Friday, April 24, 2009

Ye shall know the truth and yada yada yada

President Obama has rejected the idea of creating a truth commission to look into interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration's war on terror. In a press briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Obama was not interested in prosecuting officers who tortured detainees if they worked "within the four corners" of the any legal advice they were given.
Q    Two unrelated things.  First, what's the latest thinking here on whether the White House would support some sort of independent commission to look at the interrogations during the Bush era?  And then I want to follow up with a credit card question, if I could.

MR. GIBBS:  Sure.  Well, I don't -- I don't know that I have a lot to add on the first question other than what the President discussed earlier in the week and what I talked about on the plane yesterday. 

And obviously there's been news reports of a discussion about such a commission here that the President decided I think the last few days might well be evidence of why something like this would likely just become a political back and forth.

Q    So is that an indication that you don't want to see an independent commission?  I'm trying to understand.

MR. GIBBS:  By dint, an independent commission would probably not be something that I would weigh in on if Congress were to create one of those.  I think that -- from the larger perspective, the President believes, as both of us have said, that the release of the memos are not a time for a retribution but to reflect on what happens and that we're all best suited looking forward.
Q    Robert, does the President believe someone ought to be punished for allowing waterboarding?  He changed the policy, but does he believe somebody ought to be punished?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, I think that determination is going to be left up to, as I've said for any number of days looking backward on this now, that that's going to be made by a legal official.

Q    And that legal official is the Attorney General?

MR. GIBBS:  In our Constitution it is.

Q    And what about this idea of the Attorney General appointing a special prosecutor?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, I addressed this --

Q    Is that his -- is that the Attorney General's decision or is that ultimately the President's decision?

MR. GIBBS:  I'd have to look up, honestly, the legal statute to determine that.  I don't -- I don't think the -- I don't believe that there's -- I think the Justice Department is fully capable of weighing the law.

Q    You don't think a special prosecutor is necessary?

MR. GIBBS:  I don't -- I don't think anybody has presented a compelling case why the Justice Department couldn't do this.
I think it's much more likely that the president doesn't want to push an investigation as a professional courtesy to his predecessor. He either doesn't want to close the door on using a variation of such tactics later on or he doesn't want his people to be subject to investigation and possible prosecution by the next administration.

The U.S. once again plays by its own rules and deigns not to investigate atrocities committed by American intelligence officers that would bring a swift condemnation if committed by another nation. The American people deserve to know the truth about what was done in their name.

1 comment:

John_David_Galt said...

I believe it's because the President is afraid of setting a precedent that will be used against him as soon as he's out of office, if not sooner.

His policies aside, President Obama has proven himself corrupt by using the stimulus bills to funnel billions of dollars to ACORN, which everyone knows is (effectively) his personal campaign organization.

The fact that no TV network except FOX even mentions this outrage proves that they too are corrupt.

I call for impeachment! Now!