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Jonathan Turley on Obama's "Reflection, not Retribution"

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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-17-09 02:08 PM
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Jonathan Turley on Obama's "Reflection, not Retribution"
The following was transcribed from Turley's appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC) Thursday, April 17th, 2009

Jonathan Turley is a professor of law at The George Washington University Law School where he holds the Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law.


But what is really disturbing is that President Obama is obviously referring to criminal investigation and prosecution, and somehow he is equating the enforcement of Federal Laws, that he took an oath to enforce, to uphold the constitution and our laws, and he is equating that with an act of retribution.

It is not retribution to enforce criminal laws.
What it is is obstruction to prevent that enforcement, and that is exactly what he has done so far.
He is trying to lay the groundwork to look principled while he is doing an utterly unprincipled thing. There are very few things worse for a president to do than to protect accused War Criminals. And that is what we are talking about here.

President Obama himself has said that waterboarding is torture. And torture violates at least 4 treaties and is considered a War Crime. So the refusal to let it be investigated is to try to obstruct a War Crime investigation, and that puts us in the same category as Serbia and other countries that have refused to allow investigations to occur.

<snip>

What is amazing is that we have gotten used to our Senators and our President and the Attorney General talking about whether it is a convenient time.whether this is a good time for us to investigate.whether weve got other things to do.

There arent any convenient or inconvenient times to investigate War Crimes.
You dont have a choice. You dont wait for the perfect moment. You have an obligation to do it, and what I think this president is desperately trying to do is to sell this idea that somehow it is a principled thing not to investigate War Crimes because it is really going to be painful.

And quite frankly, I think the motive is obvious. He knows that it will be politically unpopular because an investigation will go directly to the doorstep of president Bushand he knows it. And there is not a lot of defenses that can be raised for ordering a torture program."


Jonathon Turley supports the ACLU call for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, independent from the Obama or Bush Administration to begin a serious and thorough investigation of all War Crimes. The ACLU has also pointed out the need for speed because the Statute of Limitations on some of the worst torture offenses (early Afghanistan) will expire this year.
Justice Delayed will indeed be Justice Denied.

I also support the immediate appointment of a Special Prosecutor.
Donald Iglesias springs to my mind.
A Republican with a history of squeaky clean ethics who refused to be bullied by the Bush Administration.

I am expecting the usual Ad Hominem attacks in an attempt to somehow discredit Turley, the messenger.
I request that those replying please address the content of Turley's message.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-17-09 02:14 PM
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1. "politically unpopular"
...but not unpopular with the citizenry

People claiming this would 'hurt' Obama's image with the voters are dead wrong.

K&R
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-17-09 02:25 PM
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2. The Nuremberg trials meant nothing

Nothing at all.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-17-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Was there greater popular demand from the public for Nuremburg trials?
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-17-09 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. What does popular demand have to do with it?

Just wondering.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-17-09 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. prosecution is not retribution, it is accountablility
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-17-09 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. Agree with Turley and also with Greenwald quoted below...
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/17/prose...

"... This is what Obama said in affirming that rotted premise:

This is a time for reflection, not retribution. . . . But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. Our national greatness is embedded in America's ability to right its course in concert with our core values, and to move forward with confidence. That is why we must resist the forces that divide us, and instead come together on behalf of our common future.

That passage, more than anything else, is the mindset that has destroyed the rule of law in the U.S. and spawned massive criminality in our elite class. Accountability for crimes committed by political leaders (as opposed to ordinary Americans) is scorned as "retribution" and "laying blame for the past." Those who believe that the rule of law should be applied to the powerful as well as to ordinary citizens are demonized as the "forces that divide us." The bottomless corruption of immunizing political elites for serious crimes is glorified in the most Orwellian terms as "a time for reflection," "moving forward," and "coming together on behalf of our common future."



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