Bush Administration officials such as Nat'l. Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Attorney Gen. John Ashcroft, CIA Dir. George Tenet, and VP Dick Cheney approved the use of harsh interrogation methods.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The torture debate continues to heat up in Washington; with President Obama and top Senate Democrats pushing back against the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Bush administration's approval of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.
Some Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for an independent panel - like the 9/11 commission - to look into waterboarding and other harsh techniques.
But the president says a special inquiry would take away time and energy from his policy agenda, and could end up being a distraction looking back on the Bush years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backed the president, saying everyone should wait for the results of an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee due out late this year.
Yet it's unclear how much of that panel's findings will ever be made public, since this is an investigation dealing mostly with classified information.
Meanwhile a new Senate report shows that top Bush administration officials approved the use of waterboarding as early as 2002 and 2003 - the harsh methods were approved by the likes of then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General John Ashcroft, CIA Director George Tenet, and Vice President Dick Cheney. Maybe that's one reason we're hearing so much from Cheney these days.
And expect for more of this stuff to keep dripping out... The ACLU says that the Defense Department will soon release "a substantial number" of photos showing abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan; these could prove that prisoner abuse during the Bush administration was widespread and reached far beyond Abu Ghraib.
Here’s my question to you: Will Bush administration officials who authorized and oversaw the enhanced interrogation program ever be prosecuted?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Seth from Brooklyn writes:
I feel like some of the minor, behind-the-scenes Bush-era officials might face the music, but I have a hard time believing that the bigwigs will ever be prosecuted. It's a shame, really. They used the broad brush of "protecting the USA" to go out and engage in widespread unethical and illegal activity, the effectiveness of which really can't be proven. Sure, we haven't been attacked since then, but we also haven't been attacked since I started parting my hair differently either.
Hopefully not. Pres. Gerald Ford had it right. Don't linger on the past. The future is where a president is supposed to take the country. Pres. Obama should immediately pardon, excuse, forgive, or whatever you want to call it the entire staff of the Bush era, tell Congress not to bother with the Bush presidency, and then continue to lead as he sees fit.
Michelle from Philadelphia writes:
I sure hope so, Jack, but I can't be sure. We haven't been holding people accountable for real mistakes in years. Perhaps if we found out Vice President Cheney had an affair with an intern, we'd be mad enough to do prosecute him. But for war crimes? Come on now; this is America!
Dan from Louisville, Kentucky writes:
This is insane. I am Democrat, and I voted for Obama. But with all of the problems we now face economically and with continuing security threats, this prosecution is not only a distraction, it would bitterly divide the nation when unity through compromise and consensus is most important. Pres. Ford's pardon of Nixon is a good analogy.
Boz from Boston writes:
Ever notice that the people who are the strongest defenders of torture are the same ones who keep calling this a "Christian nation?" If they don't get punished here, they certainly will come judgment day.