Monday, January 26, 2009

Will the Senate Investigate the Bush Admin For War Crimes?

As President Barack Obama reverses some of ex-President George W. Bush’s most controversial “war on terror” policies, a consensus seems to be building among Democratic congressional leaders that further investigations are needed into Bush’s use of torture and other potential crimes.

On Wednesday – the first working day of the Obama administration – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would support funding and staff for additional fact-finding by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which last month released a report of alleged abuses of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib to Bush’s Feb. 7, 2002, decision to exclude terror suspects from Geneva Convention protections.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, who issued that report, echoed Reid’s comments, saying “there needs to be an accounting of torture in this country.” Levin, D-Michigan, also said he intends to encourage the Justice Department and incoming Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate torture practices that took place while Bush was in office.

Two other key Democrats joined in this growing chorus of lawmakers saying that serious investigations should be conducted.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, a former federal prosecutor and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a floor speech, “As the President looks forward and charts a new course, must someone not also look back, to take an accounting of where we are, what was done, and what must now be repaired.”

Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland told reporters: "Looking at what has been done is necessary.”

On Jan. 18, two days before Obama’s inauguration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed support for House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers’s plan to create a blue-ribbon panel of outside experts to probe the “broad range” of policies pursued by the Bush administration “under claims of unreviewable war powers.”

The truth is that the allegations made against the Administration reflects a difference of opinion in policy matters.  Democrats have thus far been unable to make a legitimate argument or present credible evidence of any real violation of the Constitution or any law.  

What this really boils down to is that the Democrats want to prosecute the Bush administration because...

1.  Bush left with a low approval rating, therefore the Democrats think they can get away with it.

2.  Democrats want to deflect the attention away from the recent myriad of scandals involving other Democrats and try to drag down the Republican party as much as possible.

If they are successful, the Democrats will have succeeded in doing what they have really been trying to do for ... well, at least for most of my life on this planet:  and that is destroy Democracy and the American political system.

If a previous administration can go to jail because of matters of policy, then our government by the people and for the people is over.  If this goes forward, then every time a Republican is elected to the Oval Office, he has to worry about whether he and his team (or she and her team ... Vote Palin!) will end up going to jail four (or eight) years later because the Democrats might be in power in congress and have enough votes to do whatever it is they want to do.  

On the other hand, if Obama really screws up the economy (which is looking more and more like a possibility every day), and he gets voted out along with all the Democrats in congress four (or eight) years from now, how would the Democrats like it if a new Republican congress sent all of them to Jail for violations of the Constitution? 


Gavin March 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM  

This argument does not actually make any sense. Are you saying for example if Obama runs the country into the ground and passes totally unconstitutional laws, when he is out of office you believe he should just be let go free?? Only because he was president?? Surely that is crazy.

Surely he is a public servant and if he breaks the law he should be punished just like the man on the street, as should Bush for that matter. You cant expect to ruin peoples live and just get away with it.

James Wolfer March 10, 2009 at 7:08 PM  

Three words: John Yoo Memos.

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