Monday, January 12, 2009

To Prosecute or Not to Prosecute?

The Obama Administration faces a monumental issue in the near future. Should an investigation into the POW torture issue be initiated? Obviously, such an investigation would be characterized by Republicans as a witch hunt. It would be terribly divisive and destructive at a time when this country is suffering greatly from a major economic tornado. When it has just lived through one of the worst presidential administrations in the history of the country, the near future should be one of healing and setting the country back on the right track at home and in the world.

Yet, torture is a criminal activity. For the last 70 years, at least, this country has decried the use of torture and has sought out, when possible, those who have been guilty of it, and put them on trial either before a world court on within the confines of the accused country. Saadam Hussein is a good example, as were the World War II Germans. Granted, both examples were, as far as we know, far greater extremes that those committed by the Bush Administration.

Does the Obama Administration have an out? In my opinion, yes. As much as I would like to see Cheney and Bush and their minions pay for the damage done to this country's image in the world, I hope that there is no prosecution within this country. However, other countries may very well bring charges in the World Court. Some of them could be allies. What does Obama do then? Does he refuse to turn the indicted ones over to the court? Probably so. Just the fact that legitimate charges are brought and Bush and Cheney and others are virtually confined to this country would be recognition enough of their crimes to suit me.

I don't think the damage that would occur within this country would be worth the effort of putting these low life's on trial. Let history take them to task, as it certainly will. No Karl Rove revisionism will turn the tide of history away from the truth. I can't think of a better history lesson for future generations than a recap of the mess that has taken place over the course of the last eight years.

What better way to teach the Constitution and its value, than to show how it was abused and how close we came to losing so many inalienable rights. Students can be shown the era of this country's low point in world history, and how quickly it went from a leader to a disgrace. They must know how easily human rights within our own country were dissolved by a simpleton leader and his followers, who used a tragedy to consolidate power, and who cared so little for human life that they sacrificed thousands of American lives on the field of battle in an unprecedented pre-emptive and unnecessary war.

1 comment:

Rod in Rabun Gap said...

I don't know how these things work, but impeachment is possible without criminal charges being brought. Impeachment proceedings would be expensive and divisive, so any action such as this aren't in order, but I wonder if some sort of censure resolution after the fact, after they leave office is possible. Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzolez, and others should be brought up before the public in some way to answer for what they've done. And even if Bush wasn't involved, which I think he was surely, he was the "decider", and is ultimately responsible for the actions committed by his administration.