Cheney’s Disdain For The Law Is Appalling

When Attorney General Eric Holder last month announced he was naming a special prosecutor to determine if CIA personnel had violated federal laws against torturing prisoners during the prior administration of George W. Bush, former Vice President Cheney went ballistic.  Even though Holder made clear the reach of the special prosecutor’s jurisdiction would extend only to those who had exceeded even the broad legal “justification” for torture provided by lawyers in the Bush Justice Department, Cheney found Holder’s move outrageous.

Obviously, Cheney believes that so long as violations of federal law were committed by persons in a previous administration, the perpetrators should be forever thereafter immune from being held accountable for their offenses.  To even suggest otherwise apparently strikes the former vice president as a purely “political move,” for which “there’s no other rationale,” according to Cheney.

Evidently, Cheney has never read of, or has long forgotten the fact that — as noted for, example, by our nation’s very first vice president, John Adams – ours is a ”government of laws, and not of men.”  To our immediate past vice president, such sentiments represent nothing more than “partisan politics.”  Thankfully, our current attorney general agrees with Mr. Adams.

109 comments Add your comment

Mony

September 9th, 2009
6:50 am

Thought’s like this are the reason you are writing in the AJC rather than representing us in the US Congress.

James M. Henderson, Sr.

September 9th, 2009
6:51 am

The problem with Eric Holder’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor goes beyond any perception that Cheney is having a petulant fit of pique. Rather, it is the use of the power of the government by a politically appointed officer of it, to service a special needs population: far left whackos. Such approaches serve political ends only. Holder’s actions undermine the certainty of decisions made by career officials, too.

bull-gator

September 9th, 2009
6:55 am

Well now, aren’t you the pious one Mr. Barr. Have you renewed your membership in the ACLU for this year? Do you get paid to write this drivel? Amazing…

blackbird13

September 9th, 2009
7:03 am

“Such approaches serve political ends only. Holder’s actions undermine the certainty of decisions made by career officials, too.”

What nonsense sir. It is their actions that undermine the laws of this country. Choosing to investigate lawbreakers may be politically motivated to the nth degree, but it doesn’t change the fact that the previous administration broke the law on numerous occasions.

Dave R.

September 9th, 2009
7:04 am

Normally, Bob, I would agree with your basic premise.

However, with the actions of this Justice Dept. under Hope & Change and Holder, this smacks of a political witch-hunt brought on by low poll numbers, especially since this was already investigated and acted upon in the previous administration.

MAL

September 9th, 2009
7:04 am

Go get em, Bob. Keep on speaking your mind and telling it like it is, not like the Bush apologists want it to be.

Remember, those who are afraid of the truth will always be outraged at those who seek the truth.

lees

September 9th, 2009
7:05 am

Law Standard

September 9th, 2009
7:06 am

Holder’s appointment of a special prosecutor may have been justified legally, but clearly was political. It’s called “retribution.”

David

September 9th, 2009
7:13 am

Politically motivated or not, if the law was broken those involved need to be punished to ensure it never happens again. The “soft on crime” apologists posting here obviously believe torture committed in the name of the American people is OK if it’s done by somebody with an (R) after their name (but lying about sex is the worst sin imaginable and an impeachable offense if you happen to have a (D) after your name).

jt

September 9th, 2009
7:15 am

I suppose our own Americans just aren’t good enough for recognition. Abu Graib is what you get when you “normalize” torture in your own backyard.

In a national study by Hayes and Rowan in 1988 of 401 suicides that took place in U.S. jails in 1986 — one of the largest studies of its kind — two out of every three people who committed suicide were being held in a control unit. In one year, 2005, a record 44 prisoners killed themselves in California prisons alone; 70 percent of those suicides occurred in segregation units (Thompson 2006).

From 1995 to 2000, the daily count of people in disciplinary segregation increased 68 percent – a rate of growth more than double that of the prison population overall. Some 80,000 people were confined in lockups, only a fraction of all those in high-security control units or supermax prisons (BJS 1998, BJS 2004).

In the words of prison chaplain Sister Antonia Maguire, prisoners are treated like “animals, without souls, who deserve whatever they get.”

Endless stories of “appalling, sadistic treatment inside America’s own prisons” were uncovered during a four-month investigation, culminating in a video report titled “Torture Inc.: America’s Brutal Prisons,” produced for BBC Channel 4 last spring. “Abu Ghraib … was simply the export of the worst practices that take place in the domestic prison system all the time.”

Dave

September 9th, 2009
7:18 am

The problem with some of you right wing nut jobs is the abuses you will defend for Cheney will later be railed against when a Democrat thinks the divine right of the president is established law. Some of you would be very happy having Putin of Russia run our government so long as he was against abortion and believed in keeping taxes low. Some of you don’t really understand what America’s founding fathers fought to give us. In your mind if King George of Britian had the right core values as George Bush no doubt you would have been a loyalist to the king of that I have no doubt..

clyde

September 9th, 2009
7:19 am

The Republicans pulled a fast one when they put Dick Cheney on the ticket.We all knew it then and we all know it now.The fault lies with the voters.

hop

September 9th, 2009
7:20 am

8 years of protecting our country and this administration seeks to destroy the fine men and woman in the CIA for doing their job.

I regret that I ever voted for you and how your comments today do nothing but strengthen the forces of our enemies.

how far you have fallen mr. barr!

Rod

September 9th, 2009
7:21 am

I just heard that Cheney has invited Eric Holder to go hunting with him.

Richard

September 9th, 2009
7:24 am

hop — 8 years of protecting our country? How about 8 years of driving the economy into the ground. For his last two years in office, as the economy was tanking, Bush denied that there was a resession EVERY DAY. That denial is why he didn’t do anything to stop it, and now we’re all paying for it (except Bush who’s relaxing on his ranch).

The CIA (and Cheney) tortured and killed people to get information. This country is not about being savages – we’re better than that. Anyone who kills and tortures should be punished. ANYONE.

Dan

September 9th, 2009
7:31 am

As long as torture is defined as something akin to pulling out fingernails or electrodes on genitals I am ok with it. If someone get prosecuted for depriving someone of sleep or putting a catepillar in their cage (things previously shown to outrage the left) then I have a problem

Chuck

September 9th, 2009
7:35 am

This column is dead on. The door has to swing both ways – right and left – hopefully to stop in the center. The nonsense of this country’s division between Republican and Democrat, right and wrong, right and left, will serve no one’s purpose. We must find common ground.

Vickers

September 9th, 2009
7:39 am

Richard is right. Cheney believes that the President and VP have the right to ignore the laws. According to darth vader, the only thing Nixon did wrong was to not have plausible deniability when he broke the law.

Facts Please

September 9th, 2009
7:39 am

Lets not bother with Cheney and get to more important things like lets check out why Obama gave up top secrets to his enemy friends. Why hes appointing zars who have criminal pasts and radical motives. Then lets take one step further and investigate Nancy Pelosi and her hiding of facts given by the CIA and her out right lying to save her skin. Lets put the investigation where it belongs, with this current administration who are trying to turn this country into something that not even the Commys want. Lets start with the people who are in power now and got there by deceipt and ACORN fraud.

Who?

September 9th, 2009
7:40 am

It’s no wonder you were booted out of office Mr. Barr.

Nobody reads long posts

September 9th, 2009
7:43 am

Torture is whatever you wouldn’t do to somebody holding your loved one hostage.

Obama and Holder prefer to torture the taxpayers and tickle the terrorists.

All I'm Saying Is...

September 9th, 2009
7:45 am

Keep telling the truth, Bob! Cheney would have done well as a dictator because he totally believes all of his actions are beyond reproach.

GOD BLESS THE USA!

john

September 9th, 2009
7:47 am

Oh will you people get over yourselves! So if someone murders a person, we should say oh well it happened 4 years ago. We have laws for a reason even if you like them or not. All of you cry foul but yet Bush and Cheney were elected twice.

However politically motivated this is, if they broke the law they need to be punished. Our country is set to a higher set of standards. I personally feel that the people who should be prosecuted in reality will not be. There will be scapegoats and lower level people. What is maddening the most is all the Congress members acting as if they didn’t know about most of this. Please they are just covering themselves.

metoo

September 9th, 2009
7:53 am

If he has nothing to hide then what the worry?

Vickers

September 9th, 2009
7:53 am

The problem with Holder’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor is that he should be going after those who wrote the legal opinions and those who gave the orders to torture (Cheney).

Trudy

September 9th, 2009
8:00 am

Cheney belongs behind bars

BigVern

September 9th, 2009
8:05 am

Bob you continue to be a joke…you’re totally worthless.

kitty

September 9th, 2009
8:07 am

I love how the GOP had no problem spending 60 million to prosecute Clinton for lying about a sex act, but seem to have problems with the previous GOP administration being investigated for breaking the law. I wasnt’ aware two types of law exist…one for Democrats and another for Republicans. Of course, I have always suspected the GOP was just jealous of Clinton getting some…seems many of their group has made up for it since then, huh? :)

TrickyDickie

September 9th, 2009
8:07 am

I am above the law. Get me another puppet like “W” and I will rise again!

Bob from Dahlonega

September 9th, 2009
8:17 am

Cheney should e allowed to do whatever he wants to keep us free. This is reverse racism and politically motivated by Obama and his black panther cronies.
I want america to be safe no matter what. If it means torturing every arab or muslim on the face of the earth I do not care. God is on the conservatives side and wants us to defend ourselves against islam.
David hit goliath with a rock so why not put a hot poker up some arabs A-hole if it will keep us free.

You liberals disgust me

neo-Carlinist

September 9th, 2009
8:18 am

“hop” what are you smoking? Cheney was the first to throw the CIA under the bus when he cited flawed intelligence as the impetus for the invasion of Iraq. he also (via his henchman Scooter Libby) threw a CIA field agent (Valerie Plame) under the bus when her husband wrote an editorial that questioned the decision to invade Iraq. Cheney does not give rat’s behind about the dedicated, patriotic and professional members of the U.S. intelligence community. He repeatedly badgered CIA analysts and officers for the intelligence he wanted (link al Qeda to Saddam to 9/11) and when they couldn’t pull that rabbit out of the hat, he went to war anyway. Of course, it’s less of a stretch to “link” Cheney to Haliburton and big oil (the true beneficiaries of the invasion/occupation of Iraq). Cheney should be charged, tried and imprisoned for his unlawful behavior, couched as patriotism.

Buzzsaw of Truth

September 9th, 2009
8:18 am

On the few occasions when I have been in personal contact with Mr. Barr, he appeared dour in the extreme –an impression confirmed by numerous others.

But even if he is perpetually cranky, he has the courage of his convictions. If he perceives a wrong, he goes after its source, whether it be the right, the left, or the middle. Though I often disagree with him, I respect his opinion. And to claim that he has somehow become a closet liberal is just silly.

proffish

September 9th, 2009
8:18 am

Thanks for a return to the good old days when conservative meant less intrusive government and personal freedoms. I can’t imagine anything more intrusive and less free than torture.

NecUga

September 9th, 2009
8:19 am

Touche’ Mr. Barr. RW nuts don’t want the truth, just partisanship.
I’m a conservative.

Battling Morons

September 9th, 2009
8:19 am

Seems all of you suffering from bad cases of “Bush/Cheney Derangement Syndrome”, can’t seem to get it through your head because of your hate…If Bush/Cheney committed all these “acts” and “crimes”, where IS the PROOF? You keep saying the same, tired, talking points from the Daily Kooks, Huffington Post, etc. If they did all you claim, surely your fellow Dems and Libs have this so-called “proof”, right?
If they do have all this “proof”, are they, too, guilty, by withholding all this info???

Davo

September 9th, 2009
8:20 am

Let’s be honest, BB…unless there is a video of Cheney actually eating small babies, Obama will never prosecute him. He wants the same freedom to subvert the Constitution as Dick got.

Mony is Right

September 9th, 2009
8:21 am

Barr needs to go back to sleep….

thik about it

September 9th, 2009
8:21 am

We live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Those men have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the prisoners taken from the battlefield and curse the Marines; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what these men know: that the manupilation of these people, while tragic, probably saved lives and that the act of war, while grotesque, profane and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you know that men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. These men use words like honor, code, loyalty. They use them as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. It discusts me when people like you demand explanations because I have no inclination to explain to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that is provided and then questions the manner in which It is provided. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way.

The works of Aaron Sorkin and George Orwell were mirrored in these paragraphs.

Buzzsaw of Truth

September 9th, 2009
8:24 am

Oh, and “Bob from Dahlonega” …Great satire!! You almost make it seem believable that someone with an IQ above 70 (and who was not a sociopath) could seriously believe such drivel.

Joyce

September 9th, 2009
8:26 am

This is one time I completely agree with Bob Barr. I think Cheney always thought he was above the law when he was VP. He stinks to high heaven with his “values.” “Me thinks he doth protest too much.” I have always thought he was not a patriot, but a traitor and I do believe he was the one who thought of and directed Scooter to carry out, the expose’ of the CIA agent. What good American would go so far as to blow the cover of one of our most valuable tools toward security in this country? None other than a man who was not used to being exposed for what he really is. He had been at the top of Haliburton so long that he thought he was God and could do no wrong. And, we the people of the United States of America, well…according to him, “let them eat cake.”

BR549

September 9th, 2009
8:27 am

Bob from Dahlonega, God is on the conservatives side?

Stephen

September 9th, 2009
8:29 am

Seeking to find out whether a person broke the law then bring them to trial is apparently now called “retribution”. Whatever happened to justice, much less the rule of law? Allowing a government–any government–to break laws with impunity will serve only to bring those laws, and the rule of law in general, into contempt at the highest levels. It will make laws seem the kind of things only little people need obey. Those in a position to ignore them, or who have friends in a position to allow them ignore them (as arguably happened in Iraq with Blackwater), will be free to do whatever they wish. Not only is that kind of “freedom” easily abused, it is also the kind that can just as easily be turned against Americans themselves.

william gardner

September 9th, 2009
8:30 am

I shake my head in disbelief and sorrow at the lenghts that people will go to defend the previous administration.

James Murphey

September 9th, 2009
8:39 am

America is in a financial crisis, Deeply in debt after all the wars Bush and Cheney started and capitalized on. Why all the talk about investigating and prosecuting, which will cost American taxpayers EVEN MORE MONEY. BUT we COULD put “Dick” Cheney & friends up for bid on Ebay and see what international “group” would pay the most for them. My baby need new shoes, health insurance and extra gas money. Cheney advocated to the oil industy before he took office that no new U.S. refineries be built in order to keep fuel prices high (suppy and demand). then the TOP SECRET meeting he held with the nation’s energy suppliers shortly after taking office. Years later the energy companies posted RECORD profits. If the DEVIL himself announced his retirement, Cheney would be the first to apply for the job.

Chicken farmer

September 9th, 2009
8:43 am

The divisivness we continue to perpetrate against one another has reached intolerable levels in our great country. If we don’t give up the hate for our fellow countrymen simply because they don’t share our beliefs, I am fearful of a tremendous implosion. A house divided will fail as Lincoln commented and it appears we become more tallowed to the extreme left and right on a daily basis. We are a country of laws, period! That we fail to recognize this fact and turn a blind eye to justice regardless of the ones who disregard these laws will, in the end, undermine our existance as the greatest country in the entire world. Our two party system is supposed to cater to our masses, but our differences should be minimal and toward the middle as defined by the laws of our land. Everyone is counted on to follow the law regardless of political persuasion. The extreme element on both sides of the isle is taking control of our fabric and minds. Let’s not continue to be the sheep of these extremists however and let’s put our country and our politics back on track closer to the middle of the road, following the laws intent on making we as citizens and our country THE country and government that our founding fathers meant for it to be. The HATE has to be put aside……………….

3rd Party Guy

September 9th, 2009
8:44 am

“He wants the same freedom to subvert the Constitution as Dick got.”

AMEN, Davo, AMEN.

[...] Cheney’s Disdain For The Law Is Appalling [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] [...]

Peter

September 9th, 2009
9:10 am

The New World Order will hopefully never take place. The Few Rich that want to rule the world with Hitler type tactics hopefully will be shown for what they really are !

After the “made up War in Iraq” the 9/11 crises………. when Bush and Cheney didn’t protect American’s, and the systematic Bilking of America…………we find ourselves behind the 8 ball as a country.

Hopefully someday the REAL TRUTH will come out………the creation of all the madness by the Bush Administration, to make a few very rich, and the Self Appointed Very Powerful, even more controlling !

I look forward to the DAY… “Dark Vadder” is discovered for what he is……..no different than his role in the “Good Old Days of President Reagan”, a team that brought Piss on you Economics, the Iran Contra Affair….and finally……..a BIG stomp on the US Constitution.

Poor Jim Whooten is probably puking up his coffee after reading this………But hey for a guy who is just a Pawn, it serves him well !

Peter

September 9th, 2009
9:13 am

Bush and Cheney defending America ? HA HA HA…….. HA HA HA………… HA HA HA…….

9 / 11 Never forget what your leaders are capable of !

reader110

September 9th, 2009
9:20 am

Cheney belongs in jail.

Tall

September 9th, 2009
9:36 am

The terrorists that were captured on the battlefield were acting outside of any soveriegn laws. They are not entitled to the Geneva Conventions, either. Therefore, they are not entiltled to U.S. habeus corpus. There is no need for this witch hunt. Perhaps we should take a look at the play book of Mossad.

Jim Callihan

September 9th, 2009
9:54 am

Guess what America? We’ve been PUNKED!

Connect the dots – all beginning from “GHW”. His help in creating the young charismatic Governor from Arkansas – complete with a college law tutelage under “conservative” corporatist guardian, Robert Bork. The hiring and training of Dick in the CIA, brought into the Reagan Administration as “shadow muscle”. The same man who called the shots then has never been removed from power.

All through the years, Dick has been the good, loyal soldier – a deeply darkened narcissist whose only quality is loyalty. The entire public display of “Cheney vs Obama Cabinet” is fit for the WWE – and ticket sales have never been greater.

“Barry” is the “new Dick”, but the boss has not been removed. The world is lining up against the corrupt and the hand-picked money team of “Bernanke-Geithner”, which will soon fold like a cheap tent. Hell…even Barnie Frank is now calling for a Federal Reserve audit.

I suspect that Barry will be removed soon, as he will save his own skin rather than hide/cover the dirty deeds of “Prince Machiavelli” – CIA mastermind and evil incarnate.

All hell is about to break loose – meet your next POTUS, Joe Biden. Tick-tock…

Paraguay has no extradition agreement with the US. History always repeats itself. Remember when the WWII war criminals fled to South America?

Bush=Clinton=Bush=Obama=UN/NWO.

Senator Shameless was overheard telling a major conservative donor in the 9th CD last election – “It’s complicated”.

Well…not really. “Insisto viaticus” (”follow the money”).

And there is NO MONEY like global arms money…

WAKE UP!!!

Rusty Shackleford

September 9th, 2009
10:00 am

Since losing his re-election bid, Barr has struggled to find relevance. He feels he wasn’t supported by the Republican leadership and is a relegated to a life of pot shots, with no ideological basis.

Final note-anyone ever hear Bob Barr’s (short lived) radio show? It was without question the worst-

jconservative

September 9th, 2009
10:03 am

Cheney’s problem is not a fundamental disregard for the rule of law.
His problem is that 9/11 happened on his watch while his administration was concerned only with an “anti-missile missile”.
They just took their eye off the Al Qaeda ball despite warnings from the Clinton national security team. After 9/11 his determination was never again. And he made sure it never happened again. If that meant bending or breaking the law, so be it. And he believes they were successful & he believes that the motive should trump the actual facts.

That is my understanding of Cheney from lot of reading. And I agree with him 100%.

vince neil

September 9th, 2009
10:08 am

a wretched opinion in a worse publication!

reservoirDAWG

September 9th, 2009
10:52 am

People, please learn how to spell and use proper grammer.

clyde

September 9th, 2009
11:04 am

Peter,
Are you really that crazy????

R Webster

September 9th, 2009
11:14 am

Cheney deserves to be treated the same way he wants to treat others.

Chris Broe

September 9th, 2009
11:33 am

I dispise Cheney, sure, that’s no secret. I consider him a traitor for belaying Bush’s 2002 order to attack OBL when the CIA had him corralled. Cheney knew that America would not support an Iraq War if Osama Bin Laden was dead or captured, his Al Queda thug-army destroyed. America would have wanted the troops to come home to a ticker tape 911 rememberance parade. No Iraq War.

The moot technical fine points in this torture debate are simply running interference for a traitor, and Bob Barr is out front, looking to block truth and justice so a scoundrel can get clean away, (the dirty rat).

If Mr Barr thinks he’s fooling anyone with this half-partisan beach-slapping of Cheney, then he should know the truth about his journalistic style as well as his political intuition.

Which of us has the heart to tell him?

Also: Notice how the AJC Blogs all follow my lead?

Stu

September 9th, 2009
11:34 am

Get it straight people. THEY ALL SUCK. This county could use a lot less of this so-called leadership. It’s damm near good as gone with the fiscal nightmare that “our leadership” has created. It was a nice run but the empire is ending and so is American hegemony and your cozy life styles with it. Bread and milk and gas are gonna be dammed expensive in a couple years. Will your wages keep up? Health care won’t matter so much then. Kind of like being a bum. Priorities and such.

Sunshine and Thunder

September 9th, 2009
11:37 am

Investigate the CIA for sleep deprivation, loud music, waterboarding? None of these is life threatening – just uncomfortable. If this isnt’ politically motivated I’m Elvis Presley.

GEORGE AMERICAN

September 9th, 2009
11:42 am

GO AHEAD. PILE ON DICK CHENEY – ONE OF THE FEW AMERICANS WILLING TO STAND UP TO THE TERRORISTS.

OBARMA DOESN’T HAVE THE GUTS TO TAKE ON THE TERRORIST – SOCIALISTS RARELY DO!!!

Paul

September 9th, 2009
12:02 pm

Ahhh, the lovely smell of politics and pointed fingers in the afternoon – how refreshing! If I disagree with you, your life and all that has touched it surely must suck. Anyway, if we turn our backs on torture we lower ourselves to become more like the enemies that we despise so very much, not to mention giving them additional cause to blow us up. The best things that ever furthered Bin Laden’s cause were the blunderings of Bush Junior (note that Senior was at least sharp enough not to march into Baghdad). If there was no wrongdoing, nobody would have anything to worry about, and if there was, those responsible should be expected to face the music. That pesky Constitution cuts both ways.

DAVID

September 9th, 2009
12:03 pm

BARR has gone the way of Bookman……………too liberal….

Birther or Bust

September 9th, 2009
12:07 pm

Sorry Bob, Cheney is a GREAT American! I wish the pod people that took the Bob Barr from the 1990’s, that I respected, would bring him back.

Jason C

September 9th, 2009
12:14 pm

Some of these comments about a politically motivated AG is hilarious to me considering AG Gonzales, under the direction of Rove / Cheney, had several federal attorneys fired because they didn’t want to move forward on cases that would have supported the Republican party.

I personally would prefer a politically neutral AG, but if an AG can be Republican leaning, why can’t there be an AG that’s democratic leaning. Then at least the net effect would be a neutral AG over time.

GAPeach

September 9th, 2009
12:14 pm

Thanks you, Mr. Barr for stepping up and acknowledging that Cheney is willing to break the laws of our country and shows no regret for his support of torture. Chicken farmer, I totally agree with you. The anger and vitriol spewed by the far right and far left have really hurt the United States. Shame on us, America, let’s get our act together.

DFWMediaWatcher

September 9th, 2009
12:19 pm

I’m amazed that you people still have the audacity to defend Dick Cheney and George W. after they broke just about every law they could. All of you hollering “wake up” should wake yourselves up.

The lawbreakers are gone and they are hoping like hell they don’t get caught for their 8 years of lawlessness.

I say hang ‘em up and tar-and-feather ‘em. I’ll get the rope!

DcDandy

September 9th, 2009
12:20 pm

Mr. Barr, what were opinions back when you worked for the CIA? Would you have supported doing everything available to support and defend?

CJ

September 9th, 2009
12:25 pm

George American @ 11:42 – Cheney is one of the few Americans willing to stand up to the terrorists? BS! He stood up to Iraq – who did not attack our country and who did not have WMD’s. They had OIL … lush, yummy, rich oil to fatten his pockets.

And, the millions of troops, families and friends are all willing to stand up to the terrorists, thank you very much!

My Own Two Cents

September 9th, 2009
12:32 pm

For Law Standard:

Retribution: to return in kind.

I don’t think Obama was ever investigated by Dick Cheney. “Retribution” would be if one of Cheney’s victims sought vengence.

I also have one unrelated thought to add.

If nothing is done there will be legal precedent for our government to torture people. Notice I didn’t put any labels on that, just people. Where do you suppose it will stop?

You’re not afraid of that? Think about relatives and loved ones beset upon by an unfriendly future administration.

This should only be done to terrorists? What’s the legal definition of terrorist? Who’s to say what that is? The President? This President, too? A future President with views that we can only imagine?

This is very personal for me. My daughter wasn’t born in this country. The way things stand now one day she can be arrested without warrant or cause, held indefinitely, and “questioned using enhanced interragation techniques”. All this can someday be done because of something as damning as where she was born.

I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s not America.

Jefferson

September 9th, 2009
12:36 pm

I hope Carl Rove is his buddymate when they get to the “pokey”

carly

September 9th, 2009
12:40 pm

It is time for Cheney to face the music. It is amazing the damage this man has done. I am sure there is much more we still don’t know about. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Vickers

September 9th, 2009
12:48 pm

Ah, I love the smell of napalm in the morning!
Darth Cheney deserves to be prosecuted on several accounts: Ordering the CIA to torture, outing a CIA agent and fabricating evidence to start an unjustified war, to name a few. Oh, and don’t forget the illegal wiretapping of Americans. He’s been the most damaging VP in US history and made out like a bandit on his Halliburton stock.

NetBanker

September 9th, 2009
2:38 pm

“God is on the conservatives side and wants us to defend ourselves against islam. David hit goliath with a rock so why not put a hot poker up some arabs A-hole if it will keep us free.” BAHAHAHAHAHA! God is conservative? The same God who gave us Jesus who was the biggest liberal rabble rouser of his time? The God of Love? The one who sent His Son to teach us to turn the other check and to love thy enemy? THAT GOD?! Honestly though, what is even more scary is that there are people who really seem to believe that our country was created (or given to us) by God and that God is on OUR side. I guess these people don’t realize that the God of Islam is the same God of Christianity (Islam is to Christianity as Christianity is to Judaism). So Christian God beating Islamic God is God beating Himself up.

On the topic though…I see it’s all partisan all the way on the conservative side. I agree that there should be an investigation to determine if laws were broken and if they were those who broke them should be punished. Sadly I hold no hope that those who provided the rationale and gave the orders will actually be held accountable…kind of like the soldiers at Abu Ghraib being punished, but no one higher up taking any real heat.

afternoontea

September 9th, 2009
2:45 pm

the reach of the special prosecutor’s jurisdiction would extend only to those who had exceeded even the broad legal “justification” for torture provided by lawyers in the Bush Justice Department, Cheney found Holder’s move outrageous……..SO WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS , JUSTIFICATION FOR TORTURE PROVIDED BY LAWYERS, IS LEGAL, THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED AND INDEED A VIOLATION ON EVERY LAW OF CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS, IF HOLDER ONLY PROSECUTES A FEW BAD APPLES , IM AFFRAID AMERICA WILL ALWAYS BE SUBJECT TO BEING ATTACK BY TERRORIST, EVEN YOUR ALLIES AS IN MY OWN COUNTRY ENGLAND JUST DONT TRUST AMERICA ANYMORE, 60 YEARS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND AMERICA ABUSED THIS MORAL AND LEGAL LAWS TO ITS FULLEST, NOW AMERICA NEEDS TO DECIED IF IT IS PART OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD, OR NOT ?

Jackie

September 9th, 2009
2:53 pm

If Bush, Cheyney, Ashcroft, Rove, Yoo, Addington, Fife, Libby, Gonzalez, Tenet, Hayden and others in that gang on criminals were obligated to protect and defend us from all enemies, foreign and domestic, who can we name that should PROTECT US FROM THEM?

afternoontea

September 9th, 2009
2:53 pm

Enter your comments hereGodwin’s Law be damned–it’s impossible to read the newly released CIA report on the torture of Muslim prisoners without thinking of the Third Reich.

Sadism exists in every culture. A century ago, for example, Western adventurers who visited Tibet reported that the authorities in Lhasa, that supposed capital of pacifism, publicly gouged out criminals’ eyes and yanked out their tongues. But Nazi atrocities were stylistically distinct from, say, the Turkish genocide of the Armenians or the Rwandan massacres of the early 1990s. German war crimes were characterized by methodical precision, the application of “rational” technology to increase efficiency, the veneer of legality and the perversion of medical science.

Nazi crimes were also marked by public indifference, which amounted to tacit support. Here and now, only 25 percent of Americans told the latest Pew Research poll that they believe torture is always wrong.

“The CIA’s secret interrogation program operated under strict rules, and the rules were dictated from Washington with the painstaking, eye-glazing detail beloved by any bureaucracy,” observed The New York Times. We have much in common with the Germans.

“In July 2002,” the declassified report reveals, a CIA officer “reportedly used a ‘pressure point’ technique: with both of his hands on the detainee’s neck, [he] manipulated his fingers to restrict the detainee’s carotid artery.” Another agent “watched his eyes to the point that the detainee would nod and start to pass out; then … shook the detainee to wake him. This process was repeated for a total of three applications on the detainee.”

The CIA’s rinse-lather-repeat approach to torture is reminiscent of Dr. Sigmund Rascher’s experiments at Dachau and a parallel project conducted by the Japanese Imperial Army’s infamous Unit 731 in occupied Manchuria in 1942-43. Rascher, who was tried for war crimes after World War II, froze or lashed detainees nearly to death, then revived them over and over. German and Japanese doctors developed detailed protocols governing the severity of exposure to which inmates could be subjected–protocols seized by U.S. occupation forces and turned over to the OSS, predecessor of the CIA.

So it was in the CIA’s prisons at Guantanamo, Bagram, Diego Garcia, Eastern Europe, Thailand and elsewhere.

(Or, to be more accurate, so it is. George W. Bush publicly banned torture in 2006, but we know it was still going on as of 2007. President Barack Obama supposedly banned it again earlier this year, but then his CIA director Leon Panetta told Congress the agency reserves the right to keep doing it. Until the entire secret prison network is dismantled and every single prisoner released, it would be absurd to assume that torture is not continuing.)

Among the verbal treasures in the CIA papers is the “Water Dousing” section of the “Guidelines on Medical and Psychological Support to Detainee Rendition, Interrogation and Detention,” which “allow for water to be applied using either a hose connected to tap water, or a bottle or similar container as the water source.” Ah, the glorious war on terror. Detainees may be soaked in water as cold as 41 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as 20 minutes­–no longer, no colder.

For the record, the CIA’s medical expertise is about as reliable as its legal and moral sense. Forty-one degrees is bracingly cold; 41 was the temperature of the Hudson River when US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into it earlier this year. (Remember the ice floes?) “Generally, a person can survive in 41-degree water for 10, 15 or 20 minutes,” Dr. Christopher McStay, an emergency room physician at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital told Scientific American magazine.

Like its Gestapo and SS antecedents, the CIA is highly bureaucratic. CIA employees were informed that “advance headquarters approval is required to use any physical pressures [against prisoners].” And those permissions came from the very top of the chain of command: the White House, which ordered the Office of Legal Counsel and other legal branches of the federal government to draft “CYA” memoranda. The memos, wrote Joshua L. Dratel in his introduction to “The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib,” a compilation of memos authorizing torture of Muslim detainees, reflect “a wholly result-oriented system in which policy makers start with an objective and work backward.”

Also reminiscent of Nazism is the utter absence of firewalls that has come to characterize the behavior of top government officials. Totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany corrupt the judiciary by using the courts to carry out political policy. Beginning under Bush and now under Obama, judicial independence has been eradicated.

On Aug. 28, The New York Times reported: “In July, Leon E. Panetta, the CIA director, tried to head off the investigation [of the CIA's torture program], administration officials said. He sent the CIA’s top lawyer, Stephen W. Preston, to [the Department of] Justice to persuade aides to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. to abandon any plans for an inquiry.” There’s a term for this: obstruction of justice. You’re not supposed to try to influence the outcome of an investigation. It was count six of the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon.

To Holder’s credit, he has appointed a special prosecutor. To his discredit, the focus of the investigation is narrow: He will only go after officials who went beyond the Bush administration’s over-the-top torture directives (which allow, as seen above, freezing people to death). He does not plan to go after the worst criminals, who are the Bush administration lawyers and officials, including Bush and Dick Cheney themselves, who ordered the war crimes–much less those like Obama who are currently covering them up.

He should change his mind. While he’s at it, he should throw Leon Panetta in jail.

Holder’s brief currently involves just 20 cases, which include detainees who were murdered by the CIA. But even those will be tough to prosecute, reports The New York Times: “Evidence, witnesses and even the bodies of the victims of alleged abuses have not been found in all cases.”

Because, you see, the bodies were burned and dumped. They–the CIA–are Nazis for committing the crimes.

And we are Nazis for not giving a damn. Only one-third of Americans told the April 27 CBS News/New York Times poll that there ought to be an investigation of Bush-era war crimes–and they don’t care enough to march in the streets, much less break a few windows. So few of my columns on torture have been reprinted by American newspapers or Web sites that I seriously contemplated not bothering to write this one. We have met the Nazis, and they are us.

Karl Marx

September 9th, 2009
2:56 pm

“karl not to be funny but how many documents did you ask the white house to provide before you got wounded… none you did your job and i thank you once again for that.’

Cheney could have been worse, he could have impeached a sitting President for a stained dress.

Wait..

They used to call me CrazyJoe now they call me Batman!

September 9th, 2009
4:07 pm

James Henderson said “The problem with Eric Holder’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor goes beyond any perception that Cheney is having a petulant fit of pique. Rather, it is the use of the power of the government by a politically appointed officer of it, to service a special needs population: far left whackos.”

Batman says – Where was he when Bush/Alberto Gonzales/Cheney was using the office of the AG as a witch hunt; persecuting and FIRING anyone who didn’t uphold the republican manifesto? Where was his outrage then? Sometimes, I just have to shake my head at these blatant double standards…

Bob says “Cheney should e allowed to do whatever he wants to keep us free. This is reverse racism and politically motivated by Obama and his black panther cronies.”

Batman says – Bob please take your meds. You’ll feel much better.

They used to call me CrazyJoe now they call me Batman!

September 9th, 2009
4:13 pm

Netbanker said “Sadly I hold no hope that those who provided the rationale and gave the orders will actually be held accountable…kind of like the soldiers at Abu Ghraib being punished, but no one higher up taking any real heat.”

Batman says – NetBanker, crap runs down hill. That’s why the higher ups never/hardly ever go to jail or are punished. Remember Iran/Contra? No one in their right mind believed that a Col. with limited authority and NO AUTHORITY to authorize subversive missions did it all by himself with no help from the White House (Reagan).

Facts Please said “Lets not bother with Cheney and get to more important things like lets check out why Obama gave up top secrets to his enemy friends. Why hes appointing zars who have criminal pasts and radical motives. Then lets take one step further and investigate Nancy Pelosi and her hiding of facts given by the CIA and her out right lying to save her skin. Lets put the investigation where it belongs, with this current administration who are trying to turn this country into something that not even the Commys want. Lets start with the people who are in power now and got there by deceipt and ACORN fraud.”

Batman Says – Facts, please go with Bob to see the nurse — it’s time for your meds too. Thanks!

Sunshine and Thunder

September 9th, 2009
4:26 pm

A lot of very sad, bitter old hippies on this thread would like nothing more than to see Dick Cheney prosecuted. You’d better come up with a crime first. Oh? You can’t? Then go away.

John Adams

September 9th, 2009
4:45 pm

For those smart folks who can see Russia from their house…The US Constitution is clear. Signed treaties are law. Even your beloved Reagan signed the treaty. The law is crystal clear. Torture is a crime, period.

It is a joke that Holder may stop short of Cheney.

The greatest threat to this nation is the stupidity of its inhabitants. The likes of Cheney can always count on your stupidity, and therefore your support.

Tap foot for a Republican. Coming to a stall near you.

Jim Callihan

September 9th, 2009
4:48 pm

“afternoontea” – GREAT POST!

But remember, the last POTUS to actually pick his own cabinet was GHW. “Fauntleroy” was kidding himself when he jokingly proclaimed “I’m the decider”. I can hardly see “44″ prosecuting any “untouchable” (Panetta, Cheney or otherwise) – “Boss-Daddy” will have none of this.

The “Church Commission” warned Americans what becomes of an unbridled CIA. “Conservatives” raged…but not like they’re raging now.

It’s just too easy…

Dave R.

September 9th, 2009
5:13 pm

If the greatest threat to this nation is the stupidity of it’s inhabitants, then God save us from liberals!

Remember, boys and girls, this issue was already investigated and people were prosecuted and convicted. What AG Holder is doing is just a witch hunt to prop up the lefties bailing on Hope & Change for being the abject failure of a President nearly 50% of us knew he’d be.

Laura Myers

September 9th, 2009
5:22 pm

afternoontea, who are you? You’ve READ the torture papers? Dratel is a close friend of mine…how did you become so educated on this issue?

jconservative

September 9th, 2009
6:43 pm

NetBanker Good thought re the Abrahamic Gods. How does the God of Islam, the God of Judaism & the God of Jesus beat himself to a pulp?

And I thought he said “Thou shalt not kill”, but I guess he did not.

John Adams

September 9th, 2009
7:21 pm

Yes Dave, that would include you. Don’t worry though, “God” will save you…….

Chris Salzmann

September 9th, 2009
8:36 pm

Birther or Bust September 9th, 2009 12:07 pm SAID: Sorry Bob, Cheney is a GREAT American! I wish the pod people that took the Bob Barr from the 1990’s, that I respected, would bring him back.

CHRIS SAYS: Calling Cheney a GREAT American is like calling Hitler a GREAT German. What rubbish!

Chris Salzmann

September 9th, 2009
8:44 pm

Sunshine and Thunder September 9th, 2009 11:37 am SAID: Investigate the CIA for sleep deprivation, loud music, waterboarding? None of these is life threatening – just uncomfortable.

CHRIS SAYS: So why did we prosecute individuals from other countries for waterboarding? In fact, we prosecuted American soldiers during the Vietnam war for exactly this. Why hasn’t Sean Hannity undergone the experience as he said he would? You don’t know crap.

gloom and doomer

September 9th, 2009
9:21 pm

“Cheney should e allowed to do whatever he wants to keep us free.”

Bob from Dahlonega:

In order to keep us free, you and your family are being shipped off to an undisclosed location (sound familiar?) for an indeterminate period. Sorry, but VP Cheney had determined it was necessary before he left office. Thanks for doing your part.

Deborah Fetkovich

September 9th, 2009
10:14 pm

I’m disappointed that you misrepresent Mr. Cheney’s reasons for his anger at Mr. Obama. The legality of the CIA actions isn’t in question under any applicable US laws. Eric Holder can create a witchhunt, but he doesn’t have a constitutional rationale for doing so; therefore, he’s abusing his power by using it for strictly political motivation. Most Americans are outraged and appalled.

President Bush authorized enhanced interrogations by the CIA after receiving approval from the Office of Legal Council and after informing bipartisan congressional leaders — none of whom expressed any reservations. The training the CIA interrogators received included being subjected themselves to waterboarding.

Mr. Obama, just days before being sworn in, reassured the CIA that there would be no investigation and he was only “moving forward”. His actions have created impotence within the CIA and placed our nation at great risk. Dick Cheney is a man who spent the better part of the last 8 years worrying every day that another terrorist attack might occur — a thought that no one in the Obama administration seems to take seriously. Here’s some of Dick Cheney’s comments and the root cause of his anger:

“Cheney pointed to Obama’s decision last week to assert White House control over a newly formed unit that will interrogate terrorists. The new arrangement shifts control of such interrogations away from the CIA and toward the FBI, although oversight will be exercised by the National Security Council, which is located in the White House and reports directly to the president.

Administration officials are vague about which agency will retain ultimate authority. Obama spokesman Bill Burton initially said the new unit “will report to the director of the FBI,” although the Justice Department, which encompasses the FBI, insisted the unit is “not a sub-unit of the FBI or the Justice Department.”

Burton explained: “Just like other interagency processes, if there are disagreements, the different agencies are able to come together and make a decision.”

Cheney ridiculed the new unit, which will be known as the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG).

“It’s not even clear who’s responsible,” he marveled. “The Justice Department is, then they claim they aren’t. The FBI is responsible, and they claim they aren’t. It’s some kind of interagency process by which they’re going to be responsible for interrogating high-value detainees.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/30/cheney-slams-obamas-politicized-probe-cia-interrogations/

John Adams

September 10th, 2009
2:04 am

Oh Goodie! a link for FOX news! It must be true!

richard

September 10th, 2009
7:07 am

He should just be thankful they aren’t investigating what he was doing as the head of NORAD on sept 11 2001, among a million other things that we as Americans should be up in arms about That so many of us closed our eyes and coward as we were wagged into war by the secret government sponsored murdering of the Americans and 100’s of other nationalities that fattened the blood lined wallets of these criminals is disgusting. Why didn’t anyone demand an explanation of why the SEC deputized people regarding the put and call options before 9/11 so that they would never have to answer to the government or the american people which allowed the director of the

richard

September 10th, 2009
7:16 am

CIA (3rd in command actually) and countless other government officials and madoffs of this country to profit from the blood of the people is simply amazing, pitiful, cowardice, and right wing republican. I’m glad to be an american atheist who won’t have to answer for this countries greed and murder to a God who apparently has been asleep at the wheel for 1970 or so years. wake up dude there so evil s#$t going on down here and you need to get off your fat ass!

richard

September 10th, 2009
7:24 am

Deborah, the office of legal counsel was made to resubmit its legal definition at least 4 times to cheney and rumsfeld, if your going to source something at least put it all on the table, the counsel was made very clear that that they had to do what was asked and not what was the law. They were fully aware of the geneva codes and and were within the guidelines on the first and second submittal’s but rumsfeld and cheney made them go farther!

Sunshine and Thunder

September 10th, 2009
1:36 pm

CHRIS SALZMAN SAYS: “So why did we prosecute individuals from other countries for waterboarding? In fact, we prosecuted American soldiers during the Vietnam war for exactly this. Why hasn’t Sean Hannity undergone the experience as he said he would? You don’t know crap.”

Are you making this up as you go along Chris? Who did we prosecute for exactly this during Vietnam?

Chris Salzmann

September 10th, 2009
8:58 pm

Sunshine and Thunder September 10th, 2009 1:36 pm SAID: Are you making this up as you go along Chris? Who did we prosecute for exactly this during Vietnam?

CHRIS SAYS: From Wikipedia under Waterboarding in Vietnam: “Waterboarding was designated as illegal by U.S. generals in the Vietnam War.[109] On January 21, 1968, The Washington Post published a controversial front-page photograph of two U.S soldiers and one South Vietnamese soldier participating in the waterboarding of a North Vietnamese POW near Da Nang.[110] The article described the practice as “fairly common”.[110] The photograph led to the soldier being court-martialled by a U.S. military court within one month of its publication, and he was discharged from the army”.

You were saying about making stuff up?

Chris Salzmann

September 10th, 2009
9:13 pm

Oh, forgot this one, also from Wikipedia. “”In 1983 Texas sheriff James Parker and three of his deputies were convicted for conspiring to force confessions. The complaint said they “subject prisoners to a suffocating water torture ordeal in order to coerce confessions. This generally included the placement of a towel over the nose and mouth of the prisoner and the pouring of water in the towel until the prisoner began to move, jerk, or otherwise indicate that he was suffocating and/or drowning”.[104] The sheriff was sentenced to ten years in prison, and the deputies to four years.[104][111]“”

Read it all for yourself at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterboarding

Fang1944

September 10th, 2009
11:47 pm

For once, Bob Barr comes down on the right side of an issue.

Has anyone mentioned that we executed Japanese soldiers who waterboarded American POWs during WW2?

Dr. Craig Spinks /Augusta

September 11th, 2009
1:39 am

Whenever I see a photo of Mr. Cheney with Mr. Nixon, I appreciate anew the Wisdom of the old saw, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Deborah Fetkovich

September 11th, 2009
9:27 am

Richard, Your assertion that Mr. Yoo was pressured in his legal opinions is belied by none other than John Yoo himself in his book, “The Powers of War and Peace:The Constitution and Foreign Affairs After 9/11″ by John Yoo, University of Chicago Press.

To further my point, here are excerpts from Andrew McCarthy’s article explaining why he declined Eric Holder’s invitation to meet with a “detention policy taskforce”. It was written before Mr. Obama reversed himself (yet again) and decided to indeed go after low-level CIA operatives and not Mr. Tenet who actually ordered enhanced interrogations.

“I did something today that I’ve never done before. The Department of Justice, which I proudly served for a quarter century as an assistant U.S. attorney and a deputy U.S. marshal, asked me for help, and I declined. Actually, what I declined to do was attend a meeting. My hope is that the dissent I am registering — to the administration’s disastrous policies of releasing trained terrorists and threatening prosecution against government lawyers — will help the department and the Obama administration, even if they don’t want to hear it.

I’ve declined the invitation. It pained me to do it. I’ve always believed enforcing our laws and defending our nation are duties of citizenship, not ideology. My conservative political views aside, I regularly make myself available to liberal and conservative groups, to Democrats and Republicans, if they think tapping my national-security or law-enforcement experience would be beneficial.

This time, though, I had to say no. As I explain to Attorney General Holder in a letter, which was posted this morning on the website of the National Review Institute, I declined for two reasons.

First, President Obama and Attorney General Holder have created an untenable situation for lawyers asked to advise the government on policy matters.

Former Justice Department attorneys John Yoo (now a law professor at Berkeley) and Jay Bybee (now a federal appeals-court judge in California), as well as other government attorneys, were asked during the emergency conditions that followed the 9/11 attacks to advise Bush administration policymakers on U.S. interrogation law. They did that in good faith and, despite the fact that it’s now de rigueur to castigate them, quite reasonably (as I’ve argued in an online Federalist Society debate, see here). For their service to our country, they are now being tormented by the Obama administration with both a criminal investigation and an ethics inquiry by Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility. (There have even been calls on the left for Judge Bybee’s impeachment, which — even if he had done something wrong years earlier as a Justice Department lawyer — would be absurd: The Constitution reserves judicial impeachment for misconduct committed during the judge’s tenure on the bench, and Bybee is an excellent judge.)

A little over a week ago, the Obama administration recklessly revealed publicly (i.e., to al-Qaeda) the details of enhanced interrogation tactics used by the CIA against top-tier terrorists. The decision to employ these tactics was not made by Yoo, Bybee, or other government lawyers. They did not look to press these practices on government agents. Rather, the CIA initiated the controversy by asking for clarification of its authority. President Bush and his top national-security officials, including CIA Director George Tenet, were responsible for making the policy. The attorneys merely gave their best legal advice — the policymakers didn’t have to follow it, and it was the CIA, not the lawyers, that conducted questioning and made judgments about how it was affecting the terrorists.

Yet President Obama’s antiwar base is in a froth — so much so that he has unleashed his Justice Department to criminalize political disputes after claiming for weeks that he did not want to do this. And the president is being a bully about it. He obviously doesn’t want to incur the wrath of leaking spooks, so he has said CIA agents won’t be investigated (the right result reached for self-interested reasons). He hasn’t worked up the nerve to go after his predecessor, who ordered the policy, and Tenet — a Democrat and one of Bush’s Clinton-holdovers — is another politically inconvenient target. That leaves the lawyers — relatively unknown and thus easily demonized — as the feast for the piranhas.

Any experienced prosecutor would know there is no criminal case here. And let’s assume you think the lawyers gave bad advice — as many say they do, particularly if they haven’t read the memos. Bad legal advice given in good faith is not an ethical violation. There’s not a lawyer in America who hasn’t given bad legal advice at some point — certainly not in the government. It is disgraceful to target these lawyers for this kind of persecution, to force them to retain counsel to defend their wartime service to the country, and to put them in fear of criminal, professional, and financial repercussions. It should be offensive to all people of good will, regardless of their politics or of where they come out on the explosive issue of coercive interrogation. We can arrive at a sound policy, or not, without demonizing our adversaries as crooks and cads.”

Mr. McCarthy has a great deal more to say about the current administration and its dangerous policies and craven motivations. Those interested in some “straight talk” can read his article here:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d82_1241204946&c=1

mistertruth

September 11th, 2009
3:50 pm

Well spoken Mr Barr. They need to put cheney in jail where liars and thieves belong.

Disposable Identity

September 12th, 2009
2:03 am

@Deborah Fetkovich, Yoo and Bybee may not have comitted a crime by providing bad legal advice but it was bad advice none the less. The orders from the Bush Whitehouse and the subsequent execution of those orders by the CIA were illegal regardless of the advice they recieved. DOJ lawyers don’t actually rewrite law with their legal opinions. The lawyers may just be wrong, but the clients are still guilty.

Disposable Identity

September 12th, 2009
2:52 am

On further reflection I think I’m quite wrong in my previous posting. Under international law I believe we actually have a legal obligation to prosecute the lawyers as well, even if the advice was given “in good faith”. That’s not actually a defence in torture cases. The fact that they “just” facilitated the torture, and didn’t order or participate in it is no defence. We successfully prosecuted German lawyers for essentially the same thing, and the domestic and international laws created in the years since have strengthened the obligation and clarified the definitions substantially.

Deborah Fetkovich

September 12th, 2009
9:40 am

What’s with the “Disposable Identity”. Does that mean you’re ashamed of your ideas and principles and therefore can only express them anonymously?

As far as international law goes, it’s only relevant where the US is a party to those laws through the treaty mechanism. For example, it’s often broadly stated that the US has violated “The Geneva Conventions”. US citizens and law accept only a portion of the Geneva Conventions. We explcitly rejected the two protocols of 1977 — those that unreasonably extended the existing protection of civilian populations during wartime and another which addresses armed conflicts within a nation.

We also don’t recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC), which we believe infringes on our sovereign rights to be self-governing.

As far your assertion that we prosecuted German lawyers “for essentially the same thing”, I assume you’re referring to the 1947 Nuremburg trials of Judges, some of which later were found to be erroneous, such as the Schlegelberger conviction. The judge was released in 1951.

American Richard Posner, one of the most respected and admired legal commentators made this comparison in a New Republic article “Perhaps in the fullness of time the growing of marijuana plants, the “manipulation” of financial markets, the bribery of foreign government officials, the facilitating of the suicide by the terminally ill, and the violation of arcane regulations governing the financing of political campaigns will come to be no more appropriate objects of criminal punishment than “dishonoring the race.” Perhaps not; but [the story of the German judges] can in any event help us to see that judges should not be eager enlisters in popular movements of the day, or allow themselves to become so immersed in a professional culture that they are oblivious to the human consequences of their decisions.”

Jan Sciranko

September 13th, 2009
3:40 pm

Bravo, Mr. Barr! You are right on with your comments about Mr. Cheney. It is a shame so many right-wingers cannot accept criticism of any type, even when it is well deserved. Keep it up; your willingness to be bipartisan is refreshing.

shawn

September 25th, 2009
12:20 am

I believe it is important to reacquaint ourselves with what exactly the laws purpose is. If you believe it is justice then there are some statistics that you should know, 1 out of 5 people will spend time in Jail or Prison. 1 out of 100 are innocent of the crimes they have been convicted of. There are 475 million people in the US right now, can you do the math. The history of civilization shows us that laws are and always have been a control mechanism over the masses. Belief that there is a fair and just system of checks and balances is nothing more than a belief. Every administration has used their control over the law for its own agenda, sometimes for good sometimes not so much it has never been about justice and how could it be. There was a study release in 2006 about individuals in law enforcement and compromising behaviors or conditions, such as gambling debts, pornography, drug and substance abuse, financial problems, emotional instability, etc. Who was part of this study? FBI, CIA, Local PD’s, State police, Sheriff departments, State and Federal judges, politicians and the department of Justice. Over 51 percent of these individuals had compromising behaviors and 40 percent admitted to abuse of power because of such. You may ask, how did they find all this out. Well there is this little know fact that once you’re in the system you get protected by the system but you must do one thing. You must admit to your action before you get caught. Ironically, it our tax dollars that pay for all the counseling to make these individuals better.

Keith Bernard

January 12th, 2010
11:46 am

Thank you for your honest comments, unfiltered by political bias. We need more of that.