November 1, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
We are at a crossroads. Do we have rule of law or not?
The problem with Attorney General nominee Mukasey and waterboarding is that if he acknowledges that waterboarding is torture he will be confirmed as Attorney General - and will be forced to prosecute the waterboarders and the people who ordered it. So what is going to happen is that he won't be confirmed and we'll be left with no Attorney General until Bush leaves, or some Democrats will cave and he will be confirmed anyway. Being confirmed and then prosecuting for torture won't happen.
But one way or another the pressure is on now for prosecution. The only way our country can get past the stain of torture is to prosecute the people who did it. All of them - from top to bottom - in front of the world. You can't sweep this under the rug and you can't let "I was only following orders" hang there, waiting for the next opportunity.
This is the same problem as telecom immunity. Just after taking office the bush administration went to the phone companies and got htem to start wiretapping us. (Forget all this crap that it happened because of 9/11, it happened just after Bush took office.) And now they're trying to get out of being held accountable for breaking the law.
We either have law or we don't. This is a crossroads moment. I am not optimistic that this country is capable of going the right way.
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I could not agree more Dave.
You're assessment of the dynamics are spot on.
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