Even while continually reiterating "we should be looking forward and not backward," Obama has shifted his position by opening the door for Congress to "investigate" lawyers and policy makers through a bipartisan commission and deferring his legal opinion to the AG, Eric Holder.
The President has remained steadfast in his proclamation that CIA interrogators and independent contractors, acting under the legal authority granted to them by the Bush administration, shall not face prosecution. Nevertheless this obvious shift in position, concerning Bush DOJ officials, is highly evident of caving to political pressures from the far-left.
The possible prosecution of CIA employees and contractors who participated in the enhanced interrogation program is at least on the mind of one powerful left-wing organization.
From the ACLU,
"We have to look back before we can move forward as a nation. When crimes have been committed, the American legal system demands accountability. President Obama's assertion that there should not be prosecutions of government officials who may have committed crimes before a thorough investigation has been carried out is simply untenable. Enforcing the nation's laws should not be a political decision. These memos provide yet more incontrovertible evidence that Bush administration officials at the highest level of government authorized and gave legal blessings to acts of torture that violate domestic and international law," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "There can be no more excuses for putting off criminal investigations of officials who authorized torture, lawyers who justified it and interrogators who broke the law. No one is above the law, and the law must be equally enforced. Accountability is necessary for any functioning democracy and for restoring America's reputation at home and abroad."
Will Obama cave to left wing organizations on a witch hunt and eventually turn on CIA operatives? Generally speaking, the possibility does seem to exist.
Even if he does not choose to travel this path, this situation is inevitably going to have devastating consequences for our Hum-Int pool. It shouldn't be difficult to imagine that most people employed by the agency, or any of its counterparts, probably will not want to remain working in an environment where you are viewed as a criminal and not a person engaged in the protection of their country. I cannot say I really would blame them for walking away.
Obama has demonstrated the uncanny ability to seemingly satisfy the insatiable appetite of the far-left for the destruction of anything Bush while keeping a way out for himself and his agenda.
It's not difficult to see that most of this about revenge on the former President and his officials for their eight years of elusively out maneuvering progressive attempts at impeachment or prosecution for supposed war crimes.
By releasing these memos, an unprecedented act in itself, and leaving the decision for prosecution up to the DOJ or investigation up to Congress, Obama has relinquished himself of any responsibility for making a judgment. Effectively, "washing his hands of their blood," figuratively of course, and remaining above the fray. (Please note, this comparison is not meant in anyway to paint Bush or any of those in his administration as Jesus figures.)
The President has once again demonstrated why he won the election so handedly. As long as there is an ever present evil Bush shadow Obama is able to return to his Messianic visage.
True political genius at work.
Final Note: One last thought which occurred to me after completion of this post. This week also begins the highly contentious budgetary debate as Congress returns to session. We all know how much hoopla this generated the last time it came up. The memos being presented in such a timely manner does offer another political distraction for the general public, especially in the wake of the Tea Parties. Feint move by the administration? Mmmmm, could be.
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