Sunday, April 26, 2009

Arrest Dick Cheney now!

It's too late to impeach Cheney, but why is he still walking the streets? I don't know about where you live, but here in Massachussetts the statute of limitations for crimes such as armed robbery is 10 years. If someone robbed a liquor store five years ago and then talked about it on Oprah, would the government say, oh, that's in the past, we need to turn the page?

Well, there is no statute of limitation on war crimes, and in recent weeks Dick Cheney has repeatedly confessed his knowledge of, and approval of, the torture of terror suspects (I won't insult your intelligence by providing the links, because readers of this blog pay attention to the news.)

Even if his lawyers could claim he wasn't really in the chain of command, I am sure there are plenty of legal theories that would make him an accomplice and co-conspirator. Or at least, shouldn't someone be trying them out? It's one thing to make excuses, as President Obama and Attorney General Holder have done, for CIA personnel who supposedly operated under "terrific stress" and were only following orders as they tried to prevent another 9/11 (although international law does not recognize such excuses.) It is another thing altogether to have a former vice-president pretty much dare the Obama Justice Department to indict him for war crimes by confessing to them publicly every chance he gets.

But there are still those who think that the law is only for people like you and me and armed robbers who hold up liquor stores to feed their families or their drug addictions. Chief among them seem to be our political commentators, who, in a seemingly endless series of what I called "thumbsuckers" in the previous post, are trying to sound tough on accountability while opposing holding anyone truly accountable. In today's Los Angeles Times, for example, Doyle McManus, in an opinion piece entitled "Examining torture in the Bush era," takes just such a position. After much ruminating about whether torture was "effective" or not, McManus ends as follows:

The central question today isn't whether some CIA contractors overstepped the blurry lines of their rule book, or whether a few pliable lawyers in the Justice Department produced legal opinions to satisfy their bosses. We know they did. Now we need to ask why the government was unable to correct an erroneous course for seven years, except when the Supreme Court forced it to -- and then only minimally. We don't need criminal prosecutions; we need public accountability at the top. Starting, for example, with public testimony from Dick Cheney.

Now just what kind of "accountability" are we demanding from Cheney? Public testimony before a Congressional panel, and then letting him return to Wyoming to hunt and fish and live the good life with all the millions of dollars he has stocked away over the years? For Cheney, such an appearance would be just another chance to justify his conduct. Why not let him do it in a courtroom before a judge and jury instead?


Anne Gilbert said...

I tend to agree with you. Cheney has a lot to answer for. Especially since he seems to have been "Bush's brain" in the first place. And now that he's a private citizen. . . .

Unknown said...

Thank you Mr. Michael Balter. We need more intellectuals like you speaking out when it comes to Cheney and also Bush. What they did to our country has done the most damage internationally than any other time in history. Currently, I live and work in Dubai. I have lived in this region for more than 10 years. In all honesty, I have never heard anyone declare hatred for our great country. However, I have seen the level of respect decline as the Bush/Cheney lies were being spread and their 'plan of action'in their 'war on terriorist' were implemented. I saw with my own eyes the destruction to Iraq through media channels that are never or rarely seen in the USA. The level of death of civilians, the lives and well being of human beings completely destroyed was more than any of us Americans have ever experienced. The world that once saw us as a beacon and the example of democracy now view us as corrupt and oil seeking predators, not just in the middle eastern countries but among European countries as well. I never thought I'd see the day I was hesitant to proudly claim my nationality. I do have a sense of trust restored with the new president. However, I believe that there were grave criminal behavior done in the previous administration as you do and in order to restore our nation back to its full status, those responsible must be brought to justice.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to "MoveOn?"

Shephard Family Blog said...

He is a frightening man...he needs to be arrested, tried, and sentenced. Maybe then he'll shut his mouth!

Anonymous said...

Give me a break! As a dutiful conservative, I did not vote for Sen. John McCain. There were millions of us who chose somebody else - the Boston Tea Party, the LP, Constitution, Objectivist (Ayn Rand) and Alan Keyes.

Does anybody on the Left speak for the dead in Irsq? I thought the Democratic Party ran on the platform of hundreds of billions spent in six years in Iraq - the DP has spent more money in the past few months than the entire Iraq War.

Don't blame me - I did not vote for Senator McCain.

I ask you - if you on the Left take yourself seriously, why did you purge Cindy Sheehan the day she announced her candidacy for Madame Speaker's seat? (A chilling reminder of the former Soviet Union of purging opponents.)

Yes, we on the Right and LP opposed to Iraq call for criminal charges against Dick Cheney. What are you doing about it?

Anonymous said...

Although I cannot possibly agree with you more, it would seem that the six of us (at this writing) who are even talking about this, are, decidedly, in the minority.

The Cheney people won. America lost. End of story, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Can't some lawyer bring charges
against this Haliburton puppet?
..He also did crimes by passing
legislation that enabled Haliburton to use "fracting" to blow poison chemicals into the
land in La. to bring up natural gas..see 60 minutes
nov 15th, 2010...
101st Airborne Division Combat Vet..
Happy Veteran's day you all.