Why is prosecuting torture a negative for Obama!?
The headlines this week have dealt with the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy, “The Liberal Lion of the Senate. While we all were fully aware that this day would come sooner than we wanted, the news, still, hit me like a load. When you take stock of his life circumstances, a man like Kennedy should not be a progressive. He was always a man of means and privilege. Yet, he and his family seemed to be harbingers of equal rights for all. He not only traded in sympathy for those less fortunate but also empathy for those treated unfairly. He helped to usher in the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Title IX and was a a solid contributor to the legislation that alluded him but was the singular cause of his life, healthcare reform. (I just watched a speech given by Kennedy four days after the MLK assassination, given in Alaska, on Rachel Maddow’s show last night and he spoke of healthcare for all then) My politics lean to the left and politically, Kennedy was a man after my own heart.
RIP Senator Edward Kennedy…your legislative life and action made life for me and my family and my community easier and fairer.
Despite the news of this week, Attorney General Eric Holder is going to assign a special prosecutor to look into alledged misdoings of CIA officials under the Bush administration. And he should. It’s the right thing to do. I’m upset and still holding out hope that this investigation travels up the ladder of the Bush administration to find the real purveyors of war crimes. At the highest levels, crimes must be punished, otherwise, it seems the well connected elites get off while the lowly henchmen are dolled the prison time. We are a nation of laws, not subjectively but objectively. The idea that we should withhold prosecution of high-ranking Bush administration officials, including Cheney and Bush, because the trials would be politicized or because we want to look forward and not back (currently the Obama moniker) or because the Bush Justice Department called torture tactics “legal”, deals not with the issues of law or the notion of right or wrong, upon which our laws are built. That rogue CIA officials are the sole reason for these torturous atrocities is neither right nor righteous.
One of the running conversations in political punditry is “Why is Obama allowing this to happen”. This question means that you accept the politicization of the Justice Department introduced most recently by the Bush administration. I do not. The Attorney General, as far as I know, is the only person that can charge the President with a crime and therefore he/she, and the Department of Justice, should be allowed the rope to act independent of political calculation. I even heard MSNBC’s resident right-wing, conservative and racist, Pat Buchanan say that Dick Cheney DEFEATED Obama earlier this year when they had dueling press conferences a few months ago. Huh!? First, Cheney has been proven a liar because the classified CIA report he wanted released (you know; the one that PROVES torture saved American lives) was just released by the Obama administration and it actually refutes his claim. Secondly, the President did not debate Cheney and Cheney has no moral or political authority here. He’s a has been who’s out to protect the only thing he has left. His legacy and his rear-end. According to some, it was Cheney himself that unleashed and sought to make “legal” the exact torture tactics that are clearly outlawed in the Geneva Convention. And anytime Buchanan appears on the screen to make conservative claims, the ticker should explain that he is a racist, conservative, GOP operative. His views are totally skewed right and have only a southern strategy political frame. He cares nothing about right or wrong. Did I mention that he is a racist!? Check out this link:
Too many times we, as people and pundits, in our personal and professional lives, ask what is “politik” as opposed to what is right. And frequently these things are not the same. And further, the distance that can span what is politik or what is righteous can sometimes show the character of our true selves or the lack of character we are hiding and justifying. I’d rather be righteous than right and it looks like Holder may hold my sentiments as well. Kennedy too…