Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Civil Rights and JUSTICE (1.19.09)

On this Martin Luther King Day we are poised between national renewal and national shame.  As our hearts beat faster, knowing history is in the making over the next 24 hours, we cannot but look back at the betrayal of Civil Rights these past eight years have brought us.  Civil Rights and Justice could summarize the legacy of Martin Luther King.  But in our time Justice (read DoJ) has subverted civil rights and human rights and rationalized crimes against humanity that surely would have prompted Dr. King to cry out in eloquent horror and outrage and to call for redress, as surely we must expect it from Obama, once he is sworn in, less than 24 hours from now.

To put it succinctly:
  • We are obliged by law to investigate and prosecute war crimes.
  • bush has admitted he signed off on methods of harsh interrogation.
  •  Rationales for subversion of law (both Constitutional, statutory and international treaties) were developed by no less than the bush OLC at the bush DoJ.
  • Nancy Pelosi has now called for prosecuting the bush DoJ. 
  • Charges against one Guantanamo inmate have been dropped due to "torture" used in the extraction of information.
  • Glenn Grewald has laid out the case for why Binding U.S. law requires prosecutions for those who authorize torture.
  • I've addressed the necessity of prosecuting for war crimes here, here, and here.
On this day which commemorates Martin Luther King, let us resolve to insist that national renewal under the Presidency of Barack Obama include the acknowledgement of war crimes under his predecessor and the proper investigation and prosecution of those crimes - keeping in mind that all those who designed and authorized such treatment, in contravention of national and international law, will receive due process without "torture" - the very things they denied their victims.

And let us resolve - Never Again

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