Saturday, August 22, 2009
New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, a senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, tells the Huffington Post that he believes President Obama would be breaking the law if he decided to oppose launching investigation into the authorization of torture.
“If they follow the law they have no choice. [AG] Eric Holder was strongly inclined to support a special prosecutor. But not for the lawyers who wrote the memos justifying the torture, and not for anybody who acted within the scope of those memos; only for some local level guy who acted beyond the scope of those memos, who waterboarded with too much water or whatever.”
Nadler understands the politics of such prosecution:
“If you start prosecuting the Bush people, you know what is going to be said? What’s going to be said is, this is politically motivated payback for the Clinton impeachment. That is what they are going to say. And you know that if you do this, there is going to be a tremendous pushback starting with Fox News and everywhere else. Who needs that? So from a political point of view it is the last thing you want to do. From a point of view of reestablishing justice in this country, it is essential.”
Congressman Nadler is correct. If President Obama follows the law and pursues criminal prosecution against the Bush administration, there will be tremendous push back by FOX News. But if the president fails to act, we will be a nation not governed by laws and principles but by Rupert Murdock.