Friday, April 24, 2009

No Amnesty for Torturers

If the United States expects to be taken seriously as the champion for human rights in the world, we have no choice but to prosecute those people who knowingly violated international law by torturing prisoners of war. We can't let lawbreakers hide behind the Bush Administration's bogus interpretations of those laws.

All lawbreakers are responsible for their own behavior. They don’t relinquish that responsibility when they work for the federal government. It becomes even more important.

The Obama Administration had no choice but to release memos about Bush Administration senior officials' complicity in torturing these prisoners. It was in response to a judicial ruling.

President Obama announced that he does not favor prosecution of those government agents who carried out this systematic torture. By saying this, he is sending the world the message that you and I condone torture.

Both the actual perpetrators and their bosses should be held accountable for their actions--as far up the ladder as the evidence leads. An independent prosecutor must be immediately appointed to conduct a thorough, impartial investigation. War crimes require a legal decision by the courts, not a political decision by the President.

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