Theodore's World: Obama on Torture Memo Release

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April 21, 2009

Obama on Torture Memo Release

Obama Open to Prosecutions Interrogation Abuses

April 21, 2009

Obama Open to Prosecution of Officials Who Cleared Interrogation Tactics

President Obama says it is up to the attorney general whether to prosecute Bush administration lawyers who wrote the memos approving harsh interrogation tactics.

FOX news

President Obama left open the door Tuesday for charges to be brought against Bush administration lawyers who justified harsh interrogation techniques, though he continued to argue that CIA agents who used those tactics should not be prosecuted.

The president showed wiggle room on the issue as he faces calls from Democratic lawmakers and organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union to support such charges. Asked about the possibility of prosecution related to the interrogation program, the president deferred to Attorney General Eric Holder.

"With respect to those who formulate those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws," Obama said. "And I don't want to prejudge that. ... There are a host of very complicated issues involved there."

It was the first time Obama took a question on the matter since his administration released a string of previously classified memos detailing harsh interrogation tactics used against terror suspects. At the time, Obama said agents who followed Department of Justice advice would not be prosecuted.

He reiterated that point Tuesday. "For those who carried out some of these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance that had been provided from the White House, I do not think it's appropriate for them to be prosecuted," he said.

But while he also repeated his view that investigations into Bush officials could get politicized, he indicated for the first time an openness to such a course provided it is carried out in a "bipartisan fashion."

The attorneys who authored the memos, and who are the subject of an internal Justice Department ethics inquiry, are John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to Obama Monday asking him to reserve comment on the issue while her panel completes its review of detainee interrogations. She estimated the study would be completed in six to eight months.

MoveOn is also seeking 200,000 signatures for a petition to Holder urging him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the interrogations.

One source familiar with the matter told FOX News that, if appointed, a prosecutor would most likely be limited to pursuing "aiding and abetting" charges against the lawyers who wrote the memos.
"If (Justice attorneys) go after them, that's all they can get them on because they didn't torture but they facilitated the torture," the source said, adding that prosecutors first have to prove a criminal act of torture was committed.
"But if I were these people, I would still get a very good lawyer," the source said.

Wild Thing's comment........

Here it comes - the start of a two or three year criminal investigation into all things Bush.Sheesh! This is an extremely treacherous road that Obama is traveling. Exposing national intelligence does not seem like something a president has ever done.

If Hussein tries to prosecute members of our armed forces OMG, please God don't let that happen.

Just as our operatives in the CIA have been intimidated by the inexcusable threats of the Obama administration, subsequently withdrawn, to prosecute CIA operatives, so now everyone who sets his hand to put pen to paper to render a legal opinion or simply a policy memorandum will hesitate to touch the pen to paper.

The liberals always loved to talk about the "chilling effect" upon free speech of a policy they do not like. Now they have become masters of the art. The Democrats have always tended to criminalize policy differences. Now Obama has one more tool to keep his administration under control.

There is literally nothing this man has done in office which is incongruent with a radical Marxist seeking due aggrandize personal power and irretrievably break our democracy.

President Bush could easily have had Bill Clinton investigated for so many things. All those ' gates" that went on during the Clinton era and dead bodies as well. But he didn't and he said the reason why he moved on about it was because he did not want to show disrespect for the actual office of the President. Not so much the person at all, but the office the person holds. (not exact quote, only how I remember it)

I think the idea was that if a President is taken down, kicked out of office etc. it needs to be done during their presidency not afterward as it takes on another life one that destroys a country in keeping it constantly at in a battle of legal wars for years. And while they are in office there is more of an urgency to get things done as soon as possible. I could be wrong about this.

Hussein's “ does no good to revisit the crimes of the past; we must move forward,” stuff he was spouting on his Apology and Appeasement Tour obviously only applied to the his fellow anti-America, anti-USA, socialist, communist buddies that are leaders of other countries.

Posted by Wild Thing at April 21, 2009 06:40 PM


If one person is prosecuted for crimes during the War then all bets are off. I don't know what will happen but whatever it is it won't be pretty.

Posted by: Mark at April 21, 2009 07:31 PM

Obama is going after the Bush Administration because of differences in policy. He's turning this nation into some Latin American banana republic.

Posted by: BobF at April 21, 2009 10:41 PM

Mark, this is all very upsetting and scary.
I really worry about our troops and what
they are thinking and taking all of this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 21, 2009 11:39 PM

BobF., he sure is, and he is doing it so
quickly. I thought he would do horrible
things to our country and we all knew
his agenda but I thought it would take
longer and slower, not this rapid fire
of what he is doing and his agenda so
quickly. It is freightening.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 21, 2009 11:42 PM