Accessory After The Fact

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Mayer on Rahm

By: emptywheel Friday February 5, 2010 5:13 pm

I first teased out Rahm Emanuel’s role in reversing Obama’s early efforts to reclaim our country from torture last July. In August, my comments at Netroots Nation focused on Rahm’s role in preventing accountability for torture. I kept tracking Rahm’s campaign to prevent accountability here, here, and here.

Today, Jane Mayer has an extended profile of Eric Holder that fleshes out what we’ve all known: Rahm’s the guy who killed accountability for torture.

All along Rahm’s campaign against Greg Craig and Holder he left complaint after complaint that they had ruined the relationship with Congress. This, I suppose, is what Rahm means: doing anything-even those actions dictated by international law-that offend poor Lindsey’s sensibilities is a mistake, tantamount to ruining the President’s relationship with Congress. And I guess Rahm is okay with that-ceding the President’s authority on national security and legal issues to Lindsey Graham.

And look what you get out of that: Lindsey in a snit, pouting that the Attorney General of the United States determined to try criminals in a civilian court. And in response, refusing to close Gitmo.

In other words, we can’t close Gitmo because Obama’s “crack” Chief of Staff has willingly ceded the authority of the Attorney General of the United States to one Senator from the opposing party, and that single Senator is pouting because the Attorney General might choose law over Kangaroo Courts.

These people are War Criminals.

They are Torturers.

They are Murderers.

All the way up the Chain of Command.

Yes, that includes George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama.

Just as guilty as the grunts who at their command raped children with chemical lightsticks in front of their family and sliced up Binyam Mohamed’s penis.

And anyone who doesn’t support their prosecution to the full extent of the law is no better than a Good German.

“If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.” Robert H. Jackson


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  1. Accessory After The Fact

    Whoever, knowing that an offense has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact; one who knowing a felony to have been committed by another, receives, relieves, comforts, or assists the felon in order to hinder the felon’s apprehension, trial, or punishment. U.S.C. 18

    • TMC on February 6, 2010 at 04:22

    [ Principles of the

    Nuremberg Tribunal, 1950]

    Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal. Adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations, 1950.

       Introductory note: Under General Assembly Resolution 177 (II), paragraph (a), the International Law Commission was directed to “formulate the principles of international law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the judgment of the Tribunal.” In the course of the consideration of this subject, the question arose as to whether or not the Commission should ascertain to what extent the principles contained in the Charter and judgment constituted principles of international law. The conclusion was that since the Nuremberg Principles had been affirmed by the General Assembly, the task entrusted to the Commission was not to express any appreciation of these principles as principles of international law but merely to formulate them. The text below was adopted by the Commission at its second session. The Report of the Commission also contains commentaries on the principles (see Yearbook of the Intemational Law Commission, 1950, Vol. II, pp. 374-378).

       Authentic text: English Text published in Report of the International Law Commission Covering its Second Session, 5 June-29 Duly 1950, Document A/1316, pp. 11-14.

    Principle I

    Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.

    Principle II

    The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.

    Principle III

    The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.

    Principle IV

    The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

    Principle V

    Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.

    Principle Vl

    The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under; international law:

      1. Crimes against peace:

            1. Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

            2. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

      2. War crimes:

         Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave-labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or illtreatment of prisoners of war, of persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

      3. Crimes against humanity:

         Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.

    Principle VII

    Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principles VI is a crime under international law.

    • fromCT on February 6, 2010 at 05:30

    BMAZ is the “Rahm” look alike at emptywheel’s blog. He warned me he would permit no attempt to discuss a demand for an impeachment investigation of Obama for breaking his oath to preserve and protect the constitution.

    BMAZ removed my ability to post there with no accompanying comment or opportunity to appeal.

    What would Rahm have done? Probably the same thing. Meet the new boss same as the ole boss. Rahm has helped Obama become a war criminal deserving of impeachment. BMAZ is steeped in denial and drunk on the authority Marcy accords him.

  2. torture may be known as, “good Americans”.

  3. a man that taught Constitutional Law and that well understands the principles of the Constitution could turn so far from those principles.  

    I have two theories–but, strictly my opinion:  

    1.  Mindless, Mind-Numbing Fear.  Fear generated, by the Pentagon brass, the CIA/NSA/etc, etc.–and reinforced by the insulated Bubble of DC, which shuts out reason and reality-based thinking.  

    2.  Retaining the “Power of the Executive”–an ever-growing monster that seemingly has been mysteriously fed and expanded by each successive President since FDR.  

    BTW, re: 2.–there was an NPR interview yesterday of an author who wrote about the Manhattan Project and life at Los Alamos.  He spoke of how the Director of Los Alamos at that time was given dictatorial powers over the Project and the people who were involved there, including their families.  He theorized that the Power of the Executive grew out of the successful use of dictatorial powers of the leader of the Manhattan Project/Los Alamos.  His theory re:  Executive Power was that with the advent of the nuclear bomb and the possibility of global destruction within minutes to hours, the power to declare war has essentially become a power given to the President and taken from the Congress.  

    The “Executive Power creep” is an extremely disturbing trend that continues under this Administration.  IMHO, the current Executive doesn’t want to rock that boat by allowing the Constitution to resume its rightly place.  To question decisions–apparently even war criminal level decisions–of a previous Executive, much less to hold that prior Executive accountable–might crack the wall that’s been put around the Executive Power concept.  

    It’s absolutely sickeningly mindboggling to see this current President succumb to making it a priority to protect the dictatorial powers of the Executive rather than fulfilling his Oath of Office to Protect and Defend the Constitution of the US.  

  4. Nothing!


    Nothing?  Yeah.  Let me explain.  We can’t just go running after the latest atrocity.  There are so many atrocities.  There are “good liberals” out there with bigger audiences who publicize these things.  What can WE do?

    Personally, I have a plan.  I pursue the plan to the best of my ability.  Others have other plans.  I assume they pursue them to the best of their abilities.

    An old philosopher-friend once said that it is easier to change everything than it is to change particulars.  Meaning that if there is a total structure/framework/system determining the particulars, you have to go after that.

    There’s the joke Chairman Mao used to tell about the leaking ship and the crew spends more and more time bailing, in vain, and as the ship finally slips below the ocean the captain asks the first mate, “what else could I have done,” and the mate says, “plug the leak!”  (“Array the peasant forces under the advanced leadership of the proletariat to address the primary leak …”)

    In other words, channel the rage.

    Still, in advocating for the Full Court Press, I am constantly pressed about other issues, add this or that point, etc.  I reply that the FCP is a very narrow and specific tactic, should not be distorted or it loses its effectiveness, etc., it seeks to operate within a broader movement, a broader strategy.

    I still hold to that, but that begs the question of that broader movement, broader strategy, well, WHAT ABOUT THAT?

    To merely begin to answer that, I must note that I have also disparaged the Green Party as the outside track of my inside/outside approach, as sectarian and overly concerned with programmatics. Let it be known that I am re-evaluating that.  

  5. Fuck Rahm

  6. a Professor of International Law, University of Houston Law Center, and author of many books, wrote “”THE ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION OF TORTURE AND NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS” (April 15, 2009, for the University of Valparaiso Law Review.  The laws are clear, nationally and Internationally: We are already in violation . . ..  


    The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of a communicable disease. The disease is contracted through ignorant, promiscuous, and irresponsible behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectem and is pronounced

    “gonna re-elect ˜em.”

    Many victims contracted it in 2008, after having being “brainwashed” with promised change and then screwed.  Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how widespread this disease has become since it is so easily cured….by voting out all incumbents!

    Apparently, there is a vaccine available in Massachusetts.  

    • TMC on February 7, 2010 at 15:41

    tonight, I strongly suggest you NOT watch CNN and Fareed Zakaria today

    “Fareed sits down with the man [John Yoo] who wrote the infamous “torture memos” for President Bush. It will be a fascinating discussion on terrorism, Guantanamo, and Presidential power.”

    I wouldn’t want anyone to throw something at their TV and break it on Super Bowl Sunday. So, forewarned is forearmed, No CNN. 😉

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