Leaning to the Left

Writing from a liberal persuasion

Posts Tagged ‘prosecution’

Why Nancy Pelosi Needs To Resign

Posted by Beau Winiger on May 14, 2009

Nancy Pelosi, the leading Democrat in Congress, is quickly becoming not only an embarrassment to Democrats, but also a serious hindrance to a true discovery and prosecution of torture that went on during the Bush administration.  The latest development, Pelosi’s claim that the CIA lied to her about waterboarding, simply provides more fodder for Republicans who will claim that any torture investigation is simple politics.

One of the main fallback positions of Republicans has become that Democrats, including Pelosi, knew about and were complicit in the approval of torture techniques used against prisoners.  The threat presented by this stance is “if we go down, you go down”.  Now one would hope that such a presently vocal opponent of torture as Nancy Pelosi would be fine with that logic.  If she has nothing to hide, and if she is truly concerned with ridding this country of politicians who support torture, then her first and only response should be that everyone is open to investigation. 

Unfortunately, and predictably, her response has been just the opposite.  She first claimed that she never knew anything about waterboarding.  Then she claimed that she was never consulted about it, but might have been sort of told about it, but surely her opinion or approval was never asked (forgive me if that isn’t exactly what she said, but trying to pin down what Pelosi is talking about is harder than trying to grasp a snake greased in baby oil).  Then she said that after a top-ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee was informed of the practice that Democrat sent a letter of disapproval to the CIA, a letter that Pelosi could not even find the time to sign.  Finally, Pelosi is now claiming that the CIA lied to her about waterboarding.  It is a true sign of the trust I have in Pelosi that I actually believe the CIA over Pelosi.  Let me repeat that.  I believe the CIA is telling the truth as opposed to Pelosi telling the truth. 

The only way to truly prosecute the torture that went on during the Bush administration (and even conservatives have stopped trying to insist that it wasn’t torture) is to have a full and open investigation.  Every single high ranking member of Congress, the executive branch and any lawyers that wrote memos saying war crimes aren’t war crimes should be prosecuted.  Period.  Any person that is truly concerned with the fact that the United States tortured should be completely unconcerned with whether those that authorized it were Democrats or Republicans.  The only concern should be who authorized it, and how long are they going to jail for.  If this means that the vast majority of politicians need to be thrown out of office so be it.

Unfortunately, this will never happen.  By the very nature of how government works, it is almost certain that Pelosi knew quite a bit more about the torture programs than she is claiming know.  Any prosecution would almost certainly cost Pelosi, and many other high-ranking Democrats, their jobs.  As the Congress is currently Democrat controlled, and there is a President who is currently reluctant to prosecute (although, as we have seen with many things the President says, that could change in an instant), there is almost no chance that a prosecution would be started.  Whatever Pelosi and other Democrats might say to the contrary, their utmost concern is not this country or prosecuting torture, but first and foremost their own political skin.  This bickering about what Pelosi did or did not know only bogs down any chance of a true investigation, with real consequences, from ever taking place.  In this author’s opinion one of the best things that could happen for Democrats right now is if Nancy Pelosi submitted her immediate resignation.  With her continued leadership in Congress there is no chance of moving forward towards real resolution on the question of torture in this country.

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Posted in politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »