It started out as a trickle but it has crescendoed to the point it is becoming increasingly more difficult for the Obama administration to ignore, in my opinion, the call for an investigation into Bush administration era torture.
It began with the “conservative” radio personality ‘Mancow’ undergoing a fake waterboarding and then declaring to his radio audience it really is torture. There was a slight diversion to this confession involving emails sent by publicists and whether what happened was real or fake; clearly it was nothing as horrendous as what actual detainees go through, but the distraction caused a blip on the national conscious. David Petraeus continued the onslaught when he said that Bush violated the Geneva Conventions. This was significant coming from a political appointee, as it were, of the Bush administration. Unfortunately that admission has not been enough to get Bush, et.co to shut up, as Mr. Cheney still insists that torture was NOT really torture, just enhanced interrogation techniques that are not violations of international law.
Janet Karpinski chimed in saying the orders for illegal and criminal behavior on the part of the soldiers under her command came from the very top of the military structure and beyond. Her interview below, underscores the assertion that abusers at Abu Ghraib were merely following the orders given them by superiors outside the military command structure……intelligence “contractors”.
Lately we have General Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of all coalition forces in Iraq, calling for a truth commission to investigate the abuses and torture which occurred in Iraq. He went on to say that his troops were abandoned by the Bush administration while they were in Iraq and that here was not one instance of actionable intelligence that came out of interrogation techniques which were, or bordered on, criminality!
This last point was further underscored by CIA officials, past and present who ridiculed claims that illegal interrogations were necessary to stop imminent treats against the US. This all leads up to a huge body of evidence that would seem to make it difficult for a controlling legal authority, ANY controlling legal authority to ignore and that efforts to initiate some type of criminal prosecutions of those people responsible are critical. Do we as a country have to be observers to the prosecution of our elected officials by authorities outside our borders or will we be willing and active participants in bringing such people to justice? Calls for the latter, in some form or another, have come from every segment of our society, up to the very highest levels of the political and military branches of government. To continue to ignore, placate, make excuses for and cover up criminal behavior only makes the US a pariah country on other countries’ lists, joining the likes of North Korea, Iraq, Sudan, Iran and old castaways like Libya, the former USSR, Nazi Germany, et.al. There really is no choice for us but to pursue, at the very least, a grand jury to investigate charges against these officials.
I am happy to see that those no longer under the constraint of political correctness have come out and made strong statements of assertion against former political allies. It’s now time for us as a society to do the same and demand that from our elected officials, under threat of a significantly truncated political career when their time for reelection comes up. Can we do that?