New York Times Calls For Extradition Of Dick Cheney To Any Planet With A Justice System

The New York Times editorial board ran an editorial Monday calling for the prosecution of those who ran the CIA's torture program, proving that they are a bunch of hopeless romantics who believe in justice. They aren't especially hopeful, noting that President Obama has shown virtually no interest in actually prosecuting anyone for torturing some folks, but bless them, they make the case anyway:

Mr. Obama has said multiple times that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.

Torture is, they note, actually against both federal law and international treaties -- even when you call it something else, believe it or not. They also point out that the CIA knew perfectly well that what it wanted to do was illegal, which is why the Agency first asked the Justice Department to pinky swear that it wouldn't prosecute anybody, and when that failed, sought a legal fig leaf:

In July 2002, C.I.A. lawyers told the Justice Department that the agency needed to use “more aggressive methods” of interrogation that would “otherwise be prohibited by the torture statute.” They asked the department to promise not to prosecute those who used these methods. When the department refused, they shopped around for the answer they wanted. They got it from the ideologically driven lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, who wrote memos fabricating a legal foundation for the methods. Government officials now rely on the memos as proof that they sought and received legal clearance for their actions. But the [Senate] report changes the game: We now know that this reliance was not made in good faith.

The Times calls for Obama to "authorize a full and independent criminal investigation," although it also acknowledges that it's hard "to imagine Mr. Obama having the political courage to order a new investigation" and "even harder to imagine a criminal probe of the actions of a former president." But hey, since they're making a Wish List:

[Any] credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes [showing torture of detainees]; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen.

It's a pretty good editorial for some nation that actually had any commitment to justice, and we bet that such a nation would probably do itself proud in bringing to justice people who betrayed that nation's values because they were afraid (and because they were compelled to overcompensate for being caught napping in the run-up to September 11, 2001).

But let us also remember the weighty counter-argument: Bodies falling from the towers 9/11 terrorism jihad world domination shariah law ISIS cutting off heads why are you defending the terrorists with the boxcutters gotta keep America safe and what about drones you hypocrite? That ought to cover it.


Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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