Friday, April 24, 2009

The problem with Barack-star setting a precedent

President Palin's Quandary: To Prosecute Or Not
By Matt Lewis
Apr 23rd 2009 4:30PM


There has been a lot of debate on the potential prosecution of Bush Administration officials who offered legal opinions supporting waterboarding -- with some even calling for investigations of high-ranking officials like Dick Cheney. However, one thing that hasn't been given the attention it deserves is the precedent it would set if we were to criminalize national security decisions. Hence, I've finally decided to test out the time machine I've been building in my basement – and you would be surprised what sort of things grew out of the current debacle.

For instance, the following Associated Press story was filed on April 23, 2013, and if it sounds Orwellian, well, it is:


OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS TO FACE PROSECUTION


WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that charges could be filed against numerous Obama Administration officials as a result of last year's terror attack in Los Angeles. In announcing the indictments, Attorney General John Cornyn said that top officials showed "gross and purposeful negligence" by releasing perpetrators of the attacks from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and demanding that interrogation tactics be softened against chief planner Mehmet al-Meshugeneh, who had already revealed that a major attack was being planned against a major U.S. sporting event.


"By purposefully disregarding crucial intelligence, and in releasing known participants in the plot into Saudi custody, numerous government officials took action which made the Staples Center bombing possible," Cornyn said. He went on to note that, "numerous individuals in the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security knowingly pursued policies which would endanger the lives of Americans. They placed their political priorities above the safety of the citizens of this country, and thousands of innocent people died as a result. These people must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."


At the White House, Press Secretary Adam Brickley said that President Sarah Palin stands firmly behind the decision. "It's not as if we relish the thought of prosecuting members of the previous administration," Brickley said, "but, at this point, there is a clearly established precedent – set in place by the Obama Administration themselves – which says that government officials must be held accountable if they contributed in any way to major breaches of the law. In this case, the individuals under investigation do appear to have purposefully allowed these terrorists to continue their actions – prioritizing international public opinion over the lives of the American people. So, while this may be a politically charged issue, there is a real need to prosecute."

Ironically, it appears that the highest ranking official who could face prosecution is former Attorney General Eric Holder, who personally dropped the state's case against Mr. al-Meshugeneh after declaring his capture in Afghanistan illegal. Al-Meshugeneh later admitted that, at the time of his release, he had already told the government of his role in planning the attack which killed almost 10,000 people, including the entire Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks basketball squads. Holder was also the primary force in prosecuting Bush Administration officials who issued legal opinions supporting waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics. As such, it appears that he actually set the precedent under which he may now be prosecuted himself.

Public opinion polls show 62 percent of Americans support prosecution of at least some Obama Administration officials.

Reprinted from Political Machine

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