Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lanny Davis Changes His Mind

Lanny Davis, counsel to President Clinton has changed his mind. An interesting position to take, considering his history, but still, better late than never I suppose. He says in his blog, posted on "The Hill."

"An indictment, of course, is only an accusation of criminal conduct. Mr. Cheney must be presumed innocent until a jury of his peers finds him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Many people still think, and I was among them until recently, that it would be better not to put the country through the divisive and backward-looking experience of seeing a former vice president on trial for crimes committed while in office. But given Mr. Cheney's decision to publicly attack the president on the subject, perhaps we have no choice but to take Mr. Cheney up on his challenge."

And what, exactly, was seeing a sitting president on trial if not divisive? The majority of the country was not interested in seeing the President impeached. The majority were not interested in Watergate or the many other -gates, and were appalled when Kenneth Starr released his report which was written not to show wrongdoing, but rather to embarrass the President. After years and millions of dollars, President Clinton was convicted of perjury for lying about having sex--a question that we, quite frankly, had no right to ask. All of that, after all the money spent investigating every aspect of their personal and business lives, including that of their friends and associates, the Clintons were found to have committed no crime, broken no ethical code, and participated in no conspiracy to commit a crime.

On the other hand, the Bush Administration has lied us to war, violated the Geneva Conventions, U.S. Code, the Constitution, and Vice President Cheney has, since leaving office, gone on tour proclaiming the rightness of his torture program. We don't even need to investigate. Our new Attorney General in his confirmation hearings stated that yes, "waterboarding is torture." Vice President Cheney, and many others, have stated that yes, we waterboarded detainees--or in Cheney's words, "high-value detainees" which somehow makes it better.

The historical record shows that we have prosecuted--and executed--others for waterboarding. The Japanese after World War II, our own soldiers during Vietnam, and a sheriff's deputy in Texas. We have no doubt that we did then, commit torture, no matter what you decide to call it. The Republicans try to change the subject and say it's about saving lives, saving the country, although we now have evidence that is not true. We have evidence that more information is gained through standard interrogation techniques; that torture elicits lies.

We know now that torture was most likely used to justify--after the fact--going to war with Iraq. The Republicans try to change the subject and say that high-ranking Democrats knew about it. And this matters, how? It becomes less a crime, how? If it is necessary it is not criminal, why?

Keep talking Mr. Cheney. Keep talking.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.


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