« »

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Conyers Calls for Special Counsel on Torture

This is more like it.

Huffington Post:

John ConyersMembers of the House Judiciary Committee asked attorney general Eric Holder on Tuesday to appoint a special counsel to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute Bush administration officials involved in decisions that led to torture of detainees held in counter-terrorism efforts. In a letter to Holder, the congressmen write that memos released by the Obama administration last week confirmed that legal justifications for interrogation techniques like waterboarding came from high-up administration officials.

"During your confirmation hearings, you testified that waterboarding is torture," the letter says.

"This letter makes official our views on the necessary procedure in investigating those U.S. officials who allowed or actively instructed others to commit torture," said a statement from Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who along with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) were the letter's principal authors. "Because the United States is bound by its own laws and by international treaty, we are obligated to investigate and, where necessary, to prosecute those who have violated the laws against committing torture - whether by ordering it or committing it directly."

The five page letter, heavily footnoted, is available here [PDF] (I'm happy to say that my own Rep. Tammy Baldwin signed on as well).

"[T]here can be little doubt that the public interest will be served by appointment of a special counsel," the letter reads. "The authorization and use of interrogation techniques that likely amounted to torture has generated tremendous concern and outrage in this country, and has harmed our legal and moral standing in the world."

At this point, I really don't see how how some sort of torture investigation can be avoided. The momentum really seems to be behind those advocating it. Whether there will be a special counsel is another matter, of course. It's likely that Holder will hold off for now, citing an ongoing probe by the Senate Intelligence Committee. After that, who knows?


vet said...

Two words: witch hunt.

Seriously... this might feel like justice, it might even pass for it among some people, but at best all it will achieve is to find a fairly randomly selected sample of the guilty. At worst, the counsel will be seen as openly partisan (like the Whitewater prosecutor), and it'll divide the nation all over again.

I still suggest a public inquiry, with a panel of judges, all of whom can and do subpoena whoever they like to testify - including civil servants, CIA operatives, Gitmo inmates and other prisoners - and prosecution is reserved for anyone who stands in their way.

Wisco said...

No one found guilty in a court of law gets to cry "witch hunt." It is justice -- by definiton.

On the point of "dividing the nation," I've got to ask -- where have you been? You might've missed the big teabagger protests where Obama was Stalin and Hitler and Pol Pot all rolled up into one. No one has to worry about pissing those people off -- that train left the station sometime last year.

In the end, we shouldn't care what a bunch of whining frootloops think. If we did, we'd all march down to our local library and put that socialist warehouse of Darwinist lies to the torch.

If they've got a problem with the law being applied equally -- regardless of who the accused criminal might be -- then that's their problem. "Justice" doesn't mean picking and choosing who gets punished because of the level of power they once held.

That's why we didn't have a "truth commission" at Nuremberg.

Search Archive:

Custom Search