Saturday, April 18, 2009

Obstruction of justice at the highest level; the torturers were “just following orders”…

In modern America, the penalties for swiping a candy bar, or accidentally runnning a red light, are more severe than the penalty for killing a so-called “enemy combatant” prisoner with active torture, or by deliberately baking that prisoner to death in a shipping container in the sunny desert, should you be “ordered” to do so by your bosses. It’s also apparently perfectly OK to order others to do these acts under cover of your authority, words contrived and written by men blinded by obeisance, and then put into motion by the morally lazy (although there is some indication that Spain’s judiciary doesn’t quite agree).

President Obama has made a frightfully immoral error by declaring that we can simply move on from our torturing past, with no accountability, and that all the torturers and their bosses should escape the consequences of their willful actions done in violation of international treaties and laws (not to mention the most basic of moral standards).
Obama: “…those who carried out their duties (sic) relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice […] will not be subject to prosecution [because there is] nothing [to] be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.”
Well then, why on earth are we wasting so much “time and energy” trying to ship an 89-year old man, John (Ivan) Demjanjuk back to Munich to answer for his WWII “carrying out of his duties”? Shouldn’t we just let bygones be bygones for his long-ago past too?
Obama: “This is a time for reflection, not retribution. I respect the strong views and emotions that these issues evoke. We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history.”
Prosecution for crimes committed is not “retribution”! Do not minimize my opposition to your path as “strong views and emotions”! I am motivated only by my respect for law and my pragmatic notion that laws are meaningless when enforcement is selective, and that such enforcement selectivity creates a tyranny of the worst sort.
Obama: “Our national greatness is embedded in America’s ability to right its course in concert with our core values, and to move forward with confidence.”
NO, you have it completely WRONG! Our greatness as a nation is incumbent upon our determination to BE a nation of laws, a nation that operates under the “RULE OF LAW,” which specifically “provides that decisions should be made by the application of […] laws without the intervention of discretion in their application” (Black's Law Dictionary, 1979).

This declaration by President Obama against prosecuting for known crimes harks back to those sorriest of days of the Bush administration, when Bush cited the supposed principle of “unitary executive” power, saying in a signing statement (to McCain’s 2005 torture amendment) that he believed his own adherance to the rule of law to be optional, and that he had the right to ignore laws and treaties at will:
“The executive branch shall construe [the provision] relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President ... of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.”
James Madison wrote:
“If the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty...”
It would indeed be ironic if impeachment proceedings were brought against President Obama for the crimes committed by the Bush administration, simply because President Obama chose to “shelter” those lawbreakers from prosecution.


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