Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Credit where dueHaving bashed the PBS Newshour for its Beltway Village Idiot segment on torture during its Friday Political Wrap segment, I want to give them credit for their lead segment on 04/20/09, Obama Faced Tough Choices in Release of CIA Interrogation Memos.
This segment provided one of the best airings of the legal issues involved that I've seen on TV so far. (Admittedly, that could be construed as faint praise.)
The segment focused on the critical issue of prosecuting those at all levels who perpetrated the torture crimes. The anti-prosecution position was represented by former CIA official Jeffrey Smith, the pro-law-enforcement position by Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been doing excellent work on this issue.
True, Jeffrey Smith was straightforwardly advocating that people who violated the torture laws should not be prosecuted for their crimes. Despite initial disclaimers, it was clear that he also opposed prosecuting senior officials involved in the torture program, as well as opposing prosecuting the hands-on torturers. But, sadly, that has become a "respectable" position, at least in the Beltway. So far, a majority of the public are saying that torturers should be investigated for their crimes.
Here's an excerpt:
MICHAEL RATNER: I have no doubt that the people who wrote the memos, as well as the principal committee people, like Rumsfeld, Tenet, who was head of the CIA, Porter Goss, when all of the torture program occurred, should be criminally investigated.John Brennan, you may recall, was the one Obama appointment that the much-dreaded dirty hippie bloggers had very sharply opposed. And opposed because of his pro-torture record.
Tags: pbs newshour, torture
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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