From The Raw Story:
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley believes that not only did Vice President Dick Cheney “unambiguously” confess to a war crime during an ABC interview on Monday, but the US’ future as a nation may depend on taking action.
Asked by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann whether Cheney had just confessed to a war crime on national television, Turley at first replied wryly, “It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? … If someone commits a crime and everyone’s around to see it and does nothing, is it still a crime?”
“It most certainly is a crime to participate, to create, to in many ways monitor a torture program,” he added. “What [Cheney] is describing is most certainly and unambiguously a war crime.”
During Monday’s interview, Cheney was asked, “Did you authorize the tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohamed?” and replied, “I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared.”
“What happens if the next administration does not press this?” Olbermann asked. “Do we let the International Court at the Hague come in and take over all our responsibilities for policing our own act here?”
“That’s what worries me the most,” Turley replied, “is that you can’t talk about change without having some moral component to it. It’s not just about creating jobs or lowering the price of gasoline.”
“What occurred in the last eight years was an assault on who we are,” Turley said. “I think that President-elect Obama’s going to have to decide whether he wants power without principle or whether he wants to start with a true change, to say that no matter where an investigation will take us, if there are crimes to be found they will be prosecuted.”
“It will ultimately depend on citizens, and whether they will remain silent in the face of a crime that’s been committed in plain view,” Turley concluded. “It is equally immoral to stand silent in the face of a war crime and do nothing, and that is what the citizens are doing. There’s this gigantic yawn.”
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
On Monday of this week, George W. Bush’s scowling sidekick and secretive Svengali, Dick Cheney, emerged from his hiding place to speak with ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl. In his interview with the American TV network, Cheney acknowledged his approval of the torture methods the Bush-Cheney gang has employed in its hapless “war on terror.”
Notes commentator Matthew Duss in Britain’s Guardian: “The notion that the presidency of George [W.] Bush has been a disaster for the U.S. approaches the level of self-evident truth. It has actually become quite difficult to find anyone who isn’t a personal friend of the president who will argue otherwise. But…Dick Cheney isn’t sorry about any of it.” In his ABC News interview he “betrayed no second thoughts – and certainly no remorse – about the policies pursued by the administration that he both served and, according to some, led. Watching Cheney’s brusque dismissal of concerns about his methods in the [so-called] war on terror, you’d be forgiven for coming to the mistaken impression that these methods have worked. There is no evidence that they have.”
Duss points out that, in the interview, when “pressed” by reporter Karl “on concerns” about the military jail at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, “where suspects are held indefinitely as ‘illegal combatants,’ Cheney claimed that many of them ‘have been released back to their home countries.’ He then insisted: ‘What we have left is the hard core.’ But, of course, Cheney has always insisted that those held in Guantánamo were the hard core – the ‘worst of the worst,’ as former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put it – while ignoring evidence that many were falsely imprisoned there, and assiduously working to quash efforts to ascertain their actual guilt or innocence. Confronted with criticisms of the Bush administration’s torture policy, Cheney simply lied, saying: ‘We don’t do torture. We never have.’” However, later in the ABC News interview, “Cheney bluntly admitted that he had supported the waterboarding of al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
France’s conservative daily, Le Figaro, points out to French readers that, customarily, at the end of his term in office, an American president can and does use his constitutionally designated power to issue pardons to wrongdoers, and that there is currently speculation about whether or not Bush might pardon, en masse, the many participants in his administration’s lawless “war on terror” – including torturers on the U.S. government’s payroll and their high-ranking enablers – who played criminal roles in that aimless battle.
A question for the Bush-Cheney gang’s hair-splitting legal eagles: Would such an executive pardon explicitly cover Cheney’s wrongdoings, too?