George Bush Confesses To War Crimes

Via Glenn Greenwald, Scott Horton discusses the recent uncoerced confession by George W. Bush of war crimes:

Sure, we waterboarded Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, former President George W. Bush reportedly said on Tuesday.

Horton reports on the reaction to this by former CENTCOM commander Joseph Hoar:

Waterboarding is torture. John McCain has said itís torture. We have prosecuted foreign and American military personnel for waterboarding. We even prosecuted a sheriff in Texas for waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture and torture is a crime. [. . .] It is shocking that former President George W. Bush said he would use waterboarding Ďagain [. . .]

In our names.

Speaking for me only

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    Well, (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 07:26:32 PM EST
    I don't think W. is saying anything that most of us don't know but what's worse IMO is the number of people that are going to see nothing wrong with what George W. Bush did and unfortunately Obama and the Dems let this slide only exacerbating the problem.

    Both sides are (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by athyrio on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 07:32:27 PM EST
    disgusting IMO because none of them are really representing the people or the constitution...all they care about is personal greed and whatever law can benefit the corporations...and they can now blatently waterboard and not worry about repercussions...Sick stuff..

    What stings is Horton's conclusion, (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 07:43:03 PM EST
    quoted in Glenn's post (Glenn's emphasis):
    Bush's statement amounts to an admission of his role in a serious crime. He can speak and act without concern because the Obama White House has announced its intention not to enforce American domestic law, under which this conduct was a felony, and not to comply with the unequivocal treaty commitments of the Convention Against Torture, under which the United States is unconditionally obligated to undertake a criminal investigation. In this way, the sins of one regime have been assumed by its successor.

    And, Glenn's comment:

    Precisely.  Obama is not only protecting repugnant crimes and the criminals who committed them, but also ensuring that they will occur again.  An added benefit:  by so vigilantly protecting Bush crimes from investigation and refusing to apply the law, Obama significantly increases the chances that should he break the law -- by doing things like this, this or this -- he, too, will be bestowed with imperial immunity for his actions.  It's a never-ending, mutually beneficial agreement among Presidents and their parties to agree to place Presidents above the law.

    Really too bad Pelosi took impeachment off the table when the Dems took Congress in 2006; somehow, "too distracting," "too disruptive" and "too divisive" just don't seem like good enough reasons not to have drawn the line.

    Personally I feel very sad (none / 0) (#5)
    by ZtoA on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:20:13 AM EST
    about this. And discouraged. It seems like the time to directly address war crimes by Bush has passed. Just slipped away. I'm not blaming.... Pelosi or Obama or anyone in particular. But the times and the political pressures have moved the attention off this. The economy, oil leak, the economy (again) and political pro-wrestling posturing have the attention.

    I fault the media, yet the media are for-profit businesses and they need ratings, so faulting media is naive and short sighted. Its just the times. I do commend a few voices like GG and BTD for maintaining integrity and not letting issues like this get forgotten. Not just "be" forgotten, but to "get" forgotten - more active and intentional.

    Historians will have a lot of material in how the US changed during the first couple of decades of the 21st Century. It feels like these changes are epic.


    isn't it (none / 0) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:56:04 AM EST
    a violation of the law for a "law enforcement" officer to NOT enforce the law?

     Wouldn't it be ironic if the Republicans impeached Obama for abrogating his duties as America's chief law enforcement officer?

    "....I will faithfully execute the laws......."
    So help me, Gawd.



    Only in AZ. Everywhere else, law (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:54:57 PM EST
    enforcement has discretion.

    Prosecutors have discretion... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:02:08 PM EST
    Don't police have to enforce every law, then it is the DA's office that has discretion whether to file charges or drop 'em?

    So at the least George should get a perp-walk before the powers that be decide not to pursue it, under the "different rules different fools" clause.


    Question (none / 0) (#10)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:16:40 PM EST
    Didn't the Military Act give everyone immunity on torture?  (Didn't the FISA bill also give them immunity for the illegal wire tapping)?

    Does law enforcement ticket each and (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:21:19 PM EST
    every suspected jaywalker or speeder?  Does law enforcement arrest each and every suspeccted drug seller, transporter, manufacturer?  Does law enforcement arrest each and every suspect DUI?

    No... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:25:09 PM EST
    but when they don't I think they are "technically" breaking the rules...and thank god for that.

    Read in Reader's Digest (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:59:45 PM EST
    a few years ago - one of their humorous anecdotes...

    A rural police officer pulls over a guy for speeding.  Guy complains, "Officer, I wasn't the only one speeding.  Why did you pull me over?"

    Officer asks him, "You ever been fishing?"

    Guy says, "Yes, why?"

    Officer says, "You ever catch every fish in the pond?"


    Prosecutors and cops decide not to pursue charges all the time. It's not rare - in most jurisdictions, I would bet it's more the norm.


    And will this make (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zorba on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 07:30:19 PM EST
    any difference whatsoever?  Obama has already said he wants to look forward, not back.  So, what difference will this make?  Unless Georgie-boy happens to travel to the Netherlands, and the International Court decides to scoop him up and prosecute him for war crimes, I don't think this will make any d@mned bit of difference.  Unfortunately.

    Narrow minded thinking (none / 0) (#7)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:44:27 AM EST
    The most damaging aspect of all of this is what it is doing to our reputation internationally. We're engaged in an ideological conflict that isn't going to be won with torture or bullets. Hearts and minds is what's going to shape the outcome. By sinking to the level of the terrorists, we're showing the world that we're no better than the enemy.

    We need the support of the international community if we're to be successful. Countries across Europe are already pulling away from us. GB and Germany are planning major cuts in their military spending. Allies that have supported us for years are drifting away.

    We need the moral high ground if we're to succeed.

    softness (none / 0) (#14)
    by diogenes on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:55:32 PM EST
         Maybe the reason why the Iranians laugh at our "sanctions" is that they know that we are so soft that we obsess about waterboarding KSM, who was involved in bombing the World Trade Center.  What chance is there that we will actually take tough action against Iran or even stay in Iraq/Afghanistan in the long term to back the locals who risk their lives by supporting us?
         People who say that they hate America for waterboarding KSM are using a convenient excuse for hating America for other reasons.  If we refused to consider waterboarding such a person then they would hold our power and our will in contempt, which is much more dangerous.

    because (none / 0) (#15)
    by CST on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:02:04 PM EST
    having the largest, most expensive, and most technologically advanced military in the world - without much fear or hesitation in using it to bomb entire nations to smithereens - is not enough of a threat - so we need to resort to torture?

    Site violator (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:53:47 AM EST