Monday, October 25, 2010

(Entlich) Again: Why St. Barry Can't/Won't Prosecute the Busheviks

This a pretty common complaint on the walls of Facebook where I go to read/converse--leftish joints, mostly (I'm 65; I don't need to hear the same cant and boilerplate from the rightards again/anymore, ever): Why won't Obama prosecute the Cheney/Bush cabal, punish them for their crimes--to some of which the alleged malefactors have indeed all but confessed, in jocular tones. To many whose enthusiasm for St. Barry has waned significantly, this is a fundamental complaint.

The following exchange occurred today:
I wrote, as a comment (later additions are in parens):
If St. Barry had had the temerity to pursue ANY of the foremost criminals of the previous regime, he would be under impeachment at this very moments.
There are 4 reasons he didn't pursue 'em:
1) No precedent. Never happened before (that former high, elected, federal officials were prosecuted for crimes committed in office).
2) No case: If the defendants claimed National Security in 'war-time' as a defense, ...NAGAHAPUN, and EVERYBODY knows it.
3) Jury nullification: there's still 25% (extreme partisans) who think Bush/Cheney did no wrong.
4) The long knives of the Right would already be filleting him...(Even worse than now, if you can imagine it; but now they're just trying to frustrate his efforts; they're not REALLY trying to destroy him, yet).
An interlocutor replied
I beg to differ:
1) Precedents are there to be set... if precedents were never set, Nothing would ever get done.
2) No Case? National Security? No, there was and still there is and there will always be a case. When they lie, when they distort, when they subvert and circumvent the Constitution, etc., etc., that is a matter of Nationall Security as far as the treasury and, more importantly, the lives of those who died unknowingly protecting those crimes.
3) 75% is still a higher number in my book
4) I don't think so... a message would have been sent to the right-wing nuts as "DON"T FUCK WITH ME!"
Illustrating several problems with the popular understanding of judicial procee4dings if nothing else. I subsequently replies:
Al. 1) You may have noticed St. Barry isn't much of a precedent-setter.
2) No DA in the country would take a case to a jury wherein the PRESIDENTIAL defendants were claiming to have been 'saving the country.' Unwinnable. No POSSIBILITY of a unanimous verdict.
In the context of which, 3) jury nullification: Even if criminal malfeasance could be proven unambiguously, there are still one in four citizens who would excuse it for strictly partisan reasons. There are 12 jurors. that means THREE would likely resist any effort to achieve unanimity, and would torpedo it.
And 4) you saw what they did to the WHITE guy who pissed 'em off...


Charles D said...

Hell, if Obama held Bush and Cheney accountable to the law and the Constitution, he might have to obey the law himself and obviously he has no intention of doing that. Obama is emulating Bush not prosecuting him.

Besides, I doubt there's a President in living memory who hasn't committed war crimes and other high crimes against the Constitution. For my money they can impeach and indict the lot of them.

squatlo said...

The unwillingness by our (supposedly) unpartisan Justice Department to bring charges of War Crimes against those who so obviously committed them leaves a great many of us frustrated beyond words.
I couldn't care less if prosecuting war criminals makes Republicans more likely to pursue impeachment when they reclaim the Congressional majority. Moral and ethical reasoning alone demands that those who authorized torture in our names be prosecuted
There will never be true justice in this world until GWB, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the lot of them down the line are standing in shackles before a War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. I'm absolutely certain of this one thing: History will record those events in a highly unfavorable light for our country, and the fact that we seem so willing to shrug and say, "WTF... why bother?" only makes this country that much more culpable.
There have to be consequences for breaking internationally recognized laws and treaties against torture, unless you're willing to shrug and say, "WTF..." when it's your son or grandson being waterboarded in some third world pisshole at the hands of some tyrant who will never be held accountable.
I find any argument against persuing prosecution of these crimes pathetically vacuous. If fear of political payback is a factor in tolerating torture done in our names, then we have no moral grounds upon which to complain when the same is done to our own troops.
Sorry to disagree... normally, I find your blog one of the richest and most well-reasoned of them all.

squatlo said...

Again, sorry to rant on your site... I apologize if I got a little carried away.
This is a sore spot, and I'm not sure if anything short of seeing those assholes in shackles will ease that anger.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

None of the foregoing was intended to provide reasons why proceedings against the Busheviks SHOULDN'T go forward; only to explain why they WON'T.

I personally look forward to the opening of the Memorial Bush Cabal Execution Lamppost National Monument, on Pennsylvania Avenue, in front of the WhiteHouse, with plaques specifying from which lamp-posts each of them skeevy fux swung.