Obama’s Position on WH Torture Actions

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I read this, and though I’ve been self-defensively cynical about politicians’ promises, I have the (cautious) “audacity” to “hope” that there may be a sea change coming.  Yes, we’ve all been disappointed by politicians in the past, and currently.  Pelosi, Reid, and Conyers haven’t delivered on their pre-election rhetoric.  I just wanted to share the fact that one of the Presidential candidates was asked the question about holding the WH accountable, and here’s his answer:

Will Bunch asked Obama:  If he’s elected, what would his Administration do about the allegations of criminal activities by the Bush White House:   Obama Would Ask his AG to “Immediately Review” Potential Crimes in the Bush White House:

There’s more:

“…Tonight I had an opportunity to ask Barack Obama a question that is on the minds of many Americans, yet rarely rises to the surface in the great ruckus of the 2008 presidential race — and that is whether an Obama administration would seek to prosecute officials of a former Bush administration on the revelations that they greenlighted torture, or for other potential crimes that took place in the White House. ..”

“…Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted — but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as “a partisan witch hunt.” However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because “nobody is above the law…”

But, given the fact that a McCain presidency not only wouldn’t ask his AG to “determine if inquiry is warranted” into the Bush Administration’s “possible” criminal activities-he would most likely continue those activities.  I’ll be contacting Obama to urge him to follow-through on accountability and restoring the Constitution.

The past weeks have had an overwhelming amount of bad news:  Increased casualties and deaths in Iraq, Continued tanking of the Economy-with inflation of energy and food costs and people losing jobs, homes, healthcare;  Food and energy shortages and riots across the world…and on and on.  

Yet, in the midst of the onslaught bad news, there are some glimmers of hope.  There have been several diaries here at DD about “People Power”.  NlinStPaul wrote of “Power”. Then pifore8 wrote about   more and more of us give less and less power to politicians, religion mongers, corporatists, and naysayers Also, Edger wrote that:   people already have the power to achieve what we come here to do, but that we forget that we have that power.

Then, there were these examples of people uniting to use their “power” to try to effect change:  Jimstaro informed us of: ILWU Longshoremen, Mail Carriers planned Anti-War work stoppage & the NY Faculty/Staff Union’s support of the ILWU. Also, (at that orange place) nyceve wrote that: “The CNA & …other California and national single-payer organizations, will be staging significant protests on June 19th in San Francisco…where insurance industry executives will be in attendance, and they will know we mean business.”  Bhudydharma cited Steve D’s Question: What to Do about Torture and suggested some “People Powered Actions” we all can take.  

It’s only a beginning, but it IS a beginning.  Here’s to hope and to “people power”. Let’s keep “getting the word out”; let’s keep putting the pressure on the politicians; let’s keep putting the pressure on the media to focus on the real world and national news–let’s hold their feet to the fire about their efforts to diss the Democrats and to shelter and elevate St. John McCain.  Let’s use our power.  


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  1. Things aren’t going to change unless we make it happen.  

  2. Juxtapose these two statements:

    From Obama answered my question….

    What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated.


    So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment — I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General — having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now — are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it’s important– one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law — and I think that’s roughly how I would look at it.


    “I have been consistent in my strong beliefs that no administration should allow the use of torture, including so-called ‘enhanced-interrogation techniques’ like waterboarding, head-slapping, and extreme temperatures. It’s time we had a Justice Department that upholds the rule of law and American Values, instead of finding ways to enable the president to subvert them, no more political parsing or legal loopholes

    Thanks seredipity, I might essay this as well.

  3. Goddess knows its easy to by cynical and think they’re all out to throw us under the bus. This “hope” thing is HARD!!!

    I’ve seen enough to know that this is one smart dude. And, as one of my co-workers who grew up in Chicago keeps saying, you don’t make it in Chicago politics without being strong and shrewd. Could it be that he knows what he’s doing?

  4. Car bombs kill nearly 60 but the media focuses on St. McCain’s Gas Tax Holiday politics as usual pandering rather than his “100, 1,000, 1,000,000 years in Iraq” policy or his “tortured” and confused stand on torture.  

    Yeah, buhdy, apparently I’m too pissed to be very coherent too…

  5. Starting with his speech on c-span he has addressed restoring our constitutional rights, that is part of his campaign ‘promises’. As an Edwards supporter I had grave doubts about Obama so I started listening to his speeches in depth. I kept thinking why won’t any of them address this issue. He has and does. It’s one of his basic issues. He also seems to realize that people power is the only way to achieve this or any other changes. Policy is important but real change must start with people a majority demanding it. Pressure is going to be needed whomever we get but at least with Obama, we’ll get someone who values democracy and will include the law and the people.  

  6. Obama won’t support impeachment but he’ll look into misdeeds after he’s in office?


  7. Late last night, I saw Obama’s statement about directing his AG to immediately review potential BushCo crimes, and had the audacity to discuss this with Turkana, which got me nowhere.

    Much more importantly, Obama is publicly on record that his AG will immediately investigate BushCo criminality, and we all know what that AG will find.  Obama knows too, so this looks to me like a significant step towards holding Bush/Cheney and their crime syndicate accountable.  


  8. Two things strike me as the biggies to remember ~

    1.  Impeachment will only work if Bush and Cheney are impeached together… no pardons this way.

    2.  Whoever wins the election has got to get over the notion

    that bringing these thugs to trial will split the country.

    The country has been split for more than seven years now.

    The only way we can come together as a nation is to clearly

    show that the Constitution really does matter and that letting

    anyone get away with trashing it is totally unacceptable and

    illegal.  Anything less is an admission that the laws of our

    land don’t matter.

    (It’s really hard to make sense when you’re pissed, isn’t it?!)

  9. stand, I think that Congress needs to do more right now. I’m going to be concentrating on repeatedly contactinging Conyers & “urging” him follow through on the Judiciary Committee’s May 5 hearings “to Explore Administration Approval of Torture Techniques”.    

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