Millions for blowjobs but not one cent for torture

Another day, another online chat with a Washington Post reporter who opposes investigations of the Bush administration:

New York, N.Y.: Hi, Lois. I’m hoping you’ll take this question, even though it’s a bit stinging. I’m trying to get my head around the fact that the D.C. establishment (and certain of your colleagues’) conventional wisdom is that it would be a bad idea to prosecute members of the Bush administration for authorizing torture. But I’ve also read that under the terms of international agreements that we are signatories to, that the Obama administration has an obligation to investigate the Bush/Cheney alleged crimes? So how does the law jibe with D.C.-establishment’s commonly held viewpoint that investigations would be counter-productive?

Lois Romano: I’m sure they are looking into the law and reviewing options and responsibilities– and there may be a time to focus on the issue you raise. But I think right now, President Obama wants to follow the concerns of most americans–which are the economy and health care. Starting a partisan fight- even if it is legal- would be a major distraction for him and likely not sit well with millions of americans who are out of work and losing their homes.

And here was conventional wisdom about the multi-year, multi-million-dollar Starr investigation of the blowing of the president:

Similarly, independent counsel Ken Starr is not seen by many Washington insiders as an out-of-control prudish crusader. Starr is a Washington insider, too. He has lived and worked here for years. He had a reputation as a fair and honest judge.

[….]

Many say the impeachment inquiry should go forth in some fashion, if only to clarify and explain the offenses and to let the system work. The system is important here.

[….]

“He shouldn’t get by with it,” says Baker. “The question is, what can the Senate do short of removal?”

It’s good that they have their priorities in order.

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108 replies
  1. 1
    John Cole says:

    I kind of have to admit that this sort of mirrors my spending priorities, too. I would be willing to spend millions on blow jobs and not a damned penny on torture.

    I don’t think that is what you meant, though.

  2. 2
    Comrade Dread says:

    You could combine the two and save money, John.

  3. 3
    demkat620 says:

    Maybe if we dress all the detainees up in Clenis costumes they will show some interest.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    Starting a partisan fight- even if it is legal- would be a major distraction for him and likely not sit well with millions of americans who are out of work and losing their homes.

    Where the fuck to begin? So investigating myriad, SERIOUS, and widespread ILLEGALITIES (not mearly "abuses") is "starting a partisan fight"? what the fuck?

    And that this reporter, who just witnessed a watershed election, 2+ million in DC for the inauguration, and Bushes checkout numbers sub-25%, believes that these actions will be unpopular? Is he trying to look retarded, or was there more to this convo, where he finishes with "no, guys, I’m just kidding"?

  5. 5
    Comrade Dread says:

    Starting a partisan fight

    So, don’t. Here are two options that let you stay out of it and above the fray…

    1. Appoint a special prosecutor that is reasonably respected on both sides and tell him to go where ever the evidence leads him, even if it leads to Democrats too.

    2. Pick 3 decent Republicans (if you can find them) and 3 Democrats that aren’t likely to be involved, and establish one of those Truth commissions with subpoena power and the option to offer immunity in exchange for full disclosure.

  6. 6
    bayville says:

    Torture (yawns). International Laws (zzzzzzz). Secret prisons (boooorrringg).

    Can we get back to the important stuff like whether it was Obama or Roberts who fucked up the oath and resume the investigation as to whether Obama is legally The President ?

  7. 7
    Leo says:

    Now, now, let’s not bicker and argue about who tortured who.

  8. 8
    IncandenzaH says:

    Punchy, you should definitely read the whole WaPo chat. At the end, poor Lois "Serious-Unbiased-Journalist" Romano is forced to retract her previous statements (not that she owns up to what she’s doing, of course). Anyway, it’s pretty sad/funny.

  9. 9
    Jay Severin Has A Small Pen1s says:

    The same people who argue that Obama has other priorities are the same people who will point towards his decision to investigate as his biggest failure.

    Mark my words.

    He should do what he thinks is right and leave history to the historians.

  10. 10
    demkat620 says:

    WTF is Kit Bond talking about on Hardball? Did he miss the 90’s?

  11. 11
    gil mann says:

    I’ve lost track of how many pro-torture op-eds the Post has run recently. One today(?) by a Bush press-office guy, for Chrissake.

    God, that paper has become truly despicable. If you tried to wrap a fish in it the fish’d be like, "get this fuckin’ birdcage liner offa me!"

  12. 12
    TheFountainHead says:

    Seems to me he’s been President for 48 hours and he’s done quite a fucking lot in that short period. If you haven’t read the executive orders he signed today, do it. They are a sight for sore eyes and could not make me happier.

  13. 13
    Librarian says:

    Here it is again: we can’t look into the illegal acts of the last 8 years because we’ve got to concentrate on the economy or whatever. This is so mind-bendingly wrong, it’s hard to believe that these people can show their faces in broad daylight. Can’t they get it through their fucking heads that when somebody commits a crime, they have to be prosecuted? Whatever the political consequences? This is like Hoover saying that he couldn’t prosecute Al Capone because he had his hands full dealing with the Great Depression. Illegal acts must be prosecuted. Period. Full stop. Why is that so fucking hard to understand?

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    I’m sure they are looking into the law and reviewing options and responsibilities—and there may be a time to focus on the issue you raise.

    My oh my. We would prosecute the Bush Administration for unlawful detention and torture practices that clearly violate any number of US Laws and International Treaties, but we just don’t seem to have the time. We were so busy holding up a vote on Mother’s Day that we just couldn’t squeeze it in between junkets and fund raisers.

    Ho-hum. Maybe next administration.

  15. 15
    Duros62 says:

    Starting a partisan fight- even if it is legal- would be a major distraction for him and likely not sit well with millions of Americans who are out of work and losing their homes.

    Um, point of order: isn’t that what the friggin’ justice department is for?

    I mean I know they haven’t had very much to do lately, but COME ON!!

    If crimes were committed, they need to be investigated. If investigation reveal crimes committed, they need to be prosecuted. Whatever happened to "personal responsibility", Republicans?

  16. 16
    AnneLaurie says:

    Starr is a Washington insider, too. He has lived and worked here for years.

    Well, there’s your solution. Surely there must be one ‘Washington insider’ who’d like to establish his/her place in history by calling for a complete and thorough Truth & Reconciliation Commission to investigate, at the very least, torture…

    Anybody?

    Is this going to be one of those ‘find me a single honest person and the city will be spared’ parables?

  17. 17
    Anton Sirius says:

    Meanwhile, the WH press corps spends half of the very first briefing of the new administration whining about the fact that they didn’t get personal, engraved invitations to the oath of office do-over.

    To quote Casey Kasem, it’s ponderous, man. Fucking ponderous.

  18. 18

    Fortunately for us the press has no say in whether or not the administration investigates crimes committed by the previous occupants. I suspect the executive order on presidential records Obama signed that takes the control of records out of the hands of former Presidents will cause some sleepless nights in Bush land.

    The next Friedman will be interesting as some of those records see the light of day. I realize the order still gives the administration the authority to keep records secret but at least now the former obstructionists are out of the loop. We’ll just have to wait and see how much transparency we get on some of the more egregious suspected violations of the past eight years.

    BTW watch Olbermann tonight. I think Tice (the NSA whistleblower) is going to be on again. I know O wants him to come back and answer more questions.

  19. 19
    IncandenzaH says:

    She knows nothingk… nothingk! From the end of the chat (note her use of frustrated ALL-CAPS):

    Lois Romano: To Be clear for this question and any past or future questions on torture:

    I have no position on whether Obama should or shouldn’t investigate Bush’s torture policies. None. I am not allowed to have a position.

    In addition, I do know know enough about the law or the Geneva Conventions to have an informed judgment on what the new administration should do.

    My simple point was that the new administration MAY want to use its resources AT FIRST on the economy, while ALSO examining how to proceed on the torture question.

    BUT MAYBE NOT. maybe,they’ll jump right into investigating the Bush practices.

  20. 20
    Perry Como says:

    I kind of have to admit that this sort of mirrors my spending priorities, too. I would be willing to spend millions on blow jobs and not a damned penny on torture.

    Well yeah, but you aren’t David Vitter.

  21. 21
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    DougJ

    I don’t know if you saw this earlier but there finally is a poll out on the investigation/prosecution question and 50 percent of respondents said they favored investigations and 47 against with 2 percent having no opinion. Glenzilla broke the numbers down. It should be a lot harder for the Village to hide behind the "the people don’t want it" meme from now on. Its also ironic that the poll was commissioned by the WaPo so presumably Romano knew this before hand.

  22. 22
    Incertus says:

    @gil mann: And if you put it in a birdcage, the bird would die of constipation before letting its shit touch a paper that bad.

  23. 23
    gwangung says:

    Fortunately for us the press has no say in whether or not the administration investigates crimes committed by the previous occupants. I suspect the executive order on presidential records Obama signed that takes the control of records out of the hands of former Presidents will cause some sleepless nights in Bush land.

    Hmph.

    Wouldn’t you think there’d be some EASY stories hiding in those records? Records that could be gotten by the press with a FOI request?

  24. 24
    Jay (not that Severin guy, but the one who can stand proud) says:

    As a former 95B, I can say with much authority that Lyndie England had superior officers who would’ve much rather prosecuted her for being pregnant out of wedlock instead of prisoner abuse.

    Speaking of Hardball, if you missed this, you need to stop missing it.

  25. 25
    The Other Steve says:

    You guys all just want to criminalize politics.

    Everyone knows that torturing people is perfectly acceptable.

  26. 26
    Cpl. Cam says:

    See, if Clinton would’ve just started an unnesseccary and counter-productive war and royally fucked up the economy instead of leaving us peaceful and prosperous no one woulda gave a shit about the whole cigar/bj thang.

  27. 27
    The Other Steve says:

    Damnit, I ordered some memory from newegg, and it’s showing they are shipping by DHL. I thought DHL stopped shipping domestic?

    Oh, January 30th. Damnit, they better get it to me before they shut the doors! This is torture! I am being tortured!

  28. 28
    IncandenzaH says:

    The Other Steve: It’s not about the torture. It’s about the lies. I mean, everybody tortures, don’t they? But the President shouldn’t be lying about it. That’s all. What will we tell the children?

  29. 29
    Jay (not that Severin guy, but the one who can stand proud) says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    I thought investigating torture required 2/3rds majority in a Gallop poll.

  30. 30
    garyb50 says:

    All across the board today the villagers have embarrassed themselves. Starting this morning with Morning Joe & across all cable news & the big 3 networks, followed by the White House press briefing, these nitwits outdid themselves like I’ve never seen. A trivia obsessed hive mind.

  31. 31
    The Other Steve says:

    See, if Clinton would’ve just started an unnesseccary and counter-productive war and royally fucked up the economy instead of leaving us peaceful and prosperous no one woulda gave a shit about the whole cigar/bj thang.

    You know, actually.. I think if you look back at the stock market it broke in 1998. Look at the trends, and then go back and look at the trends prior to 1998 way back to 1929. It’s behaving differently.

    So in retrospect, I do think Clinton holds some responsibility on that but I’m not sure what he did which broke it. Probably loose monetary policy. Which would then be more Greenspan, btu whatever… wait, over there a blowjob!

  32. 32
    Rick Taylor says:

    Always lovely to see these people so willing to speak on behalf of millions of Americans.

  33. 33
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    I can’t believe I’m the first one to say this:
    It’s Okay If You Are A Republican

    Republicans can break the law all they want without penalty. Republicans can lie, steal, kidnap, and torture because they’re only doing it to keep us safe. Democrats, on the other hand, are clearly out to destroy America from within, so any hint of wrongdoing on their part must be dealt with harshly and swiftly.

  34. 34
    Joshua Norton says:

    I thought investigating torture required 2/3rds majority in a Gallop poll.

    That, or approval from Chris Wallace. Much like he gets to say who’s officially president and who isn’t.

  35. 35
    DougJ says:

    @sgwf

    Yeah, I saw that.

  36. 36
    kay says:

    @garyb50:

    Obama’s signing a lot of executive orders. As far as I’m concerned, they can chatter on and on.

    I don’t think he listens to them. He didn’t take their advice during the campaign.

    He’s going to roll right by them.

  37. 37
    DougJ says:

    @John Cole:

    That’s weird, because it only costs about $30 to get your tires rotated.

  38. 38
    David Hunt says:

    Um, point of order: isn’t that what the friggin’ justice department is for?

    Why do you think that the Republicans in the Judiciary Committee are doing everything they can to delay Holder’s confirmation? The longer they can keep Obama’s Administration from taking action, the more inertia Obama’ll have to overcome to get things rolling. They’ll have had at least another week of "look forward instead of backwards" pieces in the papers before Holder even gets to walk into his office and put his wife’s picture on the desk.

  39. 39
    Jay (not that Severin guy, but the one who can stand proud) says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    Well, in all fairness, it IS written on the back of the Constitution and you have to rub lemon juice on it and then put a hair dryer to it (breathing on it all hot and heavy with a historian babe is big fat fun, but it’s not enough and suspiciously blowjobby) so most people don’t know about it.

  40. 40
    Joshua Norton says:

    $30 to get your tires rotated.

    And that includes lube and a ride on a hydraulic lift.

  41. 41
    HumboldtBlue says:

    And now we Californians are enjoying our version of the Starr Chamber.

    Dear Professor Kenneth, who holds a prof job at Pepperdine (most beautiful campus in the world filled with some of the ugliest minds in the world) is leading the fight for the prop 8 supporters.

    No word yet on whether or not Ken has interviewed anyone about the intimate sexual practices, or if anyone has even lied about them, but I’m sure they’ll be along shortly.

    You damn dirty Democrats and your sexual proclivities and peccadilloes! Next thing ya know even Rush Limbaugh will be forced to bend over and grab his ankles (which, like his dick, he hasn’t actually laid eyes upon since late 1993.)

  42. 42
    Andre says:

    Wait, so the Justice Department can’t do anything because it’s busy fixing the economy?

  43. 43
    linda says:

    one of my inadvertently funniest memories of that period was listening to cbs radio when the starr report was released and listening to bob schieffer read the dirty parts.

    and they still regard that as one of their profession’s finest moments.

  44. 44
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    Chris Matthews just called for an investigation into Bush Co. All I can say is WOW.

  45. 45
    jenniebee says:

    In all fairness, many people enjoy reading explicit descriptions of blowjobs. The same is not generally true with regards to torture.

    Village pr0n.

  46. 46
    Jay B. says:

    I have no position on whether Obama should or shouldn’t investigate Bush’s torture policies. None. I am not allowed to have a position.

    In addition, I do know know enough about the law or the Geneva Conventions to have an informed judgment on what the new administration should do.

    And she’s at the TOP OF HER PROFESSION!

    Holy Jesus this is going to send me to mainline whiskey for the next four years.

    First, Romano, you fucking tool, even if you can’t have an opinion about what Obama should do (which, not incidentally should keep you from having a fucking online chat about Obama to begin with) — you can have a position on torture. You know, as a journmalist, you might even decide to investigate it yourself without waiting for Obama to do your fucking job. What a void. And secondly, at least she doesn’t even know what the fuck she’s talking about when it comes to that issue anyway!

    It’s literally not possible to be more useless. Have a chat about things you are not supposed to have an opinion on and then admit that you wouldn’t know what to say about it even if your boss allowed you to think about it.

  47. 47
    Stevenovitch says:

    Somewhere the wires got crossed. Why the hell do the idiots in D.C. keep telling us what our priorities are, what sits well with us, and what we want to see done.

    It’s supposed to work the other way around shitheads. That’s sort of, you know, the entire fucking point of this democracy thing.

  48. 48

    […] title of John Cole’s post says it all. […]

  49. 49
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    Well, and there’s all the other crimes to investigate the Bush admin for – torture is just the most morally outrageous one, in (I would assume) most people’s opinion.

    I would be willing to spend millions on blow jobs and not a damned penny on torture.

    Even with a budget like that, be sure to manage it wisely. Avoid those seven-diamond women.

  50. 50
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Totally and unalterably opposed to prosecutions of the Bush administration.

    If it is for revenge, it backfires. If it is for prevention, it’s stupid. Prevention is achieved by electing better leaders. If we don’t elect better leaders, all the prosecutions on earth won’t prevent these things.

    Prosecution is entirely for feelgood purposes, for those people who can be made to feel good about such things. Screw them. We have more important things to do in the next few years. A lot more important.

  51. 51
    WyldPirate says:

    Torture is too much tooth-action with the BJ….

  52. 52
    DougJ says:

    Prosecution is entirely for feelgood purposes, for those people who can be made to feel good about such things.

    I agree. That’s why I don’t support prosecution for rape, murder, and burglary. All it does is make the victims feel better.

  53. 53
    Ssgt. White says:

    All in good time.

    The first ever prosecution of a former U.S. President and his cohort for crimes committed in office is no small task. And if it will in fact be undertaken, it will require preparation, deliberation and some perspective.

    I welcome it, but only if it is done correctly.

  54. 54
    The Moar You Know says:

    Next thing ya know even Rush Limbaugh will be forced to bend over and grab his ankles

    @HumboldtBlue: The only way that fat fuck could bend over far enough to grab his ankles would be if you sawed his intestines out.

  55. 55
    Svensker says:

    Dear Hat, the whole idea of being a country of Laws rather than Men is that we don’t have to wait until we get the "right" person in power to prevent bad things from happening. That was actually the whole point behind the Constitution, and when the Boys didn’t think it went far enough, they threw in the Bill of Rights.

    Because we didn’t prosecute Nixon and crew, and because the Iran/Contra boys got pardoned…they all ended up back in office under Dubya. We should not make that mistake again.

    If the laws don’t apply to all, then hoping that we get enough "good people" in office is just wishy-washy authoritarianism.

  56. 56
    Balconesfault says:

    Torture is a partisan issue.

    Who knew?

    OK – anyone who watched the Republican primary debates last winter. Granted.

  57. 57
    comrade rawshark says:

    If it is for revenge, it backfires. If it is for prevention, it’s stupid. Prevention is achieved by electing better leaders.

    I guess that’s one way to look at it.

    Of course another way would be that if you prosecute politicians for crimes the next guy running might be less inclined to commit a crime, given the precedent and all.

  58. 58
    Incertus says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The only way that fat fuck could bend over far enough to grab his ankles would be if you sawed his intestines out.

    Works for me.

  59. 59
    DougJ says:

    Because we didn’t prosecute Nixon and crew, and because the Iran/Contra boys got pardoned…they all ended up back in office under Dubya. We should not make that mistake again.

    Precisely. It’s not about party. There were Republican heroes here — Iglesias, Comey — as well as villains. It’s about keeping the actual villains from fucking the country up all over again when Jeb takes over in 2020.

  60. 60
    Bill says:

    How can the new administration even consder skipping prosecution of those who authorized torture? It seems clear Obama wants to restore our standing on the world stage, part of that process includes prosecuting those who comitted war crimes.

    Besides – it’s just the right thing to do.

    http://billpost.blogspot.com/

  61. 61
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    I agree. That’s why I don’t support prosecution for rape, murder, and burglary. All it does is make the victims feel better.

    You were better when you writing spoof, man, because that is THE DUMBEST fucking thing you have ever posted here.

    We are talking about the government of the country and whether it should be turned into a cycle of investigations and prosecutions as a way to keep it on track.

    What part of MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO do you not understand? What part of "ELECT BETTER LEADERS" do you not get as a way to get better government?

    Luckily … for you, and others too stupid to see this … Obama is going to have no part of this bullshit. One of many reasons why I voted for him, because he is smart.

    Take your patented sarcasm and shove it up your ass. I don’t want my country turned into a stupid second-rate reality show.

  62. 62

    You know, Romano is actually right, the problem with prosecutions is that they’ll suck all the air out of the room. She left out this part though:

    …because me and my friends in the Beltway media are far too stupid to understand complicated things like economics and healthcare and would much rather sensationalize and speculate about things like blowjobs and criminal investigations

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    I don’t want my country turned into a stupid second-rate reality show.

    It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?

  64. 64
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Of course another way would be that if you prosecute politicians for crimes the next guy running might be less inclined to commit a crime, given the precedent and all.

    A remark that makes sense ONLY if you think that prosecution is the best way to get a guy less inclined to commit a crime.

    Another way would be to ELECT BETTER GUYS. That is all win, because it solves the problems and prevents you from wasting time and energy and political oxygen on bashing the guys who aren’t in government any more.

    Unless of course you think that going after Clinton was a deterrent to blow jobs?

  65. 65
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    TheHatOnMyCat says

    Prosecution is entirely for feelgood purposes, for those people who can be made to feel good about such things. Screw them. We have more important things to do in the next few years. A lot more important.

    I agree. And thank God none of those important things we have to do are related to the fact that our last President committed abuses of office precisely because he knew people would say they were too busy cleaning up his messes to prosecute him.

    Oh wait.

  66. 66
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?

    I think you might actually think that it is, and I also think you are dead fucking wrong.

  67. 67
    DougJ says:

    A remark that makes sense ONLY if you think that prosecution is the best way to get a guy less inclined to commit a crime.

    I think it is here, probably more so than with things like rape and murder, to be honest. You don’t think Schloz et al. will be back in fucking up the Justice Department when the Republicans get back in power? The only way to stop this is to prosecute when crimes have been clearly committed.

    I understand your reservations about prosecution. But at least acknowledge that there are serious problems with letting governmental law-breaking go unpunished.

  68. 68
    The Moar You Know says:

    Uh oh. It’s that time of the month again and TheHatOnMyCat has got sand in her cooter.

  69. 69
    DougJ says:

    I think you might actually think that it is, and I also think you are dead fucking wrong.

    I do think that it is but I hope that I am dead fucking wrong.

  70. 70
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    our last President committed abuses of office precisely because

    Wrong. It was because we elected a fucking dysfunctional moron to the job. That’s why.

    The problem was solved by replacing him with a better president. That is the solution. Suppose we were talking about impeachment of Bush. What is the purpose of impeachment? Removal from office.

    The first thing a democracy needs is good leaders. You don’t get good leaders by prosecuting the ones you don’t like, you get them by ELECTING GOOD LEADERS.

  71. 71
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    I do think that it is but I hope that I am dead fucking wrong.

    Good for you. Pay more attention to what the new president is up to, you might be even more hopeful.

    Bush is gone. Let him be gone.

  72. 72
    IncandenzaH says:

    Authoritarians come in all shapes and sizes. Even Cat, it seems. You just keep hoping for our collective better natures to elect good-daddy leaders. From my side, I think holding them accountable for breaking the law is the only way to make sure they won’t break them in the future. Or, at the very least, that they’ll be tried and punished, when/if they do.

  73. 73
    DougJ says:

    Bush is gone. Let him be gone.

    Who’s being naive, Kay?

  74. 74
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    TheHatOnMyCat says

    Another way would be to ELECT BETTER GUYS. That is all win, because it solves the problems and prevents you from wasting time and energy and political oxygen on bashing the guys who aren’t in government any more.

    Its funny but I can actually visualize Democrats saying the same kinds of things back when Iran Contra was exposed and Reagan was still in office.

    "Oh hell why worry about prosecuting them, we will win the Presidency For Evah"

    Hmmmm how did that turn out?

  75. 75

    Apparently it is too much to ask that people who write about the government know how the government actually works.

    I must have been really bad in my past life or I’d have a job like that.

    Maybe I had a job like that in my past life and that’s why I’m where I am now…

  76. 76
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: Since this is the second time I recall you espousing this position, I’m going to assume it’s not a spoof.

    The argument you make for prevention being stupid is amazingly like the underpants gnome plan for profit. How do make an electorate elect better leaders? It’s a bit hard to force their arm in a voting machine, so I submit one of several methods is to ensure that bad leaders don’t get to be on the ballot — or if they are, that everyone knows they are bad leaders.

    There were a lot of people in the Bush house who were demonstrably bad leaders based on what they’d done while under Reagan. For that matter, some of them were among the many that had demonstrated their incompetence and tendency toward illegal behavior under Nixon. Had either group been successfully prosecuted we might not have gone through the last eight years.

    If they are not identified and set up for rehabilitation, there is absolutely nothing stopping them from wanting to do it again. If we do not investigate and prosecute, we have done nothing to warn our voters of some 12 to 16 years from now of exactly what sorts of people these are.

  77. 77
    comrade rawshark says:

    Another way would be to ELECT BETTER GUYS. That is all win, because it solves the problems and prevents you from wasting time and energy and political oxygen on bashing the guys who aren’t in government any more.

    No one is uncorruptable, there are no super human BETTER GUYS who are guaranteed to never do wrong. We need to have accountability, not fantasies of electing teh awesomes.

    Unless of course you think that going after Clinton was a deterrent to blow jobs?

    Stupidest thing you’ve ever written IMO. Not even close to comparable for any reason let alone the fact that Clinton wasn’t prosecuted to prevent further blowjobs.

  78. 78
    Balconesfault says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    Its funny but I can actually visualize Democrats saying the same kinds of things back when Iran Contra was exposed and Reagan was still in office.

    Yeah – and if the example of the last 8 years tells us anything – it’s that a President who is inclined to stretch/break the Constitution will use any previously unprosecuted stretching/breaking of the Constitution as a sign that everyone agreed that it was ok then … so it’s cool now.

    We actually need trials to prevent some Bush Model III from bestowing who the hell knows what on our Grandkids some day.

  79. 79
    Zifnab says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    It should be a lot harder for the Village to hide behind the "the people don’t want it" meme from now on.

    Nonsense. We can’t run around doing what 50% of the population supports in a post-partisan society. That would be a slap in the face to the other 47% who DON’T want investigations and it would throw all his independent supporters and Obama-Republican voters under the bus.

  80. 80
    MikeJ says:

    What is the purpose of impeachment? Removal from office.

    Wrong. Impeachment is just a trial. One possible outcome of many is removal from office.

    Since Bush is no longer in office we can let other courts hold the trials. If impeachment would have been ok, why not a trial by real courts?

  81. 81
    Jay B. says:

    We are talking about the government of the country and whether it should be turned into a cycle of investigations and prosecutions as a way to keep it on track.

    Yes. That’s one way, especially if they broke the fucking laws. A serious country respects its own Constitution, as we once did. A second-rate joke of a country selectively enforces what may or may not be convenient.

    That is all win, because it solves the problems and prevents you from wasting time and energy and political oxygen on bashing the guys who aren’t in government any more.

    This really is fucking stupid. Like Republican stupid. You do realize that many people in this administration were in previous Republican administrations and because of your policy of "let’s move on", were allowed to come back into government — despite being implicated in previous crimes, like Watergate and Iran-Contra? Like Eliot Abrams, who, because of "moving on" and pardons pleaded out to two misdemeanors and was fined $50 bucks. And John Negroponte, who was involved with Iran-Contra, as well as death squads in Honduras and other places in Central America. Good thing he was a major player in the Bush Administration! I’m glad no one ever decided to prosecute him! And John Poindexter. And Otto Reich. And Richard Armitrage.

    But the success of your approach has been proven a total success! Let ’em off the hook. All of these men helped put us where we are today — which must be a good thing in your mind. At least we didn’t outlaw politics!

  82. 82
    DougJ says:

    In all fairness, many people enjoy reading explicit descriptions of blowjobs. The same is not generally true with regards to torture.

    You don’t know many wingnuts, do you?

  83. 83
    pattonbt says:

    Why do they have to be mutually exclusive – elect better leaders and prosecute misdeeds? We should do both, shouldnt we? Why should bad leaders get a free ride for doing illegal acts?

    Dont get me wrong, my conscience wants to see Bush et al fry, my pragmatic cynic side knows nothing like that is going to happen.

    I am resigned to the fact that this issue will never be resolved in a manner that it fitting to my beliefs. Sucks to be me on this one, so I accept and move on.

    And I am happy enough, for now, that we have elected a better leader. But we are human and we will elect another Bush in the future, of that I am 100% certain. We need to have some stick in place to at least give pause to that persons worst nature.

    So I want both and I think it is fair to advocate for both.

  84. 84
    Joshua Norton says:

    Wrong. Impeachment is just a trial.

    Wrong. Impeachment is the equivalent of a grand jury. They review the evidence and decide whether there’s enough probable cause to send it on to a trial. Or in the case of impeachment, to the Senate for a trial.

    Wingnutz keep yabbering about impeachment as if it’s the actual act of kicking someone out of office.

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    Is this going to be one of those ‘find me a single honest person and the city will be spared’ parables?

    DC is a writeoff then.

  86. 86
    Xenos says:

    Another way would be to ELECT BETTER GUYS. That is all win, because it solves the problems and prevents you from wasting time and energy and political oxygen on bashing the guys who aren’t in government any more.

    How the hell am I supposed to elect better Republicans? You want me to change parties and support people who I don’t agree with but who are not completely evil?

    As a Democrat, I support prosecuting the evil jerks… the fact that most of the are Republican is a nice benefit. But it sure is not my job to reform a party I don’t belong to.

  87. 87
    Jody says:

    TheHatOn etc.: Prosecution doesn’t work? Bullshit. It’s when you don’t pursue justice that people such as former Nixon administration aides Cheney and Rumsfeld get the idea that there will be no blowback for their malfeasance.

    A lot, and I mean A LOT, of the crap we’ve had to endure this past decade could have been circumnavigated if people back then had decided that criminals should be punished for their crimes, no matter what level of office.

  88. 88
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Here’s my problem with not even attempting to investigate or prosecute crimes that we’re pretty sure happened under the Bush administration — it explicitly says, "the President of the United States and members of his administration are above the law, and can break it with impunity." As DougJ mentioned upthread, we’ve already established a bit of a precedent for this with Watergate and Iran-Contra, and the severity of the crimes has been progressing: we started with illegal domestic surveillance and good old-fashioned breaking and entering; moved on to illegal arms trading; and have now arrived at kidnapping and torture. How much further do we want this to go? What will the next Republican administration do in the name of "security"? Disappear non-brown American citizens? Torture them?

    Kill them?

    If kidnapping and torture aren’t heinous enough crimes to prosecute on their own merits, political considerations be damned, what is? What crimes would they have to have committed for us to agree that yes, they should be prosecuted, full stop?

    It’s not enough to say "elect better leaders," because we won’t. We’ll have other 9/11 moments when we’ve been scared batshit crazy and pick some sadistic fascist who’ll do all sorts of horrible things to keep us "safe."

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    prevents you from wasting time and energy and political oxygen on bashing the guys who aren’t in government any more.

    Blow me.

    "Bashing" nothing. These are crimes. We used to hang people for them once upon a time.

  90. 90
    MikeJ says:

    Wrong. Impeachment is the equivalent of a grand jury

    You are of course correct. But you were making the same point I was, just with more accuracy.

  91. 91
    Joshua Norton says:

    But you were making the same point I was, just with more accuracy.

    I just think it’s important to defuse the wingnut lies and hysteria about Impeachment. They carry on like it’s automatic guilty verdict when it’s just another term for a preliminary investigation.

  92. 92
    Mike in NC says:

    We actually need trials to prevent some Bush Model III from bestowing who the hell knows what on our Grandkids some day.

    A good argument for marching the entire Bush clan into a field and mowing them down with machine guns. Wipe out the dysfunctional gene pool to protect future generations.

  93. 93
    kay says:

    I don’t think Eric Holder, as AG, is going to spend 5 seconds worrying about pundits. I think he’s a serious lawyer, who has spent nearly his entire career as either a prosecutor or a judge.

    I am of the opinion, based on my own experience with the legal system, that it is not as discretionary as it is being portrayed. If Eric Holder finds evidence of torture, and I am of the opinion he will, I don’t think he shuts the big legal machine down. I think it starts, and moves on it’s own well-traveled track. Slow, imperfect, but once it starts it moves.

    Look, Holder has a duty to act. This stuff is going to be revealed. There are a lot of people involved, and not all of them are implicated.

    He can’t, and won’t, block it, or get in the way of process.

  94. 94

    […] UPDATE II:  Via Balloon-Juice, here’s what The Washington Post’s Lois Romano said today in her online chat when asked about investigations and prosecutions: New York, N.Y.: Hi, Lois. I’m hoping you’ll take this question, even though it’s a bit stinging. I’m trying to get my head around the fact that the D.C. establishment (and certain of your colleagues’) conventional wisdom is that it would be a bad idea to prosecute members of the Bush administration for authorizing torture. But I’ve also read that under the terms of international agreements that we are signatories to, that the Obama administration has an obligation to investigate the Bush/Cheney alleged crimes? So how does the law jibe with D.C.-establishment’s commonly held viewpoint that investigations would be counter-productive? […]

  95. 95
    reality-based says:

    actually, CatHat – I think we have to prosecute so that John Yoo and David Addington and Bradley Schlozman don’t reappear in future administrations.

    We didn’t prosecute the LAST time the Constituion was shredded – see Iran/Contra – and as a result, a lot of the same scum – see Abrams, Elliot – re-emerged in Bush II.

  96. 96
    Johnny Dollar says:

    That’s weird, because it only costs about $30 to get your tires rotated.

    Well, that is a coincidence!

  97. 97
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    In all fairness, many people enjoy reading explicit descriptions of blowjobs. The same is not generally true with regards to torture.

    And yet, 24 is allowed on TV and no show whose plot revolved around blowjob scenes would be. Is this a dumb country or what?

  98. 98
    kay says:

    @reality-based:

    All due respect, and I share your views regarding Nixon to Reagan to Bush I to Bush II, I think conflating this as one big crime spree is a real mistake. That isn’t how our system works. That’s how politics works.

    We prosecute individuals for specific acts. If we miss some, we don’t rely on that to hit back harder on later individuals for later specific acts, unless we’re writing new laws.

    It’s a bad rationale for prosecuting these acts.

  99. 99
    Xenos says:

    @kay: It is not a rationale, it is a general policy argument that failing to prosecute crime tends to embolden criminals. And it is a pretty strong argument given the lessons Cheney et alia have taken from the Nixon and Weinberger pardons.

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @Xenos:

    I read your comments on this with interest, and I generally agree with you. I see what you’ve been describing: a full-court press by media, mostly, but Congress too, to protect certain high-ranking lawyers, using spin and politics. They’re not relying on law.
    I want it to be serious,and rigorous. Our side. I’m not convinced that we have to push back politically. I see that as possibly counter-productive. Maybe that’s naive.

    Iran-contra didn’t "work" because it was never intended to "work". We need certain individuals to do their ordinary duties, nothing more. I would like to try to not let "them" pick the battlefield this time. We’ll do better if we don’t get trapped by that.

  101. 101

    Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests foreign detainees – we did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity administration responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity intelligence system? And if the whole fraternity intelligence system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational national security institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg Lois – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

  102. 102
    MikeJ says:

    I’m sorry, I can’t sit here and read Capar Weinberger’s name over and over without thinking of:

    How I love to watch the morn with golden sun that shines,
    up above to nicely warm these frosty toes of mine!

    The wind doth taste of bittersweet, Like jasper wine and sugar.
    I bet it’s blown through others’ feet, like those of Caspar Weinberger.

  103. 103
    kay says:

    Robert Gates says he’s "very comfortable" with the order to stop torturing.
    Interesting choice of words.

  104. 104
    Xenos says:

    @MikeJ: Opus!

  105. 105
    jenniebee says:

    @DougJ: touche! Let’s agree though that for the people who get excited about torture, framing it with consequences for the torturers really just kills the mood, baby.

    I’m still waiting for a scandal that gives me some juicy revelations. Where’s Ken Starr to investigate a powerful man who has been surreptitiously vacuuming without being asked, reading Jane Austen, or going to garden shows with a "mystery woman"? Why does it always have to be blow jobs and torture? Why? When’s it gonna be my time?

  106. 106
    jenniebee says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: agreed. The solution that we should just elect people who don’t abuse the law might actually have a chance of happening if the general public had a better idea of the extent of lawlessness that’s happened in the last four Republican administrations. There hasn’t been a single Republican administration in my lifetime that didn’t indulge in serious abuses of power, but none since Nixon have had the extent of those abuses exposed to the light of day.

    If the price we pay for that is that Republicans throw legal shit fits about extramarital blowjobs whenever they get the chance, then so be it. People aren’t idiots, and given the choice between investigating torture and illegal eavesdropping and investigating consensual sex, they can tell who is petty and who is not.

  107. 107
    DougJ says:

    I’m still waiting for a scandal that gives me some juicy revelations. Where’s Ken Starr to investigate a powerful man who has been surreptitiously vacuuming without being asked, reading Jane Austen, or going to garden shows with a “mystery woman”? Why does it always have to be blow jobs and torture? Why? When’s it gonna be my time?

    You are familiar with the Lifetime Network?

  108. 108
    gwangung says:

    The solution that we should just elect people who don’t abuse the law might actually have a chance of happening if the general public had a better idea of the extent of lawlessness that’s happened in the last four Republican administrations.

    Um, yeah. Harder to pull off the "But the Dems are just as baaaaad" whine when one side tortures, and the other doesn’t.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] UPDATE II:  Via Balloon-Juice, here’s what The Washington Post’s Lois Romano said today in her online chat when asked about investigations and prosecutions: New York, N.Y.: Hi, Lois. I’m hoping you’ll take this question, even though it’s a bit stinging. I’m trying to get my head around the fact that the D.C. establishment (and certain of your colleagues’) conventional wisdom is that it would be a bad idea to prosecute members of the Bush administration for authorizing torture. But I’ve also read that under the terms of international agreements that we are signatories to, that the Obama administration has an obligation to investigate the Bush/Cheney alleged crimes? So how does the law jibe with D.C.-establishment’s commonly held viewpoint that investigations would be counter-productive? […]

  2. […] title of John Cole’s post says it all. […]

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