In this scene from Fox's "24" Jack Bauer talks two FBI agents into helping him kidnap and torture an innocent woman and her 10 month-old in order to get information from her Husband, a traitor Secret Service Agent. We're not talking about torturing some killer or terrorist here - they're talking about torturing A BABY!
But the truth, which so many people fail to realize is there are NO EXCUSES for Torture. None. EVER. Regardless of who it is.
Bauer presents a classic false choice - "Follow your conscience or let the 1st Gentleman Die" which is the same as what Senator Cornyn asked Attorney General Eric Holder: "Assume You Have No Option (other than to use Waterboarding)". You always have a choice, and you're always responsible for your actions. In this case they already had phone records and GPS tracking data they could have used to find the President's Husband in time.
There absolutely was a third and even a forth choice - refusing to DO THE RIGHT THING is not a valid reason for doing the wrong thing.
Holder v Leahy
Holder V Cornyn.
The UN Convention Against Torture, Signed by Ronald Reagan says this:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
The is no wiggle room here, there are no valid excuses or justifications available. It's a crime - Period.
During the Randy Rhodes show I just listened to Pat Leahy discuss how we need a "Truth Commission" to at least found out what happened, while John Conyers says - We Need TO PROSECUTE after release a 400 page document on the various abuses of the Bush Administration (that we know about!)
This week, I released "Reining in the Imperial Presidency," a 486-page report detailing the abuses and excesses of the Bush administration and recommending steps to address them. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. popularized the term "imperial presidency" in the 1970s to describe an executive who had assumed more power than the Constitution allows and circumvented the checks and balances fundamental to our three-branch system of government. Until recently, the Nixon administration seemed to represent a singular embodiment of the idea. Unfortunately, it is clear that the threat of the imperial presidency lives on and, indeed, reached new heights under George W. Bush.
As this report documents, there was the administration's contrived drive to a needless war of aggression with Iraq, based on manipulated intelligence and facts that were "fixed around the policy." There was its politicization of the Justice Department; unconscionable and possibly illegal policies on detention, interrogation and extraordinary rendition; warrantless wiretaps of American citizens; the ravaging of our regulatory system and the use of signing statements to override the laws of the land; and the intimidation and silencing of critics and whistle-blowers who dared to tell fellow citizens what was being done in their name. And all of this was hidden behind an unprecedented veil of secrecy and outlandish claims of privilege.
I understand that many feel we should just move on. They worry that addressing these actions by the Bush administration will divert precious energy from the serious challenges facing our nation. I understand the power of that impulse. Indeed, I want to move on as well -- there are so many things that I would rather work on than further review of Bush's presidency. But in my view it would not be responsible to start our journey forward without first knowing exactly where we are.
We can't "Move On" unless we fully understand where we've been and how to make sure we never go back. We can't afford to sweep all of this under a rug, because we know from doing just that after the Nixon Administration - it just sits there and festers!.
Obama doesn't need to address this, Holder doesn't need to address this - we need an Special Counsel to be appointed in order to do a fair and reasonalble analysis of the Bush Administration Crimes. A Top to Bottom Review - there is no other way, and there is no excuse!
If he doesn't fully investigate and prosecute - we'll be right back here in another 30 or 40 years. No More!