President Barack Obama’s administration has yet another growing and gathering problem. Another problem with historical implications. This problem is not with the economy or the prospect of universal health care. The problem is what to do about the criminality of the previous administration. An administration whose so-called legal opinions with respect to Presidential power and defining torture are so without merit that the attorney authors of these memo’s should be investigated for possible disbarment from the legal profession.
The recent memo’s released by the Justice Department, as a result of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that the so called enhanced interrogation techniques employed by the Bush administration were tantamount to torture. Which would make Dick Cheney who endorsed such practices as water boarding a criminal under U.S. law prohibiting torture and under the Geneva conventions which the U.S. helped draft to protect its soldiers. A quick lesson in Constitutional law is in order here for those who may be unfamiliar. When the U.S. signs onto a international law treaty it becomes U.S. law under the U.S. Constitution. The Supremacy Clause, article VI, paragraph 2 establishes the Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. treaties as the supreme law of the land. Unfortunately for Cheney and his cabal there is already legal precedent for water boarding itself being tried as torture. The U.S tried and convicted Japanese war criminals for performing such torturous acts after World War II.
The general sense coming from the national media slowly but surely is that the Obama administration wants to move on and its the left that want the Bush administration investigated and perhaps indicted for breaking the law. Consider Obama’s thoughts from his first press conference in response to a question by the Huffington Post, Obama stated, “What I have said is that my administration is going to operate in a way that leaves no doubt that we do not torture, and that we abide by the Geneva Conventions, and that we observe our traditions of rule of law and due process, as we are vigorously going after terrorists that can do us harm. And I don’t think those are contradictory; I think they are potentially complementary. My view is also that nobody is above the law, and if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen; but that generally speaking, I’m more interested in looking forward than I am in looking backwards. I want to pull everybody together, including, by the way, the — all the members of the intelligence community who have done things the right way and have been working hard to protect America, and I think sometimes are painted with a broad brush without adequate information.”
Obama has the economy, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Somali pirates, a defiant War Criminal in Sudan, and ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict on his plate. But an indictment against high officials from the previous administration by a U.S. Court or a foreign court such as Spain, who has shown interest, could remove all of the above from the headlines and force Obama to consider the unthinkable by many of his Democratic colleagues the prospect of pardoning George W. Bush.