Is there even one reason why this person should not be tried for all the war crimes (and other skullduggery) he was a part of? One good reason, that is.
That this person has, as of this Sunday, put himself firmly into the rat-bastards hall-of-fame is only part of what is irksome about him. The unapologetic nature with which the admissions of war crimes are made means that all the world is seeing someone who was in the executive branch, doing things that the law disallows, and getting away with it.
How can this stand?
The story from AlterNet further highlights the affront to our sensibilities that the continued bellowing of this brazen little bad guy is –
If the U.S. had a functioning criminal justice system for the powerful, former Vice President Dick Cheney would have just convicted himself with his Sunday comments.
In my piece this weekend about the DOJ launching an intellectual property task force, I stated that there were bigger fish to fry – this is one of the big fish in need of some fire.
On Sunday, Cheney pronounced himself “a big supporter of waterboarding,” a near-drowning technique that has been regarded as torture back to the Spanish Inquisition and that has long been treated by U.S. authorities as a serious war crime, such as when Japanese commanders were prosecuted for using it on American prisoners during World War II.
Cheney was unrepentant about his support for the technique. He answered with an emphatic “yes” when asked if he had opposed the Bush administration’s decision to suspend the use of waterboarding – after it was employed against three “high-value detainees” sometimes in repetitive sequences. He added that waterboarding should still be “on the table” today.
Cheney then went further. Speaking with a sense of impunity, he casually negated a key line of defense that senior Bush officials had hidden behind for years – that the brutal interrogations were approved by independent Justice Department legal experts who thus gave the administration a legitimate reason to believe the actions were within the law.
However, on Sunday, Cheney acknowledged that the White House had told the Justice Department lawyers what legal opinions to render. In other words, the opinions amounted to ordered-up lawyering to permit the administration to do whatever it wanted.
Why is this man still walking around free? Can you imagine any other person (other than ‘W’) doing this, and not being whisked off to prison? The fact that this man walks around, shooting off his mouth, with no apparent fear of prosecution or incarceration shows that there are severe problems with our government.
Where are the outcries of all the right-wing law & order advocates? Is it alright for this country to torture people from other nations, and then call “olly-olly-oxen-free” when someone tries torture on our people? How does that work out?
What about the admission that the executive branch was simply ordering the judicial branch to give “the right results”. That we all lived through this is amazing. I can remember thinking “why is no one opposing this vocally” and now I wonder if people were being “disappeared” like we used to read about when Pinochet was in power in his South American paradise.
In responding to a question about why he had so aggressively attacked President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism policies, Cheney explained that he had been concerned about the new administration prosecuting some CIA operatives who had handled the interrogations and “disbarring lawyers with the Justice Department who had helped us put those policies together. …
“I thought it was important for some senior person in the administration to stand up and defend those people who’d done what we asked them to do.”
Cheney’s comment about the Justice lawyers who had “done what we asked them to do” was an apparent reference to John Yoo and his boss, Jay Bybee, at the Office of Legal Council (OLC), a powerful agency that advises the President on the limits of his power.
In 2002, Yoo – while working closely with White House officials – drafted legal memos that permitted waterboarding and other brutal techniques by narrowly defining torture. He also authored legal opinions that asserted virtual dictatorial powers for a President during war, even one as vaguely defined as the “war on terror.” Yoo’s key memos were then signed by Bybee.
In 2003, after Yoo left to be a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Bybee was elevated to a federal appeals court judgeship in San Francisco, their successors withdrew the memos because of the sloppy scholarship. However, in 2005, President George W. Bush appointed a new acting chief of the OLC, Steven Bradbury, who restored many of the Yoo-Bybee opinions.
The article continues to elucidate more of the things perpetrated by Cheney and the Bush administration, without the least bit of remorse or perfunctory apology.
Last week, on PBS, Tavis Smiley interviewed John Yoo, now back in a collegiate setting, with no qualms about the decisions he made, or should I say was ordered to make. No apologies, no regrets from another flunky from the crew.
The article should be read in full by all who read this, and perhaps a feeling of wrongs needing to be righted will spring up from a few, and we might finally get something that used to be called justice.
I was brought up to respect, and revere the people who served this nation, but this man has done nothing but bring shame to my country, and deserves no respect, no reverence.
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