SocraticGadfly: Obama sellout 1 - No war crimes trials

November 18, 2008

Obama sellout 1 - No war crimes trials

That's the word from two advisors who requested anonymity because Obama's "get out of jail free" idea isn't finalized.

First, it's "nice" to see that the politics of "change" includes playing media games the same as previous administrations, i.e. floating a pinata, seeing who takes what sort of whacks at it, and going from there.

So, if this isn't roundly knocked down, it will become official Obama administration policy.

Second, will civil liberties groups, and other more generalized liberal activist groups try to mobilize e-mails to knock this down, or will they "play nice" with Obama?

Here's the softies:
Asked this weekend during a Vermont Public Radio interview if Bush administration officials would face war crimes, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy flatly said, "In the United States, no."

"These things are not going to happen," said Leahy, D-Vt.

Robert Litt, a former top Clinton administration Justice Department prosecutor, said Obama should focus on moving forward with anti-torture policy instead of looking back.

"Both for policy and political reasons, it would not be beneficial to spend a lot of time hauling people up before Congress or before grand juries and going over what went on," Litt said at a Brookings Institution discussion about Obama's legal policy. "To as great of an extent we can say, the last eight years are over, now we can move forward — that would be beneficial both to the country and the president, politically."


What this says to the rest of the world is that, America still doesn't think its shit stinks too much, whether a half-cocked Republican or a "change" Democrat is sniffing it. It also makes some of the rest of the world wonder how much, beyond show, Obama disagrees with Bush's actions.

Here's the right answer:
Michael Ratner, a professor at Columbia Law School and president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said prosecuting Bush officials is necessary to set future anti-torture policy.

"The only way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure that those who were responsible for the torture program pay the price for it," Ratner said. "I don't see how we regain our moral stature by allowing those who were intimately involved in the torture programs to simply walk off the stage and lead lives where they are not held accountable."

Hell, for all I know, Obama made a deal with Bush last week, something like this:

I won't prosecute if you don't offer pre-emptive pardons.

And you don't know that didn't happen.

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