Monday, April 20, 2009

President Obama Violating International Law?

News leaked yesterday (from the wonderful Marcy Wheeler of Firedoglake) that Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. From Think Progress:

Marcy Wheeler digs through the recently-disclosed Office of Legal Counsel memos authored by the Bush Justice Department and finds these startling statistics: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002. Wheeler concludes, “The CIA wants you to believe waterboarding is effective. Yet somehow, it took them 183 applications of the waterboard in a one month period to get what they claimed was cooperation out of KSM. That doesn’t sound very effective to me.”

What is more Obama has asked us to move on, while morally (in my opinion) repugnant it happens to also be illegal. Think Progress also has a piece that when Obama released the four torture memos he released a statement not to allow prosecutions against CIA agents who engaged in these patently illegal tactics. In an interview the UN Rapporteur on torture, Professor Nowak explains that Obama's immunity grant is a violation of international law. Read the rest of the post here.

Now, it is understandable as a boss that you don't want your underlings (these CIA agents who engaged in torture) prosecuted because of what it might do for morale. But, for us, as Americans we need the Constitution to be followed, to be protected and when it is violated, consequences should follow. If they are not we are bound to repeat the same mistakes. It isn't Obama's decision really it is ours. And we need to make it for him.

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