GOOD NEWS! Accountability: Holder to name Special Prosecutor for torture, and how Dems will use it

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

      Crossposted at

(I’d just like to state clearly, this is not a rebuttal to the diary posted by Something the Dog Said, rather, consider it a differing opinion)

From WaPo

Prosecutor to CIA Abuse Allegations

by abuse allegations, they mean torture.


From a Daily Kos diary

Breaking: “profanity-laced screaming match” at the White House

    Amid reports that Panetta had threatened to quit just seven months after taking over at the spy agency, other insiders tell that senior White House staff members are already discussing a possible shake-up of top national security officials.

“You can expect a larger than normal turnover in the next year,” a senior adviser to Obama on intelligence matters told    

and this on the heels of news this weekend


9 GOP Senators ask Holder for Mercy for Bus/Cheney

    Now, this is the key part of the news, because I do not think a 1/4 of the GOP Senate would put their necks out to save some no-name underlings.

    I think this is going all the way to the top, and, in my new found attempt to look at things in a glass half full view.

    Therefore, I give you my belief, as of now, that the ball is now rolling, it will build and build, and by the summer of 2010 going into 2012, America WILL lead to Bush and Cheney themselves.

    More below the fold

     The main issue here is timing. Why would they waste this story now, if they weren’t going to build it up into more later? I suspect that this is exactly and what AG Holder is doing is starting slow now when it is the end of a slow news month in order to build a case that goes all the way to the top.

    First of all, I believe that the Republican party is quietly shitting themselves over this. Their concerns give me hope. their fear gives me joy. The fact that already Joe Libereman and other prominent Republicans are already squirming on camera should point out how real this is.

    More to the point, I am seeing a pattern in how Obama’s administration operates. They start small, and then they hit you. While we fret over the waiting, they are getting ready to nail these people. If the nailing never happens I will be proven wrong, and I will be the Loudest to Yell my head off. Until then, I keep hope alive, and can see the upside to these things.

    You see, if Obama lets Holder go after Yoo and Bybee now, it derails everything else, but, if we start with no names low level operatives and let the pressure and evidence build up, we can time the Bigger Investigations to coincide with upcoming elections, and, though that shouldn’t be the point, I will gladly take it if that is how they will do it.

    Never let a disaster go to waste, eh?

    I firmly believe the Obama Administration and their advisors (Axelrod, Rahm, etc) will use a long, drawn out investigation that eventually leads to Bush and Cheney themselves as a way to run against Bush/Cheney in 2010 and 2012, putting the GOP on the defensive and forcing them to defend the most unpopular American Presidency since Nixon/Agnew.

    This is one of those odd instances when doing the right thing in accordance with the rule of law and doing somethinng politically advantageous converge. Truly, politics makes strange bedfellows.

    Some will call this beginning step too limited, and while I agree, I can envision an expanded investigation that leads higher and higher up the Bush/Cheney chain of command as more and more evidence builds up.

    Further, I see the plan to get low level CIA operatives to implicate their superiors, which itself will snowball farther up the line. This is how, if I am correct, most RICO cases are built in order to prosecute organized crime. The irony is quite delicious.

    Politically, this will allow President Obama to play good cop to AG Holder’s bad cop, as Obama reiterates the independance of the AG’s office, which is as it should be before that office was politicized by the Bush/Cheney crime syndicate Administration.

    But, the fact is that Cheney’s fingerprints are all over this scandal and these crimes, and it is very much in the political interests of the Democratic party to be able to drag Bush/Cheney’s crimes into the spotlight, all while claiming the desire to “look forward”

   This will force voters to choose between the Democratic party or another version of Bush/Cheney’s Republican party, which, in my opinion, the GOP today is still to this day.

    Of course, this limited investigation has many detractions, as I will allow others to state clearly below.

    From, the talented Colorado blogger, Kossack and fellow Dharma Bum, Something the Dog Said who has been pounding the torture issue for a long time states.

The fact this story has leaked on the day when the CIA IG report from 2004 is going to be released is a clear attempt to have something, anything, to point to when the cries for accountability to the law are raised again latter this week. It is a mildly good first start, but we should not kid ourselves at all that this is going to be even close to enough. We must keep the pressure on AG Holder to  appoint someone with the mandate and the horse power to investigate not just the Bush White Houses role in this, but the role of the DOJ. When you are starving for justice, half a loaf is certainly better than none, but is it not enough by half when we are talking about the rule of law in a nation of laws!

AG Holder To Give Us Half A Loaf On Accountablity

    While I entirely agree with this statement, I would like to point out the positives of this move, how it can (and I believe, will) lead to accountability for Bush/Cheney’s War Crimes, and how the Democratic party can use this to force the GOP into a permanent state of political exile.

    I myself have worked on the torture issue for quite awhile. Accountability is my #1 issue in all thing political, and I firmly believe that a departure from the rule of law is the first step to the road of Corporatism, Fascism, and Authoritarian Governement. If we live in a nation where no economic power or political power can not be held in check, we are not free. IF there is no equality in our rights, there is no justice. The same is very true in the matter of consequences when the law is broken. There must be equality when laws are broken, not just when rights are maintained.

    Somethinng the Dog Said goes further, in his analysis of the Special Prosecutor who has been appointed, one John Durham of the DoJ.

    The other reason to have concern is who the Special Prosecutor is rumored to be. John Durham is a career prosecutor with the DOJ not an United States Attorney. He has a pretty good record, but he is not the kind of powerhouse who could take this investigation wherever it leads. He is the currently the prosecutor investigating the destruction of the CIA interrogation tapes.

He has been making some progress on this, and he is involved with dealing with the prevarications of the CIA already. This may or may not help. In any case the appointment of someone at this middle level shows pretty clearly that AG Holder is not looking to fully meet his legal obligations. He is trying to give the people calling for accountability half a loaf and hoping they will be satisfied with that.

     Again, this makes sense to me. In chess you always move the pawns first. If Holder had named a Fitzgerald off the bat, it would signal too much and show Holder’s full hand. By naming Durham to a limited investigation, it allows Holder to pull out the big guns later when the Investigation expands, as I believe it will.

     Another brilliant and talented voice, Kos blogger McJoan posits more below.

Reports out thus far don’t tell us whether Holder is leaving enough room for a more systemic investigation. We don’t know how much of “looking backward” he’s willing to do right now.

If it remains as narrow as this initial report indicates, we’d in the long run probably be better of with a truth commission. Exposing how the torture regime was conceived, constructed, and implemented–from Cheney’s office down–is in the long term more important than the prosecutions of a few personnel who ended up carrying out those policies.

   And I agree here as well, but would like to make my own point.

    You see, I think a main strategy the Obama Administration has been using is to give their oppoenets rope, and then time things so that you can reel them in at the exact moment when it will benefit the Administration the most.

    In that frame of light, I can easily see AG Holder starting small here, but building up an investigation against the chief architects of the Bush/Cheney torture program, all the while claiming a desire to do no such thing, while waiting for the perfect moment to spring the trap.

   That moment will be in the summer of 2010.

   If a further investigation into the role played by Yoo and Bybee under the direction of Dick Cheney’s office and the previous Doj and CIA begins in 2010, it could easily play out for months, if not years, which would bring us right into the 2012 Presidential elections.

   That would allow Obama to run againts Bush, it would force the GOP Presidential candidate to either defend Bush or not, and neither position will be easy to take for the Republican party that gave us the Bush Presidency, cheerlead for it and defended it all the way.

    Further, I do not think for a second that the chief political operaters (Axelrod, Rahm, etc)in the Obama Administration will allow such an opportunity to pass without seizing upon it.

    In politics, you never, ever let up on your opponent when you can, and the Axelrod’s and Rahm’s know this better than anyone else this side of Karl Rove, who I will be pleased to see dragged down inn this mess along with the rest of them.

    So, I offer you hope, albiet a devious one, that the same Rahm’s and Axelrod’s who we hate when they attack us are on our side, against Bush, and the perfect people to turn this into the worst thing possible for Bush/Cheney and the Republican party, while at the same time helping Progressives and Democrats win elections, and at the same time respecting the Rule of Law and restoring the COnstitution to it’s Pre-Bush state of respect.

    Sometimes, everything can fall right into place, just the way you wanted it to.

    So have patience, keep hope alive, and for the love of the Gods’, Yell Louder!

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  1. I believe this is the beginning of a timed and calculated move to go all the way after the Bush/Cheney Administration in order to gain the maximum benefit from full and prolonged investigations and prosecution.

    I may be wrong, but I think I am right.

    Once you have read the diary, please feel free to discuss. I will be away from my PC from 6pm on, but will return shortly to pick up the conversation.


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    • Edger on August 25, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Glenn Greenwald today:

    In theory, Holder’s announcement does not foreclose the possibility that DOJ lawyers who authored the torture memos and/or those in the White House who authorized torture will, at some point, be investigated.  Strictly speaking, Holder’s announced “review” concerns only those in the intelligence community who conducted interrogations.  And by extending immunity only to those who both (a) acted “within the scope of the [OLC] legal guidelines” and (b) “acted in good faith,” it’s theoretically possible that there is some class of persons who could fall outside the scope of immunity even though they technically complied with the OLC memos:  i.e. high-level White House officials and/or DOJ lawyers who had reason to believe that the conduct authorized by the memos was illegal, meaning those who wrote or requested those memos with the deliberate intent to obtain cover for what they knew was criminal behavior.  In other words, there are those who complied with the memos, but in bad faith, and are thus are outside the bounds of immunity Holder today defined and ineligible for this immunity.  But that’s just theory.

    As a practical matter, Holder is consciously establishing as the legal baseline — he’s vesting with sterling legal authority — those warped, torture-justifying DOJ memos.  Worse, his pledge of immunity today for those who complied with those memos went beyond mere interrogators and includes everyone, policymakers and lawyers alike:  “the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees.”  Thus, as long as, say, a White House official shows that (a) the only torture methods they ordered were approved by the OLC and (b) they did not know those methods were criminal, then they would be entitled to full-scale immunity under the standard Holder announced today.

    This quite likely sets up, at most, a process where a few low-level sacrificial lambs — some extra-sadistic intelligence versions of Lynndie Englands — might be investigated and prosecuted where they tortured people the wrong way.

  2. waiting for rachel. just saw keith o. have not been anywhere, blogland, but here since a week ago. grrr.

    very big news. very frustrating for me to be awol during this. have family here 24/7 helping me ‘convalesce’. oh well.

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