Shut Up and Love Your Enemy: Obama Protects Torturers from the Tortured

‘While Congress debates whether senior Bush administration officials should be called to account for the torture, humiliation and indefinite detention of prisoners taken during the “war on terror,” some of those prisoners aren’t waiting around for lawmakers to make up their minds. A growing number of private lawsuits brought by former detainees against former Bush officials are slowly making their way through the courts. And to the dismay of some of its strongest supporters, the Obama administration has, in every case so far, taken the side of the Bush administration, arguing that these cases should all be dismissed…The Obama administration, stepping into the shoes of its predecessors, has now assumed the awkward position of arguing that the case against [John] Yoo — whose opinions Obama administration officials have harshly criticized — should be dismissed.’
Full story in the Washington Independent
, 16 March 2009.

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

Contact him here.


  1. I wish someone could tell us what is going on here. At least when Michael Moore came out with his daft anti-takeyourpick movies there was oodles of folks jumping in to debunk every last one of the out-of-context clips he’d used, but this time around there’s just either parrots hawking the ‘Deception movie and the odd dismissal on the sole grounds that they are dismissing it … or just plain silence.

  2. I think the facts about extraordinary rendition and torture (and mostly of non-terrorists) are fairly well documented by now. There are three very well-researched, reputable books (Chain of Command by Seymour Hersh, 2005, Torture Team by Philippe Sands, 2008 and The Dark Side by Jane Mayer, 2008) in print, plus the New York Review of Books, in its latest edition, has been leaked the report on torture from the International Committee of the Red Cross (link: ), and then of course the Obama administration has published some of the secret lawbreaking memos by the likes of John Yoo (link: ). The big question, and thus the reason for me bringing this up, is: will the perpetrators be brought to justice for doing what they knew was illegal? Yes, illegal, and obviously so. The Bush administration could have got Congress to legalize war crimes and torture, a legalization that would have been horrendous, but that would be better than hiding behind bogus, fictive ‘legal advice’ insisting that the President has unlimited power and therefore the right to break the laws of the land: real, non-hypothetical, active federal laws that people in America have been tried and convicted under in the past! For instance, there was the 1983 conviction of a sheriff for conducting water torture on prisoners (‘waterboarding’ – an activity for which, incidentally, Nazis were hung in Norway in 1948). Is Obama politically afraid to allow Bush officials to face the consequences? Or, even worse, does he want the situation to remain that it ‘appears’ the President can do what he likes, so that his own powers will have no limits? And if he doesn’t want to look back on it, does he fail to see that the victims are going to, and rest of the world will too, because internationally the US has no better reputation than any lowly militaristic extrajudicial kidnapping/death squad/murder/torture government, like Chile under Pinochet, and it is Obama’s job to fix that reputation?

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