Tag: torture prosecutions

Seekers of Truth

Thunder on the mountain, and there’s fires on the moon,

A ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon.

Or maybe not.

There’s been a ruckus in the alley for 30 years, but too many Democrats still keep bringing bouquets of bipartisan flowers to gun fights.  They keep getting riddled with bullets, over and over again, but they still don’t seem to have a clue that their Bouquet of Bipartisan Flowers Strategy isn’t worth a flying fuck and never has been.  

Thunder on the mountain, rollin’ like a drum,

Gonna fight for change here, it’s where the music’s coming from,

We don’t need any guide, we already know the way . . .

Seeking the truth is the way.  Seekers of truth are not conspiracy theorists, they are not purists, they don’t wear tinfoil fucking hats, they don’t need permission from Kos or anyone else to seek the truth about 9/11, about stolen elections, and about every other BushCo crime Cheney and his thugs keep high-fiving each other about while Eric Holder does nothing and Obama kisses the CIA’s ass and the Pentagon’s ass and the NSA’s ass and calls it change we can believe in.


Torture, backwards logic and catch-22

(I just posted a version of this over at DailyKos and I thought it might be appreciated here.)

This is interesting. I don’t know how much relevance it actually has at this point but I end up researching odd things throughout the day and I found this.

There have been a few instances of soldiers going AWOL and fleeing into Canada instead of fighting in Iraq. At the time this was happening, a lot of people were saying horrible things about these soldiers. That was stupid to say even without knowing what we know now but still, it’s worth talking about.

When these soldiers were tried, they used the defense that it’s an illegal war and violates international law. And still others used the defense that soldiers who would’ve gone to war would’ve been forced to participate in illegal acts.

One of the judges, in a ruling against one of these soldiers, in 2007 said there’s no evidence the US “as a matter of deliberate policy or official indifference, required or allowed its combatants to engage in widespread actions in violation of humanitarian law.”

So, maybe these cases are worth another look? We can argue that a lot of these people were using legal defenses and weren’t actually able to see the future, or whatever. But they were, you know, right.

Reclaiming America’s Soul

In “Reclaiming America’s Soul”, Paul Krugman rejects the arguments of torture apologists . . .

Isn’t revisiting the abuses of the last eight years, no matter how bad they were, a luxury we can’t afford?

No, it isn’t, because America is more than a collection of policies. We are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. In the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. But never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for. “This government does not torture people,” declared former President Bush, but it did, and all the world knows it.

And the only way we can regain our moral compass, not just for the sake of our position in the world, but for the sake of our own national conscience, is to investigate how that happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible.  These investigations should, where appropriate, be followed by prosecutions – not out of vindictiveness, but because this is a nation of laws. We need to do this for the sake of our future. For this isn’t about looking backward, it’s about looking forward – because it’s about reclaiming America’s soul.  

It Is Here We Must Begin

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama liked to say that one voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world.

Obama Rally Away from Capital Pictures, Images and Photos

Progressive bloggers already knew that.  We spoke out against the criminal administration of Bush and Cheney when no one else would, because we’ve known all along how important one voice can be. That’s why we started blogging.  We knew an entire nation had lost its way, we knew the corporate media was a wasteland of lies, but we knew one voice can make a difference, we knew that the voice of justice must be heard, so we became the voice of justice.  We would not be silent while a war was unleashed for oil and profit, while war crimes were committed and elections were stolen and justice was crucified on a cross of gold.

We knew that one voice can change the lives of everyone who hears it, that one voice of compassion can touch a million hearts, that one voice of reason can change a million minds, that one voice can become many voices and echo through history for all generations to hear.  We knew that if enough people stood up and spoke out together, our future would be in our hands.  We believed in justice, we didn’t give up, and now a few solo voices on a few blogs calling for justice in 2003 and 2004 has become a nationwide chorus of voices calling for justice.  

The Complicity Guy Has Spoken

executing jews Pictures, Images and PhotosThe Nuremberg Retributions were one of the lowest points in 20th century history.  The aftermath of the Second World War should have been a time for looking ahead, not for laying blame for the past. Unfortunately, too many people failed to understand that well-intentioned Germans accused of war crimes were just following orders and acting in good faith.  Those dedicated patriots in the Whermacht and hard working public servants in the SS were men of integrity, they didn’t shirk their responsibility to keep the German homeland safe from Jewish, Polish, Russian, Rumanian, Yugoslavian, French, British, Danish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, American, Greek, Dutch, Norwegian, Canadian and Belgian fanatics, extremists, and non-combatants.

Unlike 50 million human beings, this Dedicated Defender of the Homeland Paradigm survived the Second World War.  With a vengeance.  It was alive and well in Bush and Cheney’s White House, and it’s alive and well in Obama’s White House.  Take notes everyone, that patriotic act in the photo wasn’t a war crime, it was just defending the homeland . . .

I’ve learned recently that the aftermath of the Second World War should have been a time for reflection, not retribution.  Everyone should have respected the strong views and emotions of Germans who defended their country through a war crime or two, just as much as they respected the strong views and emotions of the people whose loved ones were executed and dumped in a ditch, bombed, tortured, gassed, burned in ovens, and condemned as subhuman parasites unfit to exist.

But vengeance prevailed over common sense.  Retribution was insisted upon by persecutors waving the “rule of law” in everyone’s face, they rambled on and on and on about “justice” but all they were really after was payback and revenge.  So many German children who loved their dedicated fathers had to watch with tears in their eyes while their fathers were slandered in the newspapers and demonized by finger pointing trial lawyers parading around for the newsreel cameras.        


More than Nuremberg: Thousands Prosecuted for War Crimes After World War II

While the example of the Nuremberg Trials is used often these days to describe what prosecutions might look like, few seem to remember that the prosecution of war criminals after World War II was much larger and took place over a longer period of time than most people realize. This is important when one considers the context of President Obama’s granting of immunity to lower-level CIA interrogators (if they acted in “good faith” upon “authoritative” legal advice).

What even a cursory examination of historical precedent demonstrates is that after World War II prosecution of war criminals and accessories to war crimes were not limited to the famous Nuremberg 22 high-level Nazis, nor the few hundred or so prosecuted through the Nuremberg tribunals, but thousands of accused throughout Europe.

What follows is a brief lesson in how these prosecutions occurred, who was involved, and where and when they took place. It may surprise you that the United States, for instance, has an Office of Special Investigations (OSI) at the US Department of Justice. Its mission was to hunt down war criminals and bring them to justice. Established only in 1979, the OSI has a sterling record: