Saturday, April 18, 2009

We're ALL Serbians Now

Lawyer Jonathan Turley, on Rachel Maddow's show last Thursday--the day "thePrez" revealed the contents of the Bushevik OLC memos on torture--discusses the fine points of the apparently irreconcilable socio-criminal dissonances embedded in Obama's reluctance/refusal to pursue legal remedies against the war-crimes (mainly, but there are many other malfeasances) committed by the Busheviks.
TURLEY: Somehow, he's equating the enforcement of federal laws - that he took an oath to enforce, to uhold the constitution, and our laws - and he's equating that with an act of retribution in some sort of hissy fit or blame game. You know, it's not retribution to enforce criminal laws. But it is, is obstruction to revent that enforcement, and that's exactly what he's done thus far. He is trying to lay the groundwork to look principled when he's doing an utterly unprincipled thing. There's very few things worse for a president to do than to protect accused war criminals, and that's what we're talking about here.

President Obama himself has said that waterboarding is torture, and torture violates at least four treaties, it is considered a war crime. So the refusal to let it be investigated is to try to obstruct a war crime investigation. That puts us in the same category as Serbia and other countries that have refused to allow investigations to occur.

MADDOW: Can't a president actually decide who gets prosecuted for breaking a law and who doesn't?

TURLEY: Well, he's not supposed to....
I, of course, was and still remain one of those who warned stridently from the outset, and who ever since believes that the prospects of the Obamananistas bringing ANY kind of action against the Busheviks are about as remote as a team of grammar-school kickballers taking the Yankees in four game in the World Series next October: Nagahapun!

This is one instance in which the regime's vaunted pragmatism is on its brightest display. Because it would be the height of unpragmatic imprudence to pursue, much less to bring, charges of anythingat all--unless excessive zeal in pursuit of "freedom"-- against the departed regime. For this there are two, blindingly simple, utterly compelling reasons: 1) there is no precedent for it (though of course the alleged crimes of the Busheviks are wildly unprecedented, too), and 2) to do so would invite the GOPukes to begin now assembling the dossier with which they would delightedly pursue, persecute, and prosecute "thePrez" at the end of his own incumbency, in 4 (the more likely) or 8 (far less likely) years. There's a third reason it won't happen, too: the Dims, especially in intelligence/leadership, granted/dispensed either tacit or explicit approval to the practices and are therefore implicated in such crimes as would be uncovered. And that is an exquisitely pragmatic problem, too, as you can see.

If you needed a lesson in the power of what Foucault called "discursive practices," this would be an apt instance to study.

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