… making torture illegal does not tie the hands of interrogators to get information. There is a lot of good information out there that torture, or even this other type of “coercion” is not effective at getting good actionable intelligence, and that there are many other well defined methods that don’t resort to torture which are far more effective.

  • 3. Zach W.  |  January 15th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Elliot, as one of your “friends on the Left” (at least I think I am), I’ll just say that I don’t believe that incoming administrations prosecuting outgoing administrations is a good idea, but on the other hand, I don’t think we can simply turn a blind eye to illegal behavior by an administration. No one should be above the law, and if folks aren’t held accountable for breaking the law, what message does that send?

  • 4. Elliot  |  January 15th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I’m not thrilled with the idea of giving administrations a “free pass,” Zach, but I honestly believe the implications of a new administration prosecuting the last are even worse.

    One of the things that makes our democracy unique is the peaceful passing of power from one faction to another. Prosecuting members of the previous “regime,” just gives the people in power an huge incentive to never relinquish power.

    Also, I think impeachment is a better tool to use.

    If an administration is breaking the law, impeach them. That will stop them from breaking the law when they’re actually breaking the law.

  • 5. The Asian Badger  |  January 15th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    No one is above the law unless you’re a friend of Clinton…like Marc Rich, for example.

    If they go after Bush, Cheney, then they also have to go after the Intel Committees in Congress since they knew about it, too.

  • 6. Zach W.  |  January 15th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    “No one is above the law unless you’re a friend of Clinton…like Marc Rich, for example.”

    Or unless you’re a friend of GWB, like Scooter Libby.

  • 7. Tim  |  January 15th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t think Scooter has been given that pardon yet.

    In any case, pretty lame, Steve. Most everyone pardoned did something illegal. So, in a sense their being pardoned means they are all above the law.

  • 8. The Asian Badger  |  January 16th, 2009 at 12:18 am

    You missed the point. The point being is that the Intel committees knew about it and did nothing until it became politically expedient to do so.

  • 9. Vinny  |  January 16th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    The members of the Intel committees should explain what they knew and when they knew it, but their culpability is much less than that of the people who made the decisions and carried them out.

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