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U.S. War Criminals and John McCain [View All]

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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 02:30 PM
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U.S. War Criminals and John McCain
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Edited on Thu May-15-08 02:32 PM by RainDog
First- thanks to SeemsLikeaDream for keeping this issue on the front pages of DU. We all need to know about this. It is more important than any of the slap fests here b/t supporters of one democratic candidate v. another.

The Republican-controlled Senate failed to uphold U.S. treaties and laws concerning torture. Because of their complicity, people in the U.S. govt (past and present) are now open to charges of crimes against humanity based upon U.S. torture policy and actions. McCain is no maverick concerning this issue. Who are these war criminals? Douglas Feith, John Yoo, David Addington (Cheney's lawyer(s)), William (Jim) Haynes (Rummie's lawyer), Alberto Gonzales (Bush's lawyer), Jay Bybee (Justice dept.), in addition to Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush.

The reason they are open to criminal indictment overseas is because the U.S. legal structure HAS FAILED to hold these people accountable for these crimes. They not only failed to uphold the law, they tried to bypass law via the Military Commissions Act. (This is also why the Democrats regained Congress in 2006, tho some dems tried to pretend it wasn't for this reason. People want impeachment for these acts, not out of spite, etc.)

McCain supported the MCA knowing that the President retained virtually unfettered discretion to decree that the interrogation methods we were using that are widely considered in the civilized world to be torture could continue. That's John McCain -- and his Principled Maverickism and alleged torture opposition -- in a nutshell. He continuously preens as some sort of independent moralizer only to use that status to endorse and enable that which he claims to oppose.

In this EXCELLENT talk, Col. Larry Wilkerson, who served under Colin Powell, and Phillippe Sands, a British lawyer, note that these men who tortured have done more to damage this nation than ANY terrorist act. Sands notes that LEADING lawyers and judges in Europe, in nations that are bound to uphold intn'l law, have noted that the U.S. has failed to uphold their own law and thus other nations WILL hold these ppl accountable if they set foot in these nations.

You REALLY should listen to this talk (both Sands and Wilkerson) -- ALL of it. hear what Col. Wilkerson has to say about democracy and terror - terror is NOT an existential threat. it is not anywhere near the same level of threat as Hitler or the Soviets.

Sands was also on Bill Moyers' Journal
He wrote an article about this issue for Vanity Fair
He appeared on Democracy Now! as well.

What was the overall Republican view of these war crimes? They supported them. They supported it to such a degree that they said they were going to use it as a cudgel to attempt to beat democrats in 2006.

On the Mil. Comm. Act. (S.3930) The ACLU explains the Act here

The legislative action prompted extraordinarily blunt language from House GOP leaders, foreshadowing a major theme for the campaign. Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) issued a written statement on Wednesday declaring: "Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 159 of her Democrat colleagues voted today in favor of MORE rights for terrorists."

Barack Obama stated, in 2006, that he knew the democratic votes against the Military Commissions Act would be used to attack them. However, he said: "While I know all of this, I'm still disappointed, and I'm still ashamed, because what we're doing here today -- a debate over the fundamental human rights of the accused -- should be bigger than politics." (Both Clinton and Obama voted against this act. The votes are noted here.)

(Sands also notes what many of us think here - int'l opinion, if Clinton is elected, is that she will continue to be part of the power structure and will not deal with these heinous crimes. The U.S. stands a better chance of regaining our int'l standing as a leader in human rights via Obama. - address any outrage about this to Sands. He is stating broad-based int'l legal opinion.)

Now, voters across the U.S. may not respect the Constitution (Col. Wilkerson, a republican, notes this). Nevertheless, it is essential to our success as a democracy to MAKE THIS ISSUE CENTRAL to any assessment of Republican ability to govern. There are powerful people on both sides of the aisle, in the military, and dozens of legal organizations who know our democracy is worth defending and will do so with the candidate who has the courage to take up this issue.

In his speech here, Obama swore to uphold the Constitution. To honor the Constitution. This is far more imp. than any fucking flag pin or any other posturing about patriotism that is hollow at its core. This is an issue all of us need to bring up with our neighbors and friends. Justice is sometimes much slower than crime. However, justice will not arrive at all if someone does not pursue it.

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