Friday, April 24, 2009
We now know why top Democrats are protecting Bush administration officials from facing an inquiry into the illegal torture program – because several of them were actually complicit in giving their approval for such methods to be used.
The White House stressed again yesterday that it would not be pursuing an investigation of key Bush administration officials, despite the manifestly provable fact that the order to torture came from the very top, which was re-affirmed with the recent release of the Senate Armed Services Committee report.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs stated yesterday, “I think the last few days might well be evidence of why something like this would likely just become a political back and forth.”
“By (definition), an independent commission would probably not be something that I would weigh in on if Congress were to create one of those,” he told reporters, according to AFP.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also said he opposed an independent torture probe, stating, “I think it would be very unwise, from my perspective, to start having commissions, boards, tribunals, until we find out what the facts are.”
In addition, upon the recent release of the torture memos, Obama’s right-hand man, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, told ABC News that top Bush administration officials “should not be prosecuted either and that’s not the place that we go.” Obama’s statement that accompanied the release of the torture memos stated, “In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.”
Why are top Democrats so vehemently opposed to an independent inquiry into the blatantly illegal Bush torture program? This goes further than the crony self-interests of the two party monopoly – it turns out that top Democrats had foreknowledge of the torture and actually provided their unmitigated approval for the methods when presented with them by the CIA.
Despite Nancy Pelosi’s denial that Congress was informed that the CIA was illegally waterboarding detainees, the Senate committee report discovered that in 2002 Pelosi and three other members of Congress (one other Democrat and two Republicans) were given a virtual tour by the CIA of overseas detention sites and the torture tactics employed to try and make detainees talk. This was reported by the Washington Post in December 2007.
Democrats Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), all held oversight roles during this period. The Post reports that the lawmakers raised “no objections” to the interrogation methods demonstrated by the CIA and that in fact, “at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder.”
So in summary, at least four top Democrats were aware as far back as 2002 that the CIA was using torture tactics which were illegal under the Geneva Conventions on detainees. They gave their approval for such measures and, along with Republicans, advised that even harsher torture methods be employed.
Any independent investigation into the torture scandal will most probably uncover the fact that top Democrats like Pelosi, Harman, Graham and Rockefeller were complicit in approving the torture methods used by the CIA, which would also likely make them culpable to charges on the basis of knowingly covering up the fact that illegal actions which violate both the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution were taking place.
This is why Obama, Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic elite are so resistant to prosecuting Bush officials for devising the torture program – and have made every effort to protect them – because they were in on the fun and any truly independent inquiry would expose the fact that this whole debacle was a bipartisan cover-up from the very beginning.