Obama DOJ: No Accountability For Torture

Glenn Greenwald has a detailed account of how the Obama administration has moved incrementally to make sure that no one is prosecuted for violations of laws against torture and even torture-related homicide.

Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, “eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA”.

Note: more than 100 detainees were reported to have died in custody, many after being tortured. Only two cases were investigated by the Obama DOJ.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s highly original “look forward not backward” approach to law enforcement does not apply to whistle-blowers. As Friday’s Times article on Holder’s announcement pointedly notes:

“While no one has been prosecuted for the harsh interrogations, a former CIA officer who helped hunt members of al-Qaida in Pakistan and later spoke publicly about waterboarding, John C Kiriakou, is awaiting trial on criminal charges that he disclosed to journalists the identity of other CIA officers who participated in the interrogations.”

While everyone is rightly focused on the lackluster economy recovery, the DOJ’s announcement that torturers now have immunity from prosecution (at least in the U.S.) represents another major failure of the Obama administration.

  1. #1 by cav on September 1, 2012 - 10:22 pm

    Enhanced Interrogation Techniques are patriotic. Well. Just because. Nobody’s to blame ’cause Bush got the memo. Nothing to see here.

    OK, see how easy that was?

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on September 2, 2012 - 5:41 am

    Two party systems suck, and prevail.

    Where am I in this?!

    The presidency is nothing more then some kind of a royal family.

    Did you see all those beautiful children playing around the podium at the sacred convention?

    Our future.

  3. #3 by cav on September 2, 2012 - 8:20 am

    Those clan shots DO present a rather dreamy future – Why do I keep getting the idea it’s not a future everybody can share in? Am I so attached to my zero-sum liberalism I’m blinded from this ‘truth’?

    (Addresses empty chair)

  4. #4 by cav on September 2, 2012 - 9:00 am

    The US and UK fabricated the grounds to invade Iraq. They lied about WMDs and Saddam’s involvement in 9-11. But, despite the phenomenal imbalance in weaponry, communications, even diplomacy, there was still an area which the Bush monsters felt they could still upgrade the tech. Torture. Well – now we know.

    “Leadership and morality are indivisible. Good leaders are the custodians of morality.”

    “If it is acceptable for leaders to take drastic action on the basis of a lie, without an acknowledgement or an apology when they are found out, what should we teach our children?”

    Desmond Tutu


  5. #5 by Larry Bergan on September 2, 2012 - 9:34 am

    A very hard read cav.

    Not a word of blather we’re used to.


  6. #6 by Richard Warnick on September 2, 2012 - 9:37 am

    It’s a well-established fact that torture is useless for intelligence interrogation. So why do it? Torture is very effective in extracting false confessions, and that’s what the Bushies needed in the run-up to the Iraq invasion.

    See: Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi

  7. #7 by Larry Bergan on September 2, 2012 - 9:46 am

    Glenn Greenwald makes me nervous. Why do I love him?

  8. #8 by anon on September 2, 2012 - 11:21 am

    Why do torture? It isn’t about info gathering. It is terror plain and simple. Since it is a truth that only 1 in 5 men do all the killing in warfare, torture is useful in destabilizing the other 4 who help the killer fight..if they know that upon capture they will be horribly tortured, or at least think they will, they will be less effective, enemy morale will lessen, and this will ultimately weaken the enemy. They may even surrender, or be so engulfed by the monstrosity of war they cannot function, act stupidly and are easily killed. THAT is what torture or its threat is all about. Some may become determined knowing they will be tortured and fight to death..good it is supposed, and by and large that is just what we want..dead enemies, especially the 1 killer out of 5..the rest are easily mopped up once he’s dead.

    Now if you do get info, and check and it may be good, fine, but that isn’t what torture is for..it is simply another aspect of warfare, and endemic to war..there has never been a “war” without torture.

    Is carpet bombing bomb shelters for days torture? Bwhahahaha..wake up stupids..it’s ALL torture, only demented psychopaths split hairs..and usually the victors make the call..look within liberal America..find your inner torturer..maybe call in an illegal drone strike upon yourself.

    Trying to define or make rules for war is like trying to make rules for getting pregnant..it all gets done in a rather messy way.

    350 drone strikes under Obama and counting..Bush shot 90, guess he was just getting started..

  9. #9 by Larry Bergan on September 2, 2012 - 1:49 pm


    Get a name dude.

    Maybe I’ll read your shpeal/spew.

    Suicide is an option.

  10. #10 by Richard Warnick on September 2, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    One problem with anon’s theory: we know that international outrage over U.S. torture and mistreatment of detainees was the most effective recruiting tool for insurgents fighting Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. Torture did not discourage our enemies, it helped motivate them.

    The comparison with WW II strategic bombing of cities doesn’t work the anon thinks it does either. The bombing of civilian populations invariably strengthened the target nation’s will to defend itself.

  11. #11 by Larry Bergan on September 2, 2012 - 7:38 pm

    Torture doesn’t always leave marks, but it’s still torture.

    Ask Manning.

    The media won’t.

    Abramoff has a radio show, So did G. Gordon Liddy. Manning never will.

    What’s up with that?

  12. #12 by anon on September 3, 2012 - 10:48 am

    Doh! Hey Richard, the government wants and needs endless war. Torture works PERFECTLY!!

  13. #13 by anon on September 3, 2012 - 10:54 am

    I referring to Bosnia, Bora Bora, places like that. It’s all attempted murder until its murder. War is torture..why do people beat their wives when they know they can lose everything? Humans aren’t logical, especially when it comes to killing..which has no true logic, but a perverted one with its own rules and activities..does any of it make “sense”? Of course not..I’m grow tired of hair splittes like Richard.

  14. #14 by Richard Warnick on September 4, 2012 - 7:45 am

    That’s the ticket. When asked why he advocates an illegal, unprovoked attack on Iran, Romney can simply answer, “Humans aren’t logical, especially when it comes to killing.”

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