Criminal Proceedings Begin Against 6 Members of the Bush Administration

Sunday, March 29, 2009

While ignoring the number one and number two players, this action by Spain is a positive step toward bringing criminal proceedings against high ranking officials in the Bush administration for the use of illegal use of torture against detainees in Guantánamo Bay.

Baltasar Garzón, the counter-terrorism judge whose prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet led to his arrest in Britain in 1998, has referred the case to the chief prosecutor before deciding to proceed.

The case is bound to threaten Spain’s relations with the new administration in Washington, but Gonzalo Boyé, one of the four lawyers who wrote the lawsuit, said the prosecutor would have little choice under Spanish law but to approve the prosecution.

The officials named in the case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration. They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon’s general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers.

Obama administration officials have confirmed that they believe torture was committed by American interrogators. The president has not ruled out a criminal inquiry, but inexplicably signaled he is reluctant to do so for political reasons.

“Obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices, and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” Obama said in January. “But my orientation’s going to be to move forward.”

I appreciate President Obama is focused on the future but, he’s forgetting an important lesson: those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

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6 Responses to Criminal Proceedings Begin Against 6 Members of the Bush Administration

  1. Joaquin says:

    As long as President Obama hides behind the, “I’m looking foward, not backwards” argument, he’s no better than George Bush and he can’t seriously say he’s taking the high ground on torture. If Obama refuses to prosecute Bush and Cheney, as well as the former members of the Bush administration who violated domestic and international law and engaged in torture, Americans will never believe our government again.

  2. Walk on Socks says:

    I agree, this is a start but only a start.

    Until both Bush and Cheney are in front of a judge and jury, I will not be at peace.

  3. Somehow I just do not see this ever growing legs to the point that any of them will ever actually be brought to trial. It is a sad state of our Nation that the first ones to have the nads to consider trying these war criminals is a foreign country and not our own.

  4. VicoDANIEL says:

    I don’t think we will ever see either Bush or Cheney prosecuted by the Obama administration or any future administration.

    Once you reach the level of president, it’s the ultimate club and even if a president diametrically rejects the policies of his predecessor, they always end up looking out for each other.

    It’s a terrible message to send the rest of the world.

  5. DMason says:

    It’s not enough to say “we don’t torture” and “we won’t torture.” The eyes of the world are on the new Obama administration and if he wimps out by not prosecuting the previous administration, Obama loses the moral high ground.

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