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Obama’s justice department grants final immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers

Posted By admin On September 1, 2012 @ 2:41 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Glenn Greenwald
London Guardian [1]
Sept 1, 2012

The Obama administration [2]‘s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes [3] committed by Bush officials is now complete. Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder [4] announced [5] the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the UStorture [6] program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA [7] prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday [8], “eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA”.

To see what a farce this is, it is worthwhile briefly to review the timeline of how Obama officials acted to shield Bush torturers from all accountability. During his 2008 campaign for president, Obama repeatedly vowed [9] that, while he opposed “partisan witch-hunts”, he would instruct his attorney general to “immediately review” the evidence of criminality in these torture programs because “nobody is above the law.” Yet, almost immediately after winning the 2008 election, Obama, before he was even inaugurated [10], made clear that he was opposed to any such investigations, citing what he called “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards”.

Throughout the first several months of his presidency, his top political aides, such as the chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel [11], and his press secretary, Robert Gibbs [12], publicly – and inappropriately – pressured the justice department to refrain from any criminal investigations. Over and over, they repeated the Orwellian mantra that such investigations were objectionable because “we must look forward, not backward”. As Gibbs put it in April 2009, when asked to explain Obama’s opposition, “the president is focused on looking forward. That’s why.”

On 16 April 2009, Obama himself took the first step in formalizing the full-scale immunity he intended to bestow on all government officials involved even in the most heinous and lethal torture. On that date, he decreed [13]absolute immunity for any official involved in torture provided that it comported with the permission slips [14] produced by Bush department of justice (DOJ) lawyers which authorized certain techniques. “This is a time for reflection, not retribution,” the new president so movingly observed in his statement announcing this immunity. Obama added:

“[N]othing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past … we must resist the forces that divide us, and instead come together on behalf of our common future.”

Full article here [15]


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URLs in this post:

[1] London Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer

[2] Obama administration: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/obama-administration

[3] aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/31/us-cia-detainee-prison-deaths

[4] Eric Holder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/eric-holder

[5] announced: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/August/12-ag-1067.html

[6] torture: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/torture

[7] CIA: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/cia

[8] says the New York Times Friday: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/us/holder-rules-out-prosecutions-in-cia-interrogations.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1

[9] repeatedly vowed: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Barack_on_torture.html

[10] before he was even inaugurated: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html?pagewanted=all

[11] chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel: http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/rahm-emanuel-sez-no-bush-officals-shoul

[12] press secretary, Robert Gibbs: http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/4/20/19221/2215

[13] he decreed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/16/AR2009041602768.html

[14] the permission slips: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.br/2009/07/immunization-program-by-digby-needless.html

[15] Full article here: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4275558,00.html

[16] Circuit Court Grants Qualified Immunity to Torture Memos’ Author John Yoo: http://www.prisonplanet.com/circuit-court-grants-qualified-immunity-to-torture-memos-author-john-yoo.html

[17] US govt grants large ISPs immunity if they help spy on internet usage of Americans: http://www.prisonplanet.com/us-govt-grants-large-isps-immunity-if-they-help-spy-on-internet-usage-of-americans.html

[18] Justice Department bars Texas voter ID law: http://www.prisonplanet.com/justice-department-bars-texas-voter-id-law.html

[19] Obama grants Interpol immunity as foreign ‘assets’ assigned to U.S. homeland: http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-grants-interpol-immunity-as-foreign-assets-assigned-to-u-s-homeland.html

[20] Justice Department considers suing Arizona to block immigration law: http://www.prisonplanet.com/justice-department-considers-suing-arizona-to-block-immigration-law.html

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