The Case for Prosecution of Dick Cheney, George Bush and Co.

There is rarely joy to be found in prosecution. This process of holding someone accountable is loaded with frustration from the get go. But without holding people accountable for their actions, we might as well scrap any pretense of justice or rule of law.

In the past 8 years we have seen violations of the fundamental standards of American values, whether they were ever real or simply imagined. In the name of national defense the administration and their enablers in the Congress eroded the fundamental constitutional standards that define this democratic experiment. The Bush Administration lobbied to go to war on a country that had never attacked the U.S., authorized torture of detainees, allowed extraordinary rendition of suspects, wasted billions of dollars to hide its crimes and mistakes, wiretapped citizens, journalists, soldiers calling their families, non-profits, politicized the Department of Justice, outed a CIA officer and her colleagues operations, threatened countries who didn’t run lock-step, and continuously lied about these actions when directly asked to own up to them.

This isn’t about political comfort. This isn’t a partisan effort. There is no monopoly on justice that says only Republicans get to uphold the law or you must be a Democrat if you are trying to hold the former administration accountable. Already people who are loyal to the former administration resort to the meme, “you’re just a Bush hater” or “just because you hate Dick Cheney”. This sort of invective does nothing to explain why they should not be prosecuted, but attempts to attack the messenger and the prosecution. It is also nothing new under the sun.

Below is the account from Dick Cheney who clearly states that he was involved in the authorization of water boarding. Water boarding is a crime that has already been adjudicated. And despite the repeated obfuscation by Alberto Gonzalez and Michael Mukasey, water boarding is torture and has already resulted in prison terms for U.S. soldiers convicted after Vietnam, a Texas Sheriff, and the incarceration and execution of Japanese officers after WWII. It is prohibited by International Law, by U.S. statute, and been demonstrated as ineffective.

Dick Cheney already admitted to his role in authorizing water boarding. This was the first account where he demonstrated his role. We will be laying out the information related to his actions and distortions of legalities and the public record.

Proponents of this technique use a variety of red herring arguments that do not change the legal argument one iota. Some will tell you that our soldiers go through waterboarding in S.E.R.E program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape). They do not mention that the whole purpose of S.E.R.E. is to help our soldiers survive torture, evade capture, resist enemy, and then escape. That soldiers go through this program does not change the legal framework of waterboarding and does not make it a tolerable offense against detainees or suspects.

If we are to restore this country to any level of integrity or move it to a sound standing in the world, we must prosecute those who engaged in criminal wrong doing and expose their actions instead of “moving on”.