Holder's DOJ Gets Closer To Prosecuting Bush Admin Officials Over GITMO

August 10, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - We noted in a July piece [see https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=newsweekid=7.13.09%2Ehtm Newsweek's Unrestrained Glee Over A Possible "Holy War" On Bush/Cheney By Eric Holder] that Newsweek magazine was engaged in "breathlessly feeding Bush derangement syndrome," via its supportive coverage of a supposedly imminent move by Holder's DOJ to prosecute former Bush officials over the matter of water boarding some particularly nasty Islamic terrorists while being detained at GITMO.

That possibility, an on-and-off topic of intense speculation throughout the 2008 campaign and into the first six months of the Obama administration, appears to be a near certainty according to a Sunday article in the LA Times, "U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of terrorism suspects, current and former U.S. government officials said." [source, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cia-interrogate9-2009aug09,0,34626.story]

The mixed signals on this issue denote a certain amount of lobbying, often by media organizations intending to create or sometimes stifle, not report on, incendiary issues.

Seven months ago, pre inauguration, the WashPost carried a story seemingly debunking the idea that the then incoming administration had any intent to mount prosecutions over the anti-terror policies of the Bush administration, writing, "President-elect Barack Obama has privately signaled to top U.S. intelligence officials that he has no plans to launch a legal inquiry into the CIA's past use of water boarding and other harsh interrogation techniques, agency director Michael V. Hayden said yesterday." [source, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/01/15/AR2009011504009.html]

As if to punctuate that story line, president elect Obama appearing on ABC's This Week during the same time-frame said, "When it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past..."

Though the WashPost might have correctly reflected the thinking of team Obama at the time, now faced with the difficulty of keeping the extreme left majority within the Democrat leadership on board in critical legislative battles, not the least of which being health care initiatives, the executive branch may indeed have signaled Holder's team that it's time to trot out show trials and go after the previous administration.

Such a naked move to criminalize political opponents would be unique in contemporary political experience, where extraordinary latitude has been granted to the actions of previous occupants of the Oval Office.

Though the Times' piece plays into the myth that this DOJ operates independently of Obama's whims, it's nonetheless clear that if Justice goes after Bush 43 it will be with the at least tacit the blessing of the president, whose penchant for the politics of personal destruction is now front and center.

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