John Bolton

John Bolton

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Timing of Obama Release of Bush "Torture" Memos Now Clearer as Investigation and Prosecution of Bush Officials Looms

Foolish Obama opens Pandora's box!

Obama's selective release of Bush Administration memos which demonstrated legal grounds for enhanced interrogation of a handful of Al Queda terrorists guilty of mass murder of American citizens raised eyebrows for the risk it posed by informing future terrorists of our interrogation methods.

But now, we learn that the timing of this release may have more to do with left wing partisan demands for Bush Administration officials to be prosecuted:
Senior Bush figures could be prosecuted for torture, says Obama
President says use of waterboarding showed US had 'lost moral bearings' as Dick Cheney says CIA memos showed torture delivered 'good' intelligence
By Ewan MacAskill and Robert Booth,
Tuesday 21 April 2009

Senior members of the Bush administration who approved the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation measures could face prosecution, President Obama disclosed today .

He said the use of torture reflected America "losing our moral bearings".

He said his attorney general, Eric Holder, was conducting an investigation and the decision rested with him. Obama last week ruled out prosecution of CIA agents who carried out the interrogation of suspected al-Qaida members at Guantánamo and secret prisons around the world.

But for the first time today he opened up the possibility that those in the administration who gave the go-ahead for the use of waterboarding could be prosecuted.
Obama, taking questions from the press during a visit by King Abdullah of Jordan, reiterated he did not believe in prosecution of those CIA agents who carried out the interrogations within the guidelines set down for them. But "with respect to sho[w] who formulated'' the policies, "that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws". He added: "I don't want to prejudge that."

He also opened the way for a Congressional inquiry into the issue.
At a private meeting with 50 rank-and-file CIA members at their headquarters in Langley, Virginia, before his speech, Obama heard "understandable anxiety and concern" from agents fearful of prosecution.

The CIA's director during the Bush administration, Michael Hayden, who criticised the release of the memos, warned on Sunday that agents could be vulnerable because of the memos, facing civil lawsuits or congressional inquiries.
Readers will recall how Democrats excoriated the Bush Administration for their failure to "connect the dots" which might have prevented the September 11th attacks. Yet now, Democrats are doing everything they can to handcuff the very people responsible for preventing another attack.

By criminalizing the actions of his predecessor, Obama sets a dangerous precedent. Are we now to expect that after every change in Administration a politically motivated prosecutorial witch hunt will be launched to punish outgoing officials? Does Obama even understand the negative consequences of that for our democratic system of government? How would liberals feel if we began prosecuting them?

If we are attacked again on Obama's watch the first question we need to ask is how did Obama's reckless political witch hunt of successful Bush Administration efforts to protect us contribute to our failure to protect ourselves?

Just for laughs: Will we also be investigating or prosecuting Democrats who were clearly informed about enhanced interrogations and may have urged harsher measures?

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