Obama torture policies slammed by critics on both sides
The president's decision not to prosecute CIA agents for torture is being criticized by right advocates.
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Throughout the blogosphere, many have been critical of Obama's defense of those suspected of torture. On his Huffington Post blog, author and activist Mike Farrell compares these CIA operatives to "good Germans who were only following orders" during World War II and argues that Obama has effectively undone everything that was accomplished by the principles established at the Nuremberg trials.Skip to next paragraph
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The arrogance and cruelty of CIA officers who torture and brutalize helpless prisoners is not expunged because "they carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice." Attorney General Holder says it's "unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department," but he fails to note these very CIA agents requested said authority in order to engage in what all but the most insidious parsing of legal thought recognizes as torture.
While the fate of CIA operatives suspected of torture remains unclear, some members of Congress have begun calling for those behind the policies to face charges. The Times of London reports that those at risk include Alberto Gonzales, Bush's attorney general, as well as other officials behind the torture memos, such as John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general, Jay Bybee, and Steven Bradbury.
John Conyers, chairman of the House of Representatives judiciary committee, said: "If our leaders are found to have violated the strict laws against torture, either by ordering these techniques without proper authority, or by knowingly crafting legal fictions to justify torture, they should be criminally prosecuted."
Mr. Yoo and Mr. Bybee are already facing pressure for their involvement in creating the memos, reports Xinhua. Nearly 70 professors are demanding that Yoo, a visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif., be fired and disbarred. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party issued a resolution calling for the impeachment of Bybee from his current position as a federal judge in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.