Friday, May 1, 2009

Dictatorial Powers Unchallenged As US “Enemy Combatant” Pleads Guilty


1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

ACLU Director Favors Prosecution, Not Impeachment, Not Committee Hearings
Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2009-05-02 03:20.

[The trouble with avoiding impeachment is you fail to establish a representative branch in our government.--DS]

By Susan Harman

I heard Anthony Romero, ExDir of ACLU, speak tonight: "Moral hazard" is the term used in the stock market (and insurance) when a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk. He applied it to BushCo's abuse of power; that they behaved immorally because they believed they could get away with it. That is, to deter future abuses we must hold them accountable.

Torture memos: "their medieval legal reasoning is exceeded only by their moral depravity."

"Holder needs to investigate, indict, and, if necessary, convict the authors of the memos as well as those who authorized them."

2,000 torture pictures due to be released May 28 [I had heard only 100. Wow.]. He made the point that they can't all be of the "few bad apples;" that torture had to have been systemic.

He called impeaching Bybee a distraction, and said he needs to be criminally prosecuted along with the rest.

He said he wouldnt prosecute the interrogators if they followed the letter of the law/memos, but he doubted that was the case.

A truth commission is premature; prosecute now. He has so little faith in Congress that he's not in favor of a Select Committee either.

He got very philosophical and eloquent at the end: We were not utilitarians when we founded the republic. Although health care, the economy, and the environment are critical, they're not about our core values. The Constitution doesn't guarantee health care, but it does guarantee rule of law. That is the core principle and outranks all the others. Finally, democracy must never be a quiet business.

I asked him afterwards to confirm that he only wants prosecution. He said yes, that commissions can come later. I raised Betsy de la Vega's point that there will be several years of dangerous silence during a prosecution, and he said he thought there's no way to keep all this quiet anymore.