At the conclusion of WWII, the allied nations convened the Nuremberg war crimes tribunals. The Germans indicted were not excused because they were “only following orders.” Many served long prison terms and others were hanged for “doing their duty.” The trials inspired the 1949 signing of the Fourth Geneva Convention Agreement. It continued to refine important international legal precedents that required combatants and citizens to be held to a higher standard, independent of their allegiance to, leaders, governments or mitigating legal wavers.
With the so-called War on Terror, our government has apparently turned its back on this “quaint” document. Reputable practitioners of interrogation report that, even for psychopathic CIA personnel, torture is not a reliable or an effective means of gathering intelligence.
This violation of all decent standards of behavior has left us with a new barbarism. America has abandoned the moral high ground. We are now regarded as one of the most brutal regimes on earth. I expected this kind of behavior from a moral reprobate like President George W. Bush and his sycophantic Attorney General, Alberto
Gonzales, who green lighted these indefensible “enhanced interrogations.”
To find our present Attorney General refusing to prosecute the CIA brutes who tortured the detainees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as supervising the detention and rendition of private citizens, is reprehensible. These sadists should be brought to justice, if not by our own timid Attorney General, at least by an international tribunal. Also, why is there no hue and cry for the heads of the real criminals who authorized and bragged about this torture? Even a partial litany of Bush’s established high crimes and misdemeanors would require far more space than I care to expend here.
So why are Obama and Eric Holder unwilling to prosecute? Could it be that they might stand guilty of many of the same crimes? The consequences of this lawlessness go to the very heart of our brutality abroad and tyranny at home. Holder’s and Panetta’s delight in putting this criminal history behind them make us, at our foundation, a lawless, rouge state worthy only of universal revulsion. Until the miscreants in both the past and present administrations are justly punished and the rule of law is once again restored in principle and in execution, no self-respecting citizen can say he or she is proud to be an American.
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|Allen L. Jasson|
|William John Cox|