Prosecute the Architects of the Torture Regime? Nah.
Still holding out hope that the Obama administration will prosecute the architects of the torture regime? Stop:
The Obama administration opposes any effort to prosecute those in the Justice Department who drafted legal memos authorizing harsh interrogations at secret CIA prisons, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said yesterday.
Some analysts and lawmakers have called for investigations and possible prosecution of those involved because they say four of the memos, disclosed last week by President Obama, illegally authorized torture. Emanuel’s dismissal of the idea went beyond Obama’s pledge not to prosecute CIA officers who acted on the Justice Department’s legal advice.
“It’s not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back” out of “any sense of anger and retribution,” Emanuel said on ABC’s “This Week.” His remarks reflect the White House’s effort to claim a middle ground after the release of the memos, which had been top secret, angered backers of the Bush administration’s interrogation policy.
Obama’s refusal to live up to the US’s international obligations — “looking back” at Chucky Taylor’s torture, fine; “looking back” at the Bush Six’s torture, not so much — indicates how important it is that other countries pursue prosecutions. Fortunately, Judge Garzon in Spain is ignoring the Attorney General’s recommendation that he drop the “fraudulent” case against the Bush Six — although he is going to randomly assign the case to one of the six High Court judges, who may feel differently.
It is unlikely, of course, that other countries will ever get their hands on one of the Bush Six. But at least a concerted international effort to compensate for Obama’s coddling of Bush’s coterie of war criminals would make sure that they don’t take European vacations anytime soon.