No charges against CIA officials for waterboarding

  1. WASHINGTON (AP)-Seeking to move beyond what he calls a "a dark and painful chapter in our history," President Barack Obama said Thursday that CIA officials who used harsh interrogation tactics during the Bush administration will not be prosecuted.

    The government released four memos in which Bush-era lawyers approved in often graphic detail tough interrogation methods used against 28 terror suspects. The rough tactics range from waterboarding-simulated drowning-to keeping suspects naked and withholding solid food.

    Even as they exposed new details of the interrogation program, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, offered the first definitive assurance that those CIA officials are in the clear, as long as their actions were in line with the legal advice at the time....
  2. 110 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    I'm sick and furious about the whole ugly business, but Obama has already made it clear that he has no interest in investigating or prosecuting the war criminals at the top of the previous administration, the people really responsible for the torture program, so this is the only option open to them -- otherwise, the DOJ would find itself in the position of explaining in court why it's prosecuting the individual agents/interrogators but not their bosses who told them to do it (and what possible justification of that could there be?)

    Interesting that we were so adamant about the necessity of holding the Nuremburg trials after WWII, and so vehement at that time that "I was just following orders" was not a defense ...

    Actually, personally, I wouldn't mind if we didn't prosecute the individual agents and interrogators (who, after all, were following orders) if we could see Shrub, Cheney, Gonzales, Bybee, Yoo, etc., brought to justice. That's what I really care about.
  4. by   herring_RN
    I agreed with President Ford when he pardoned Nixon.
    Now I know our nation would be a better place if we had the trial
    The time for a pardon is AFTER the facts are known.
  5. by   Absolutely13
    Many in the Bush administration probably should be in jail right now. I think Obama is aware of the division in our country and decided to let it go, much like Gore in 2000.

    Being right may not be what is best for all.
  6. by   herring_RN
    i think nobody shoul be above the law. including high-ranking government officials.
    and we must look back to make sure this never happens again.

    it is important to find the truth. how can we be sure another administration won't follow the torture template again?
    maybe a bunch of crazy liberals next time.
    we need our laws. murder and torture are wrong. it took nearly 40 years to get a trial for the murder of little girls in church.

    church bombing defendant found guilty of first-degree murder
    may 28, 2002

    the latest chapter in u.s. civil rights history was concluded in an alabama courtroom wednesday when a jury found a former ku klux klansman guilty of first-degree murder in a 1963 church bombing that killed four african-american schoolgirls. ...
  7. by   Honnte et Srieux
    The Obamistake is holding his breath right now...hoping he can hold it for four more years.
  8. by   herring_RN
    Regarding authorization of torture, again I think we need hearings and testimony under oath.

    If the evidence warrents there should be charges and a trial.
  9. by   SuesquatchRN
    I think that Obama is a stunningly gracious man who is trying to heal a desperately damaged world. I continue to be impressed with his kindness and generosity of spirit, and by his willingness to attempt to engage even our enemies in diplomacy.

    If we are going to heal this nation we must extend the same courtesy to those on the other side, ideologies aside. Maybe a tweezer and some triple ABX ointment will do a better job on that festering splinter than a pick-axe and saw.

    I haven't been in here much. The "left" is mad at him for not being harsh enough on his predecessors and not having a magic wand of righteousness, and the "right" is mad at him because - well, because.

    Same stuff, different day.

    He's been in office less than three months. Not a full quarter.
  10. by   herring_RN
    I am not "mad"
    I am glad that torture is against the law.
    I think it is just as important to find the facts by questioning witnesses under oath as with any crime.
    Why let anyone get away with a crime?
    Find out what happened and then pardon anyone the President thinks should not be punished.

    "These are criminal acts. Torture is illegal under American law, it's illegal under international law. America has an international obligation to prosecute the individuals who carry out these kind of acts."
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    While I understand your logic, Herring, doing that would tear this nation apart. The hearings would have to include the ex-President and that would be the end of any chance of building bridges.
  12. by   herring_RN
    I don't think President Obama and Attorney General Holder should decide who is above the law.

    If President Obama violates the Constitution should he be impeached?

    WHO is above the law?
  13. by   elkpark
    It's not supposed to be a matter of opinion by whomever is running the show now; we are signatories to international treaties that specify that torture is illegal and the government of the country in which torture occurs is obligated, under the treaty, to investigate and punish the individuals involved. By not doing this, we are currently in violation of international treaties (which we have signed) and international law.
  14. by   herring_RN

    Innocent man tortured -

    Red Cross -

    News article regarding the above documents.
    Includes this:

    There has been a counter attack by former Vice President Dick Cheney, who once said that the use of waterboarding had been, for him, a "no-brainer".
    He accused President Obama of "making choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack".
    Some have questioned the value of the intelligence gained from harsh techniques.
    Mr Cheney said: "I think those programmes were absolutely essential to the success we enjoyed of being able to collect the intelligence that let us defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the United States after 9/11."