Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Decision to Prosecute Bush Officials

The media has been focusing on a statement by Rahm Emanuel that President Obama will not pursue criminal charges against former Bush officials for their use of torture on terrorism suspects. Rahm said "this is not the time for retribution or anger."

Today President Obama stated during a press conference with the King of Jordan that he will leave the decision of whether to bring charges against any Bush officials to the Attorney General, Eric Holder.

President Obama said that “With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that is going to be more a decision for the attorney general within the parameter of various laws, and I don’t want to prejudge that.”

From College News:

It’s understandable that the President doesn’t want to create major waves that would result from the prosecution of Bush officials. He is correct in stating that the decision should be left up to the Attorney General.

This should not be a political issue; it’s a matter of law and order. Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, and independents alike should be interested in holding our elected officials and their staffs responsible for their actions.

Hiding behind a wall of bipartisanship is not going to serve our country. Eric Holder needs to do his job and start investigating the Bush administration for its use of torture and illegal wiretapping during the war on terror.

Anyone who has had their head forcibly held underwater in a swimming pool can tell you that waterboarding is torture. There is no excuse for the use these interrogation methods in pursuing our enemies. On the contrary, the more that we violate our own moral code and international laws, it becomes easier for terrorist organizations to recruit fighters for their cause.

It’s not the President’s job to file charges against his predecessors. But it would be reassuring to hear him come out and say that an investigation needs to take place.

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