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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-26-08 11:41 AM
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How Should the Next President Deal with the Bush White House's Crimes?
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Amy Goodman asks an important question.

I vote: investigate, prosecute and sentence the guilty. All of them.

How Should the Next President Deal with the Bush White House's Crimes?

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Posted on July 26, 2008, Printed on July 26, 2008 /


The criticism of Obama's stances has come as part of a larger debate over whether efforts to hold the Bush administration accountable would jeopardize an ostensibly higher goal of ensuring a Democratic win this November.

I'm joined right now, in addition to Glenn Greenwald, who blogs at, the legal scholar by Cass Sunstein, who's an informal adviser to Barack Obama, professor at Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School. He is co-author of the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness and is cited as one of the most-cited legal scholars in the country.


Glenn Greenwald: You know, I think this mentality that we're hearing is really one of the principal reasons why our government has become so lawless and so distorted over the past thirty years. You know, if you go into any courtroom where there is a criminal on trial for any kind of a crime, they'll have lawyers there who stand up and offer all sorts of legal and factual justifications or defenses for what they did. You know, going back all the way to the pardon of Nixon, you know, you have members of the political elite and law professors standing up and saying, "Oh, there's good faith reasons not to impeach or to criminally prosecute." And then you go to the Iran-Contra scandal, where the members of the Beltway class stood up and said the same things Professor Sunstein is saying: we need to look to the future, it's important that we not criminalize policy debates. You know, you look at Lewis Libby being spared from prison.

And now you have an administration that -- we have a law in this country that says it is a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, to spy on Americans without the warrants required by law. We have a president who got caught doing that, who admits that he did that. And yet, you have people saying, "Well, there may be legal excuses as to why he did that." Or you have a president who admits ordering, in the White House, planning with his top aides, interrogation policies that the International Red Cross says are categorically torture, which are also felony offenses in the United States. And you have people saying, "Well, we can't criminalize policy disputes."

And what this has really done is it's created a two-tiered system of government, where government leaders know that they are free to break our laws, and they'll have members of the pundit class and the political class and law professors standing up and saying, "Well, these are important intellectual issues that we need to grapple with, and it's really not fair to put them inside of a courtroom or talk about prison." And so, we've incentivized lawlessness in this country. I mean, the laws are clear that it's criminal to do these things. The President has done them, and he -- there's no reason to treat him differently than any other citizen who breaks our laws.


Interesting discussion. Would more Americans listened to Amy Goodman.

Adlai Stevenson, too:

"Corruption in public office is treason."
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  -How Should the Next President Deal with the Bush White House's Crimes? Octafish  Jul-26-08 11:41 AM   #0 
  - K&R  Solly Mack   Jul-26-08 11:44 AM   #1 
  - Truth and Reconciliation Commission?  Octafish   Jul-26-08 12:59 PM   #22 
     - That would have to involve the victims of America's crimes, yes?  Solly Mack   Jul-26-08 04:37 PM   #58 
     - Excellent points, Solly Mack.  Octafish   Jul-26-08 09:40 PM   #73 
        - The full truth can come out in a trial  Solly Mack   Jul-27-08 08:27 AM   #105 
     - Truth Commissions are only appropriate in post civil-war situations, when trials would spark  leveymg   Jul-27-08 06:00 AM   #93 
     - Weak. that;s not NEARLY enough.  Phred42   Jul-27-08 08:20 AM   #101 
     - We Prefer Truth and Consequences!  Demeter   Jul-27-08 11:55 AM   #124 
  - Hang the bastards! nt  tmfun   Jul-26-08 11:46 AM   #2 
  - The Rosenbergs got the electric chair in 1953.  Octafish   Jul-26-08 01:03 PM   #23 
  - indicte, imprison..........  PDJane   Jul-26-08 11:46 AM   #3 
  - Gov. Siegelman would make an excellent Special Prosecutor.  Octafish   Jul-26-08 01:13 PM   #26 
  - Try them for treason and execute those who are found guilty  tularetom   Jul-26-08 11:49 AM   #4 
  - Speaking of goats...  Octafish   Jul-26-08 09:49 PM   #74 
  - as a traditionalist, I kind of like tar and feathers, myself  wordpix   Jul-27-08 08:19 AM   #100 
  - By Impeaching Nancy Pelocy for not doing her constitutional duty  FreakinDJ   Jul-26-08 11:49 AM   #5 
  - Pelosi cannot be impeached.  Thothmes   Jul-26-08 07:02 PM   #63 
  - Can you clarify? In Friday's hearing "around" impeachment ...  puebloknot   Jul-27-08 02:44 AM   #87 
     - Maybe someone doesn't know what they're talking about  madokie   Jul-27-08 06:51 AM   #96 
     - Yes. John Dean wrote an article pointing to the possible "wisdom" ...  puebloknot   Jul-27-08 02:42 PM   #133 
     - Because there's already a process in the Constitution for Members of Congress:  NYC Liberal   Jul-27-08 10:46 AM   #118 
        - Please do elaborate on the expulsion process you speak of.  puebloknot   Jul-27-08 02:54 PM   #134 
           - You don't know about expelling a member of Congress?  NYC Liberal   Jul-27-08 03:31 PM   #136 
              - It won't happen. And if it *were* undertaken ...  puebloknot   Jul-28-08 06:59 PM   #142 
                 - It's public record just like anything else  NYC Liberal   Jul-29-08 09:25 AM   #144 
  - Perhaps what we need to do is show her what we're talking about...  Octafish   Jul-26-08 10:00 PM   #76 
     - great link. thanks. but I doubt that Nanci would  bbgrunt   Jul-27-08 08:52 AM   #107 
  - K&R  lynettebro440   Jul-26-08 11:54 AM   #6 
  - Bush-Cheney crony got Iraq oil deal  Octafish   Jul-26-08 10:29 PM   #78 
  - off to the greatest page you go! K & enthusiastically R'd!!!  peacebird   Jul-26-08 11:55 AM   #7 
  - He should investigate for a while, then begin prosecution 8-9 months before midterm elections.  anonymous171   Jul-26-08 11:57 AM   #8 
  - Greenwald for AG  IDemo   Jul-26-08 12:00 PM   #9 
  - Investigate  bigwillq   Jul-26-08 12:02 PM   #10 
  - i hope that everyone realizes that NOTHING is going to be done to/about the cheney misadministration  QuestionAll   Jul-26-08 12:04 PM   #11 
  - I wouldn't even bet a cold cup of coffee against that.  exothermic   Jul-26-08 12:14 PM   #15 
  - Sad but True  FreakinDJ   Jul-26-08 12:15 PM   #16 
  - Absolutely.  Blue_In_AK   Jul-26-08 12:31 PM   #21 
  - I know, you all keep saying that, but after yesterday, I have reason to think otherwise.  Independent_Liberal   Jul-26-08 02:07 PM   #40 
  - why is that?  QuestionAll   Jul-26-08 07:22 PM   #65 
     - Perhaps I'm a bit of an optimist, but...  Independent_Liberal   Jul-26-08 08:19 PM   #66 
        - i do disagree.  QuestionAll   Jul-26-08 08:41 PM   #67 
  - they market the "Democrat vs. Republican" sports team imagery  datasuspect   Jul-26-08 03:54 PM   #56 
  - First off, let's not repeat the mistakes of the past  Canuckistanian   Jul-26-08 12:08 PM   #12 
  - I'm hoping for the Hague, myself.  intheflow   Jul-26-08 12:11 PM   #13 
  - The question is "will" not "should." If it's a Republican, nothing. If it's a Democrat,  exothermic   Jul-26-08 12:14 PM   #14 
  - Urge Congress to do its job nt  LiberalEsto   Jul-26-08 12:17 PM   #17 
  - Turn all docs over the Den Haage. and let them weigh in. Or name the jerks as "enemy combatants" &  elehhhhna   Jul-26-08 12:24 PM   #18 
  - Put them all in prison. If we don't, they'll do this again. They'll be back  Joanne98   Jul-26-08 12:29 PM   #19 
  - They'll be back and in the Congressional Ethics Office like Porter Goss.  sfexpat2000   Jul-26-08 01:08 PM   #25 
     - Oh I know! That's so depressing.  Joanne98   Jul-26-08 01:53 PM   #37 
  - They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law  Blue_In_AK   Jul-26-08 12:30 PM   #20 
  - There won't be anything dealt with it seems.  mmonk   Jul-26-08 01:07 PM   #24 
  - Are we sure that crimes have been committed?  slipslidingaway   Jul-26-08 01:16 PM   #27 
  - If Democratic party leaders say there is some question  mmonk   Jul-26-08 01:18 PM   #28 
     - Well then there must not have been, maybe they were just really  slipslidingaway   Jul-26-08 01:34 PM   #33 
        - I was kidding. Of course there were clear crimes  mmonk   Jul-26-08 01:44 PM   #36 
           - Except that at least one leader in our party is not sure if crimes  slipslidingaway   Jul-26-08 02:16 PM   #44 
              - I know.  mmonk   Jul-26-08 02:42 PM   #45 
              - OK and Cass Sunstein for Supreme court???  slipslidingaway   Jul-26-08 03:03 PM   #48 
                 - Let's hope your update is true it's not certain.  mmonk   Jul-26-08 03:14 PM   #49 
                    - Yes, here is the embedded link to the National Journal article,  slipslidingaway   Jul-26-08 03:18 PM   #51 
                       - Disturbing.  mmonk   Jul-26-08 03:24 PM   #52 
                          - :(( n/t  slipslidingaway   Jul-26-08 03:37 PM   #53 
                             - this is NOT a good sign. I share your :((( and raise you a (.  bbgrunt   Jul-27-08 09:01 AM   #109 
                                - :)))) Agree and posting the links below as a reference for later...  slipslidingaway   Jul-27-08 11:40 AM   #122 
              - The bright line is intent  realpolitik   Jul-27-08 12:08 PM   #126 
  - I'll bet you $1000 that he does exactly what Clinton did, nothing.  greyhound1966   Jul-26-08 01:28 PM   #29 
  - I wouldn't take you up on that bet.  happydreams   Jul-26-08 01:33 PM   #32 
     - You do have to watch what you say around here sometimes. n/t  Blue_In_AK   Jul-26-08 02:00 PM   #38 
        - "watch what you say"....  happydreams   Jul-27-08 04:57 PM   #138 
  - "Crimes" is the key word. "rule of law" Follow where the clues lead  Fuzz   Jul-26-08 01:31 PM   #30 
  - Bill Hicks had it right  RufusTFirefly   Jul-26-08 01:33 PM   #31 
  - Yes, Bill Hicks did have it right. Watch. n/t  sfexpat2000   Jul-27-08 01:43 AM   #81 
     - Reminds me of ...  flashl   Jul-27-08 08:39 AM   #106 
        - Precisely. n/t  sfexpat2000   Jul-27-08 09:55 AM   #115 
  - Cass Sunstein lifts the tent for the camel's nose  bleever   Jul-26-08 01:38 PM   #34 
  - Do you have a reason to believe we should remain  Pastiche423   Jul-26-08 06:21 PM   #60 
  - Yes,  bleever   Jul-27-08 01:42 AM   #80 
     - That's not what I meant.  Pastiche423   Jul-27-08 04:09 AM   #92 
        - I guess my view is that we should push for him to do the right thing,  bleever   Jul-27-08 01:34 PM   #130 
           - I believe you are right  Pastiche423   Jul-27-08 01:53 PM   #131 
  - bleever, Bill clinton was a very smart fellow as well but sold out our rule of law  mod mom   Jul-27-08 09:01 AM   #108 
     - I agree, mod mom.  bleever   Jul-27-08 01:31 PM   #129 
  - Bush and Cheney need to be turned over to the ICC.  Usrename   Jul-26-08 01:43 PM   #35 
  - I agree that our courts AND our political leaders  bbgrunt   Jul-27-08 09:18 AM   #110 
  - Two words  sellitman   Jul-26-08 02:01 PM   #39 
  - And then we have no grassroots movement who is writing to Congress or the press about this matter  TheBorealAvenger   Jul-26-08 02:11 PM   #41 
  - Rendition Flights To Gitmo  Me.   Jul-26-08 02:15 PM   #42 
  - They also have the right to hang themselves for dessert making it their last meal  mmonk   Jul-26-08 03:50 PM   #55 
  - I wish Glenn Greenwald (whom I respect) wouldn't call it the Iran-Contra scandal.  ArbustoBuster   Jul-26-08 02:15 PM   #43 
  - And I agree with you.  Enthusiast   Jul-27-08 09:18 AM   #111 
  - Bruce Fein and Glen Greenwald on Cass Sunstein and more...  slipslidingaway   Jul-26-08 02:56 PM   #46 
  - WTF? according to Cass Sunstein, * can get away with violating the constitution as long as he  mod mom   Jul-26-08 02:57 PM   #47 
  - Sunstein is beginning to give me nightmares.  bbgrunt   Jul-27-08 09:23 AM   #112 
  - I agree. Investigate and prosecute and sentence the guilty and RESTORE  Overseas   Jul-26-08 03:17 PM   #50 
  - Prosecute  Prophet 451   Jul-26-08 03:47 PM   #54 
  - Ray Of Hope  Me.   Jul-26-08 04:00 PM   #57 
  - We already have a process for dealing with them, impeachment.  Edweird   Jul-26-08 04:55 PM   #59 
  - While it's fun to dream, here's the reality.  JNelson6563   Jul-26-08 06:36 PM   #61 
  - Investigation, prosecution, revocation of citizenship, ostracism.  sofa king   Jul-26-08 06:42 PM   #62 
  - Investigate all the way back to the Y2K selections.  lpbk2713   Jul-26-08 07:06 PM   #64 
  - .  mopinko   Jul-26-08 08:43 PM   #68 
  - Your Images Are My Dreams  Care   Jul-27-08 02:12 AM   #84 
  - Arrest, Indict, Prosecute, Imprison  dpbrown   Jul-26-08 08:55 PM   #69 
  - Kick n/t  bonito   Jul-26-08 09:11 PM   #70 
  - In a "One Party" political system, with two right wings, like the one we have....  host   Jul-26-08 09:15 PM   #71 
  - Have every single person  norepubsin08   Jul-26-08 09:24 PM   #72 
  - Subpoenas, Hearings, Indictments, Trials, Verdicts  specimenfred1984   Jul-26-08 09:50 PM   #75 
  - If I Had My Way  Care   Jul-27-08 02:14 AM   #85 
     - The Same Obama that voted for FISA & Telco amnesty and calls it "the war on terror"?  host   Jul-27-08 02:34 AM   #86 
        - No, The Obama That Will Be President.  Care   Jul-27-08 11:45 AM   #123 
        - Moyer's has said what many still fear to say  sattahipdeep   Jul-27-08 12:21 PM   #128 
           - Deleted message  Name removed   Jul-27-08 07:43 PM   #140 
  - Seppuku.  jmowreader   Jul-26-08 10:10 PM   #77 
  - Save on prison space  wial   Jul-27-08 01:39 AM   #79 
  - Nice :)  diane in sf   Jul-27-08 03:37 AM   #91 
  - executive order  leftofthedial   Jul-27-08 01:57 AM   #82 
  - Two words...  ImForGore   Jul-27-08 02:09 AM   #83 
  - Did these a few years back....  JawJaw   Jul-27-08 02:51 AM   #88 
  - "Suicides" and "Accidents"  frog92969   Jul-27-08 03:01 AM   #89 
  - Thoroughly and severely--psychopaths have no conscience so it would be very  diane in sf   Jul-27-08 03:30 AM   #90 
  - If McCain Gets in there ..It Ain't Gonna Happen..  Razorblade02   Jul-27-08 06:39 AM   #94 
  - Maybe its time to invest in rope making  madokie   Jul-27-08 06:49 AM   #95 
  - And no pardons!!  Herdin_Cats   Jul-27-08 06:54 AM   #97 
  - What I think will happen  Tab   Jul-27-08 08:10 AM   #98 
  - first we need to IMPEACH BUSH before he PARDONS everyone else  wordpix   Jul-27-08 08:17 AM   #99 
  - Exactly!  Phred42   Jul-27-08 08:20 AM   #102 
  - What if it goes back to big Swiss banks?  Festivito   Jul-27-08 08:22 AM   #103 
  - Should a Bear shit in the woods?  Phred42   Jul-27-08 08:26 AM   #104 
  - They all should be prosecuted, but...  totodeinhere   Jul-27-08 09:36 AM   #113 
  - "Corruption in public office is treason."  formercia   Jul-27-08 09:51 AM   #114 
  - what SHOULD be done ... or what MIGHT to be done?  Martin Eden   Jul-27-08 10:26 AM   #116 
  - Dems don't have the guts to pursue Impeachment  cyclezealot   Jul-27-08 10:37 AM   #117 
  - Prosecute and convict Bushco, then send them  anotheryellowdog   Jul-27-08 11:21 AM   #119 
  - Just a note unrelated to topic, but thought I would share. LOL  lonestarnot   Jul-27-08 11:23 AM   #120 
  - And they stand to be held accountable just like every defendant when sentence is passed!  lonestarnot   Jul-27-08 11:27 AM   #121 
  - "Corruption in public office is treason."  realpolitik   Jul-27-08 11:56 AM   #125 
  - criminalizing policy disputes  klyon   Jul-27-08 12:19 PM   #127 
  - Don't get sucked into that sick web.  cleveramerican   Jul-27-08 02:21 PM   #132 
  - "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."  puebloknot   Jul-27-08 03:07 PM   #135 
     - there are a limited number of things any president can accomplish  cleveramerican   Jul-28-08 04:28 PM   #141 
        - "Hope and change" fashioned out of brushing criminality under the rug?  puebloknot   Jul-29-08 04:18 AM   #143 
           - it really is an either/or proposition  cleveramerican   Jul-29-08 02:36 PM   #145 
              - Which is why, if your math is correct, there is a *reason* ...  puebloknot   Jul-29-08 06:30 PM   #146 
  - Cart 'em off to Gitmo sans charge or trail, placing former inmates  DailyGrind51   Jul-27-08 04:19 PM   #137 
  - if nothing is done to put these criminals in prison  blues90   Jul-27-08 05:01 PM   #139 

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