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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Is That All They Did? Torture Them More!

So President Obama released the tortured memos…even though I didn’t think he would. It was the topic of discussion today between myself and my best friend back home.

He’s a liberal Democrat who supported Obama, opposed Bush vehemently. He’s no moderate. His response to the memos?

“Is that all they did? Torture them more!”

Some liberal blogs like DailyKos are filled with angry people complaning that Obama won’t prosecute. A diary appears with a photoshopped photo of Obama hugging Bush. A commenter says if Obama does not prosecute, his presidency is a failure (a failure, really? Economy aside?)

stuff like this;

more and more… (1+ / 0-)

Recommended by: TNThorpe

…I am loosing hope.  The Obama administration is dissapointing me more and more on the issues I care about most.  He is turinig out to be just another politician.  Next election I don’t know if I can walk my precinct for him, and I’m the committeman.  I hope there is a good primary alternative.  I con understand why people don’t get involved in politics all it is is dissapointment.

or this;

If Obama will not prosecute, he is no better than the thugs who still run Serbia and, every day, aid and abet its war criminals in evading justice.  If he will not prosecute, he is failing to comply with 4 separate treaties banning torture which have the force of law in the U.S. Thus, he will be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and must be impeached and removed from office.

Another diary quotes Senator Feingold as saying the investigation isn’t over and prosecution is still on the table…public outrage over the memos will force the administration to prosecute.

Public outrage? Will there be public outrage?

I can’t tell how many times I’ve heard people back home, Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike, condone torture…for accused terrorists, for accused criminals BEFORE they’ve been convicted.

Does anyone really believe there is going to massive public outrage and desire to prosecute the Bush administration? Does anyone really believe the public isn’t going to sneer and move on? What happens then? Do these lefties shutup and accept the public doesn’t want this? Or will they punish Obama for not risking political capital he could be using for healthcare, on a vain attempt to put Dick Cheney in jail?


  1. sricki

    but it’s not gonna happen. Even if it did, it wouldn’t happen during the first term. Too much worry over potential backlash. Anyone wanting to impeach Obama over this is off his or her chump. I like DailyKos, really I do. But it’s full of hysterics who apparently have nothing to be upset about in their personal lives, so they spend all of their time on the blogs working themselves into fits over the latest OUTRAGE. Some of those people need a chill pill.

  2. Neef

    on the “D”. I’ll repost my comment, since it actually applies better here than it did there =):

    Releasing the memos was a huge step, and perhaps a watershed moment.

    I don’t think he’s going to go much farther than this, which puts the Left in an odd position. Up til now, we have at least putatively been on the same “team” as the President, and to a lesser degree on the same “team” as each other. Each small step Obama takes moves some portion of the Left into his camp, while leaving those favoring harder-Left solutions unsatisfied.

    I have always suspected that he will, at some point, decide he has “enough” support from the Left, and move no farther leftward. That breakpoint, most likely, is when the goals of his critics are sufficiently divorced from popular opinion that he benefits from pushing off them. The classic Sista Soulja moment.

    Releasing the torture memos was, frankly, breathtaking. It was much farther than I thought he’d go, and much farther than I would have gone. Considering the necessity of a good working relationship with the CIA, it may have been too bold.

    However, it’s very boldness leads me to wonder if this is his line in the sand. I can’t imagine that prosecuting Bush is popular with the country at large, much less Independents and the Right. If the Left assumes the posture of “prosecute or go to hell”, then they must either work to impeach a new, highly popular president, or risk undermining the perception that they have any power at all.

    Ironically, the Left may find itself stuck in the same position as the Right, where the push for purity ostracizes more moderate members, pushing them to the middle.

  3. No one. It’s all speculation. A few days ago you had people saying he would never release the memos and now those same people are complaining that he won’t do anything more. They were wrong before and they could well be wrong now. It’s all speculation.

    Oh yeah, and all those people that are so disappointed in Obama? Most of them are concern trolls that didn’t give up the fight after the election. They are still present on most sites and will continue to work towards his downfall.

  4. HappyinVT

    as much information as possible to say, “Here you go, world.  This is the stuff that went on.  Now we prosecute.”

    Who saw the dismissal of the case against Ted Stevens coming?  To John’s point, we really don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.  Folks are putting their owns feelings about Obama into their supposition to come up with what he is going to do.  One things I’ve learned watching him, don’t bet on what you think he will do.  You’re as often right as wrong.  The DOJ went so far yesterday as to say that they would offer legal counsel to any CIA official for future lawsuits.  I hope that’s in return for cooperation.

    I’ve been accused of politicizing this, and there really is no good time to investigate a former president, but Obama is already facing the socialist/fascist/Muslim/illegitimate president stuff.  That’s largely why it doesn’t bother me for him to say he wants to look forward, not back.  It’s the Justice Department I want to see moving on any investigation.  It’s the DOJ’s job to be impartial, something that’s been neglected for many years.  It’s DOJ’s job to investigate/prosecute.  I, frankly, don’t want Obama anywhere near it (other than it being his AG which is impossible to ignore).

    I said this in a lenghtly comment in another diary, I’m amazed at how little the media is covering this.  Why, I don’t know, given how they covered the Bush presidency in the first place.  But Obama and those who support investigation/prosecution are fighting a huge wall of misinformation/lack of information.  I wonder how many people will actually read the memos?  My guess is that it isn’t as many as those who went to the tea parties.  My own newspaper barely covered the story on page 4.  Tomorrow I’m going to ask why.  It’s also easy to sit on the sidelines and say how easy being president is.  And, maybe it should be easy to do the right thing.  But it’s not.  Do we just let the economy, healthcare, the environment, and education languish even longer?  Many will say, yes, because there is nothing more important than the rule of law.  I can’t necessarily argue against that point, but the political reality is that the right, without an overwhelming amount of evidence (and probably even with) is going to raise such a hue and cry that Obama and/or Holder had better be prepared.

    Yes, I want prosecutions but I don’t want a Republican Congress and/or White House in two or four years.  That’s what we may have to be prepared for if this goes forward.

  5. vcalzone

    Today we learn that they waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in a one month period. Regardless of what you think of the techniques, how could there possibly be a bigger indicator that this was torture?

    A lot of people wouldn’t consider being slapped in the face to be torture, but suppose that you were jailed, shackled, often left nude, in solitary confinement. Then at random intervals, =guards would come in, hold your arms behind your back while another guard slapped you hard in the face twice. Imagine this was every single day. That is torture. The act itself means nothing, it’s the application and intent.

    And beyond that, if this stuff actually worked, they wouldn’t need to do it 180 times to begin with.

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