The good news is that we’re finally going to see a government investigation into Bush’s torture policies.
The bad news is the government investigating is Spain’s!
LONDON — A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.
The case, against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.
Spain can claim jurisdiction in the case because five citizens or residents of Spain who were prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have said they were tortured there. The five had been indicted in Spain, but their cases were dismissed after the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained under torture was not admissible.
The 98-page complaint, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, is based on the Geneva Conventions and the 1984 Convention Against Torture, which is binding on 145 countries, including Spain and the United States. Countries that are party to the torture convention have the authority to investigate torture cases, especially when a citizen has been abused.
While God knows I am happy that someone, anyone, is grabbing this cudgel and starting to whack the bastards with it, I’m incredibly disappointed that we’re not the ones doing it.
Look, I know we’re still trying to get our economic house in order, not to mention restructuring our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. All while the opposition party seems to be having a very public nervous breakdown. But this is something we can not afford to let slide. Not if we want to fully regain the trust of the international community.
I think the best way for Obama to approach this is just go in head on. Call a press conference, invite the leaders of both parties, stand next to Holder and say that they’re going ahead with investigations.
Then bring up one or two family members of victims and have them tell the stories of how the people they loved were hurt.
Then, you show three or four of the worst, most grisly photos of Abu Ghraib and give that a moment to sink in.
And then Obama says (Hopefully, much better than I’m writing it now.) “Torture is neither a Democratic or Republican issue. Rather, it is an issue that cuts to the heart of who we are as Americans and as human beings. And anyone who went along with this, be they on the left or the right, should be ready to face to face the consequences”.
Then he should say “Obama out!”, drop the mike and walk off.
Okay, maybe not that last part. (Although it would kind of rock.) But all the rest, absolutely.
Screw caution in this case. It’s time to rip off the band aid with one pull!