In their desperate attempt to make the entire issue of the torture of prisoners held by our country go away, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Holder is already preparing their final report that will no doubt recommend no criminal charges be levied against the lawyers who wrote the guidelines that gave the Bush Administration all the justification they needed to give the green light to the most heinous of war crimes.
While many of us are content to sit back and applaud the decision to not prosecute the lawyers for their criminal rewriting of our nation's laws, there are also many of us who can see down the road, and how this insane sweeping under the rug of this issue not only will basically end any chance of ever bringing the top echelon culprits to justice, but it will now set the dangerous precedent for the next Bush that comes along to go even further. Like say, torturing American citizens?
Also forgotten and intentionally not spoken about by the media any more are not only the vast torture programs our government had going, but the renditions of individuals from even friendly countries such as Canada, wherein they would be shipped off to places where even more diabolical torture techniques are common place, and from which the Bush Administration first derived their false case for war with Iraq.
Such as the case of Al-Libi, an admitted al-Queda operative captured soon after the 9/11 attacks. No trial was nor ever has been held for this person and although not a figure to gain much sympathy in our part of the world, Al-Libi was probably the test case from which the entire torture/rendition program sprang forth from. CIA interrogators stuffed Al-Libi into a 2ft. by 2 ft. box and kept him there for 17 hours, effectively burying him alive while demanding that he provide a link between al-Queda and Saddam Hussein. When that didn't work, the beatings began. Forget this hooey about water boarding. That wasn't the worst that was done. Prisoners like Al-Libi would be set upon by up to 5 men at a time, fists and feet flying for up to 15 minutes, hitting in all the right places to inflict maximum pain with minimal damage.
The country was treated to pictures of prisoners strung up with electrical wiring and we were told no electrocutions ever happened. But by the CIA's own admission, people that were renditioned and sent to other countries such as Egypt, were tortured with electricity, tortured by having spikes shoved under their fingernails, tortured to the point that some would swear to anything the Americans wanted them to say, then sent back to Bagram Air Base to be tortured some more by our own people.
It was due to this torturing of Al-Libi to get him to say what the Bush Administration wanted that then Secretary of State Colin Powell told the U.N. "I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to al Qaeda," Powell said. "Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story."
Suddenly we find ourselves, after being horrified at the stories of torture by our people towards prisoners, faced with the notion that those who ordered the torture program to begin, those who rewrote the laws to make it appear that torture was legal as long as the President sanctioned it, and even those who implemented the torture under orders from the White House (Don't even start. we all know who ordered the torture programs), will walk away with literally no consequences other than a possible bar association sanction. The Nazis and the Japanese we imprisoned and executed for the very same war crimes must be spinning in their graves.
Because somehow, the entire issue has devolved into the subject of water boarding. As if that's ALL that was done to prisoners under our control. That's not the only thing we did to these people, these human beings, we did far worse. And anyone who argues that water boarding is not torture should go ahead and have it done to them, but not in a controlled environment. Let the Syrians do it. The Egyptians. The Israelis. The Algerians. That's where we sent some of our prisoners and they came back missing pieces from their struggles to breath as the water was pouring into their airways.
No one really wants to dredge the entire affair through hearings and courtrooms. No one has the stomach for parading Bush, Cheney or any of their disgusting cronies through the public's consciousness for however long trials would take. But we have no choice if we are a nation of laws. To let these people walk away from their culpability or the consequences that must be imposed if they are found guilty would be to tell not only us here at home, but the entire world, that anarchy is the day word here in this country, and torturers, as long as they are American, can do whatever they please and get away with it. That the law means nothing to us, and as such, no citizen should be forced to observe any other laws.
There can not be two sets of laws in the United States. We are rushing headlong down the path to a complete breakdown of social order when we begin to allow corporate fat cats to get away with ripping off billions of dollars in taxpayer money while we arrest, prosecute, and jail the poor person who stole food to feed his or her family. While Presidents and other Administration officials can get away with war crimes by claiming some non-existent immunity, but we prosecute and imprison the average Joe who gets into a bar fight and breaks the other guy's jaw.
How long does one suppose the majority of the public will sit still after watching time and time again, those people who think themselves the 'movers and shakers' slipping and sliding themselves out of culpability for their crimes while everyone else is expected to obey every law to the letter or face prison? The answer is not much longer. With the advent of instant information, and almost universal access to it, the public is more aware, and as such, moved to anger that much quicker than in times past.
No. Those responsible for the stain that is on the flag of our nation MUST be brought to justice. Our honor as a people demands it. The stability and faith in our legal system demands it. How we are viewed by ally and foe alike demands it. The safety of our troops who may end up captured demands it. The restoration of the rule of law demands it. For if these war criminals are allowed to walk away from their evil without so much as a bye your leave, then the Department of Justice and the White House may as well go on national television and declare that no one is required to obey any law in this country if they can come up with a reason as to why the law does not apply to them. Prosecute the war criminals period.....................