Monday, January 12, 2009

Obama 's Mandate For Change & Accountability This Includes Stopping Torture and Prosecuting Bush Cheney &CO.

Obama' Mandate for Real Change not just a change in Rhetoric
The need to hold the Bush Regime's Personnel for their various crimes from the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq to the widespread abuse and torture of thousands of Prisoners referred to as " Detainees " rather than POWs -

Anyway President-Elect Obama keeps insisting that he wants to move forward and forget about the past. This attitude is far too naive . If the Bush Regime is allowed to escape being prosecuted for torture and abuse of thousands of detainees then later US administrations will see this as a precedent. This would result in a future president claiming once again that whatever a president does or authorizes is by definition ( according to Nixon & Bush) legal and moral. This would mean that the American citizens would have little or no say in what a president or vice president chooses to do or not to do.

But Obama has also said that he wants to repair America's relationships with other countries where possible. After eight years of the Bush Regime other countries have no real reason to trust Americans who are willing to act unilaterally and who believe they are not bound by the United nations or International Law .

If Obama wants to reach out to other countries to re-establish friendly relations with them then he must show them that when it comes to War Crimes and other illegal actions of the Bush Regime he must forge ahead with rigorous legal investigations followed by charges being laid where necessary and not just give Bush and his gang a " free Pass". On this matter Obama will have to take the risk of upsetting a number of Republicans and even some Democrats in order to do the right thing. This means that his views on bipartisanship must be tempered with pragmatism and doing the right thing. There are many countries which view America as a " Rogue Nation" which can not be trusted.

"On Torture and Intelligence:

Obama Rolls Out Blair, Panetta; Vows 'No Exceptions' to US Values"

by Spencer Ackerman, Firedoglake ,January 9, 2009.

"We must adhere to our values diligently and with no exceptions." --Barack Obama

...More important than anything Dennis Blair and Leon Panetta said at their rollout this morning as intelligence chiefs -- it's a rollout, after all, so you're not getting anything controversial -- were two things President-elect Obama said that directly repudiate the intelligence regime of the previous administration. First, among the "tough lessons" of the last eight years is "to insist on assessments based solely on facts, and not to seek information to support any ideological agenda" and to receive thorough information, "even if it's not always the information we want." (Do Obama's intelligence picks still have the support of Doug Feith and Richard Perle now?)

Second, and more important from a human-rights perspective, was what he said about torture and interrogations: "We must adhere to our values diligently and with no exceptions." No exceptions. None of this ticking-bomb crap that doesn't exist in the real world, none of these Jack Bauer distortions. Sullivan up, Krauthammer down...

But then it appears that the Us is still using torture techniques extensively and will continue to do so if Obama's administration does not take action. It should be noted once again that torture was not just used at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo but in fact was and is being used extensively in American run prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places around the globe. The numbers of abused and or tortured prisoners is in the thousands if not the tens of thousands and no just a matter of a couple of high profile prisoners or a matter of abuses by " a few Bad Apples " at Abu Ghraib.

It seems the characters in the Bush Regime pulled a fast one by claiming to make changes in the Army Field Manual which would prevent the use of abusive actions or the torture of detainees but instead the manual merely codifies what enhanced interrogation methods may be used.

It appears the American people have been sold another batch of lies and even Obama may have missed it. Hopefully President -Elect Obama & his advisers will be able to see through such ploys by Bush, the Pentagon and the CIA etc.who just want to maintain the status-quo.

How the U.S. Army's Field Manual Codified Torture -- and Still Does

By Jeffrey S. Kaye, AlterNet. Jan. 7, 2009.

Buried in Appendix M of the Army Field Manual, the Guantanamo virus is spreading, and eradicating it will require all of us to spread the word.

Anyway here a couple of videos in which the argument can be made that the Bush Regime must answer for its breaking of International Laws and for contravening the American Constitution and the Bill of rights.

Greenwald: Groups fear mongering to keep Gitmo open
By David Edwards
President-elect Obama is calling for the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But is President Bush trying to keep the prison open? Rachel Maddow is joined by columnist Glenn Greenwald.

This video is from MSNBCs The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 11, 2008.

Just because the president authorizes a particular action doesn't mean that action is therefore made moral or legal.( as Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice and Richard Nixon claim )

US Forces holding at least 15,000 people in prison in Iraq without being charged
Bush Regime wants Iraqis to obey America and keep these 15,000 people imprisoned without charges after they are transferred to the Iraqis
Turley argues Obama must hold the Bush Regime's Personnel responsible for all of the abuses of " Detainees'
There should be investigations and charges of those who took part in these illegal and immoral actions. ..

{Rachel Maddow} with Jonathan Turley Guantanamo x60 Jan. 10, 2009

Keith Olbermann - Obama Says No To Torture- John Dean
Jan. 10, 2009

John Dean argues the Obama administration must do something about the crimes of the Bush administration.

Olbermann Lt. Commander Charles Swift/Rachel Maddow Jonathan Hurley
Lt. Commander Charles Swift (Ret.) US Navy JAG argues that closing Guantanamo would send a message to the world that America intends to change the way it is going to conduct the War on Terror and that America intends to abide by " the Rule of Law ".
Jonathan Hurley claims Bush has been at war with the American Constitution since he first took the Oath of Office.

President Obama to stop Torture, close Guantanamo Bay

George Will thinks Obama is right not to prosecute Bush & Co. -Of course George Will an Ultraconservative wants Obama to not prosecute Bush & Co. because in essence he can't see what Bush had done wrong. There is possibly something wrong with a policy that is supported by George F. Will .

And for an example of the pernicious effects of the Bush Torture Doctrine here is China defending its use of torture by citing America's use of torture. America's position on Human Rights has been undermined by eight years of the Bush Doctrine of retaliation , abuse and torture and the curbing of the rights of ordinary Americans.

"Bush Legacy: China Defends its use of Torture By Citing The Bush Torture Program" by Jonathan Turley, March 13, 2008

The Bush Administration has long been ridiculed by the international community as converting the United States from a leader in human rights to the very symbol of the violation of core principles of human rights. However, few were prepared for the utter hypocrisy of watching the Administration condemn China for its use of torture on the very same time that President Bush vetoed a ban on the use of torture in the waterboarding bill. Now China is using our torture program to defend its own abuses.

Chinese spokesman Qin Gang has accused the United States of “exercising double standards on human rights issues” in its condemnation of his country. There is little question that we are applying a double standard when both the President and Congress has struggled to preserve a well-defined form of torture. This hypocrisy will become more acute when our soldiers are waterboarded by other countries who will quote the President and various members of Congress in saying that it is perfectly appropriate.

One of the problems facing President Elect Obama is Israel's poor human rights record. If as he claims torture and abuse of prisoners is wrong then he must criticize any country which allows for torture whether it is Syria , Egypt, Afghanistan or Israel.

But according to the American establishment including politicians and the Media one of the first rules in American politics is that one must support Israel unconditionally. Israel' spokespersons have said that they have no duty to follow International Laws or agreements or the United Nations or the Geneva Conventions but rather Israel will do whatever it believes to be in its best interest.

Israel supposedly is a law onto itself and answers to no one but God I guess. So if Israeli officials authorize or turn a blind eye to abuse and torture of prisoners this Israel claims is an internal matter and no one has a right to tell them how to conduct themselves. In the same way Israel defends its brutal Apartheid system in which Arabs and Palestinians are treated as badly as the Black population were in Apartheid South Africa. It should be noted that a significant number of Jewish Israelis are against this system of inequality and injustice and abhor Israeli use of abuse and torture of prisoners.

and so it goes,

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