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May 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Would disbarring Bush lawyers end torture debate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

No criminal charges for the authors of the Bush administration's so-called torture memos; that's according to a preliminary report by the Justice Department. The draft report instead suggests the government might call on state bar associations to take sanctions against two of the three lawyers who wrote the memos. The most severe punishment they could get would be disbarment.

This report now goes to Attorney General Eric Holder for approval or revisions, and is expected to be finalized soon. The torture memos were written after the 9/11 attacks, and authorized harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding, throwing detainees against walls, and forced nudity.

And needless to say, these lawyers didn't decide to write this stuff on their own - someone told them to do it.

The issue has become a political hot potato for the Obama administration, although the president opened the door to criminal prosecution for those who authorized these acts, he also talks a lot about looking forward instead of dwelling on the past.

Meanwhile a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows most Americans don't want to see an investigation of Bush officials... 57 percent of those surveyed say Congress should not conduct an investigation; and 55 percent don't want to see an independent panel created to look into this stuff. The poll also found 50 percent support President Bush's decision to authorize these harsh techniques; even though 60% believe it was torture.

Here’s my question to you: Would disbarring the Bush lawyers who wrote the interrogation memos be enough to put an end to the torture debate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Peter from Boulder, Colorado writes:
It wouldn't put an end to the debate, but maybe disbarring the lawyers might inspire them to do a little talking to Congress about just what they were ordered to do to help the White House make an end run around torture prohibitions.

L.C. writes:
The torture debate will end when the media start reporting on the American lives saved by waterboarding. Then watch the Democrats run for the exits on this issue.

Circy from New Mexico writes:
The torture debate isn't going to die so easily. Using torture on others is going to leave scars that are long-lasting. This action can't be defended by countries that pretend to be civilized while at the same time lecturing others on their behavior.

AB from Fort Worth, Texas writes:
No! The high-level officials would get off scot-free, just as they have throughout history. Go after Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and the others who are insulated against their wrongdoings. It won't be over until the light is shown on all involved.

John from North Carolina writes:
I don't know if this will end the debate, Jack, but we need to move on. At the end, can you really get any information from terrorists by being nice?

Nancy from Illinois writes:
No, Jack. Everyone involved must be prosecuted so this never happens again. If I robbed a grocery store and told the officers that, "It's in the past, I just want to move on," they'd haul me away. How is this any different? There's no ambiguity here; clear war crimes were committed and must be prosecuted. This cannot be swept under the rug.

soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Skip

    Jack,
    I don't think so. It will be the start of a more bigger investigation I think they are going to the head people it will end with Dick Cheney.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  2. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    No, it would do nothing.
    For me, the only thing that will satisfy me is when Cheney is arrested for war crimes and taken to the Hague. He's the real criminal here, not Bush, not the lawyers. Anyone with half a brain knows that he was ther mastermind behind all of this.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  3. MIKE A,CHARLOTTE,NC

    The american people will find out the truth and don't need to disbar the Bush lawyers. We'll just waterboard it out of them since they don't consider it torture.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  4. John from Alaska

    Jack, disbarment would be a good start, but without the threat of prison can we ever expect these shysters to tell us who gave them their marching orders.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  5. Donald in CA

    No, the Bush administration pulled us down to the same level as our
    enemies. We have to have a debate on how this happened.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  6. Gi

    No, because the true culprits would still be left out of the equation.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  7. j

    would you all just quit trying to try to get mr. president george w. bush. leave the man alone. the people in LA owe him a lot of graditude. they better stop and think.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  8. Mark in Savannah

    In a word..No. What would end the debate is for someone to have the guts to say Enough and send these chickenhawks to the Hague for War Crimes Trials. But, I don't think a lot of people in this country would have the guts for it. This is not for the Cheney's and Rumsfeld's of today, but rather this is for the Junior Cheney's and Rumsfeld's to tell them that if you torture in the name of this country, you will pay a price and it will be steep. This is a no brainer Jack. Only then can this country begin to heal.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  9. Ayse-London

    How are we supposed to understand the definition of torture within the context of the War On Terror, when we never fully understood what the War on Terror meant, or whether those held were POW or not and whether the Geneva convention should or should not have applied ?.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  10. Richard Green

    Let's see, Jack, this handful of lawyers conjured up legal cover for law breaking that was already going on. They facilitated the most barbaric torture and murder of both the innocent and the presumed guilty.
    I cannot for the life of me imagine a country in which the simple disbarrment of this small group of lawyers would ever be sufficient to bring this shameful, criminal part of our recent history to an honorable end.

    Richard Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  11. Jason, Koloa, HI

    What a cop out Jack.. Of course not. Disbarring lawyers who were under orders is the same as prosecuting C.I.A. operatives who were under orders. There will be no justice until the people WHO GAVE THE ORDERS face prosecution. We all know the orders came from the top of the Bush abomination and until they are prosecuted or pardoned (shudder), there is no end to the torture embarrassment. Obama is making a huge mistake if he thinks the rest of the world is just going to pretend like torture never happened even if the majority of Americans want to play ostrich on the subject.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  12. Peter, KC

    The torture debate is already over. Yes we (America) tortured. No we (American people) don’t care that we did.

    Why is it that when the majority of poll resides with Republican beliefs then the topic is in constant “debate” but when the majority rests with Democrats it’s “the way things are” and there is no questioning it or *gasp* saying “NO”.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  13. John Webster, Aldergrove BC Canada

    Not a chance Jack. The brown stuff rolls downhill but responsibility goes to the top. Bush, Chaney, Rice and the rest must be named, questioned and even prosecuted to end the practice and to restore America’s credibility abroad. And besides, the lawyers probably already have iron clad immunity documentation and a place in a non extraditable nation ready to flee to.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  14. Derick from Greenlawn, NY

    Everyone knows that President Bush is responsible for the decisions that led to torture. The torture was wrong, but we can't hold lawyers responsible when all they did was give their superiors options. The decision to torture was made out of fear, but that's why we elected a truly strong president last November. President Obama needs to be strong enough to tell us that we will not look back and place blame, and that we will move forward committed to the principles of justice that make our nation great.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  15. Rose

    Depends....how many other countries are going to be allowed to get away with torture and only disbar their attorneys? Can the US really judge others in the world when they are just as bad?

    May 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  16. Ron Ouellette

    Jack,
    I think it will NOT end the debate. I feel that those responsible at all
    levels SHOULD BE PUNISHED after and COMPLETE and THOROUGH investigation. Its against the law for crying out loud. Why should only the low level individuals be punished?? Shouldn't the ones that ordered and declared this as being OK be punished??
    Gimme a break, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
    Ron – Florida

    May 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  17. Muammar Reed

    No it won't, the Dems want blood for the past 8 years...Yet, the lawyers being disbarred is really the only fair solution. It's the only concrete solution, free from being too politicized. What they wrote specifically violates legal ethical rules.

    California

    May 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  18. sharon

    All the Bush administration officials involved in the "harsh interrogation" authorization should be turned over to the International Criminal Court for prosecution for war crimes.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  19. Bernadette Loesch

    Yes it would. While most lawyers think they are as close as you can get to perfect or godlike, they are not infallible. I would welcome this precedent from our new president.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Richard Owens

    No, it would not end the torture debate. Not only lawyers committed professional ethics violations, doctors also violated their professional rules of conduct.

    And Jack– aren't there any rules of professional conduct for the Vice President and President?

    May 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  21. Tony IL

    Jack,
    Absolutely not. By disbarring these lawyers, the administration is using them as an escape goat. As the saying goes, someone has to be punished, so they will punish the lawyers, by throwing them under the bus. This will not solve anything and by having commitees, hearings, etc done for this is costing taxpayers money. As Obama said before, let the past stay there, don't dwell on it and focus on the future.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  22. Dustin Sammons

    No, punishing anyone who had anything to do with torture would just divide the country further. 50% of the country supports the torture. We need to forgive, forget, and keep the debate going.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  23. Ken in NC

    It is in the best interest of the President from a political point of view not to prosecute anyone for the interrogation memos. The world on the other hand, will see the USA as a nation of double standards. It's OK for us to torture but others must be prosecuted.

    If the people involved are not prosecuted then we should never again complain about or prosecute anyone else for torture. This is a debate that will end only with the end of time as we know it.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  24. Karl from SF, CA

    Disbar them for what? They haven’t been convicted of any crimes and the way they are pussy-footing around, it won’t happen. Just the thought that the war crimes of the Empire of Cheney the Almighty will not be prosecuted should make any good constitutional lawyer, like our President, want to vomit. It’s disgusting that so many Americans have been brainwashed into seeing torture as acceptable. It’s not just going to go away because the current and last administration might want it to. The world is watching and waiting to see just how barbaric we have become in eight years.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  25. Doris/St. Louis

    NO! This IS America, criminals are criminals, and NOONE is ABOVE the law. They should be prosecuted!

    May 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  26. Scott

    No, that won't end it & that's why we shouldn't head down this road.
    We tortured folks. We don't now & we hopefully won't again–leave it at that & move on.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  27. JB in Wisconsin

    Can't be selective Jack. Either all who knew including congress or nobody. Selective Justice or Blind Justice. You tell me.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  28. Nancy, Tennessee

    The lawyers don't need to be the scapegoats. They just wrote the memos for someone so that the legal jargon would be correct. Hopefully, they will not be held accountable for making policy just because they worded the memo for the real culprit. If we go after them in this way, it is going to be tough in the future to get a lawyer to handle anything for the White House. Dumb idea.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  29. Adam

    Jerry Ford made the right decision, even though it cost him the White House in '76. Obama doesn't even have to worry about such.LET THE WATER GO UNDER THE BRIDGE!

    Adam
    Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland

    May 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  30. Daniel Wickham

    This witch hunt is another massive waste of time and energy. A childish last chance to slap at GW by the Pelosi Raiders that will lead to nowhere but down a slippery slope to a brick wall. Let's move on.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  31. R. Vondelys

    Hi,
    Disbarment would not be enough.
    There SHOULD be an investigation and prosecution, the blatant criminal activities of the Bush administration must be prosecuted in order to restore justice in the USA.
    Thanks

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  32. Michael, Columbia, MO

    surely the lawyers were only doing what they were told to keep their jobs. however, if they gave the desired opinions because of pressure they and those doing the pressuring should be prosecuted. it's the only way to prove to the american people and the world that the united states actually does care about the rule of law.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  33. Dan

    So nearly a super-majority of Americans believe George Bush & Co. tortured people in our name yet they do not want to see these criminals punished? I am stunned. It seems like Goebbels was right: scare the populace into believing there is a shadowy enemy out there that must be stopped and the government will be allowed to do anything it please, legal or not.

    Jack, I am afraid a lot of this has to do with the fact that many high-level Democrats were complicit. At a minimum I would like to see an independent investigation, but I would really like to see those responsible for writing and ORDERING the writing of these memos behind bars.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  34. herman

    i dont think they should be disbar go after the one behind their back tell them to do it some one want them to take the blame

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  35. Bernard Clark

    Due to the circumstances of 9/11 at the time I don't believe that ANY penalties are appropriate for the American officials on the front line of protecting our government. Most Americans were outraged some several years following the WTC attacks. To disbar the Americans who wrote the 'enhanced interrogation rules' would waste valuable time, and we have very little of that now with the many issues President Obama has to deal with.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  36. sally

    Public opinion is all fun and dandy, especially during an election, but when it comes to the law, I'm not so sure public opinion matters. If we suspect that the highest members of our government may have broken the law, why should we end the debate? The debate should continue through due process.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  37. Benjamin Davis

    Dear Jack,
    Of course disbarment would not be enough. Have Americans forgotten the low level military grunts who were court-martialed, are serving or served time, and been dishonorably discharged for doing the bidding of these high-level civilians and generals who authorized this torture? Why should the low level uniformed military be the only ones to face the wrath of a criminal prosecutor? Condi Rice just said at Stanford that Bush authorized the program so this goes right to the top. Prosecute the lawyers and the high-level civilians. If we don't, Spain will. The Spanish prosecutor just asked the US whether we were going to prosecute these lawyers to determine whether they will prosecute them. Disbarment is just punishment for the rich. Deprivation of liberty and livelihood is what the low level soldiers suffered – and the same should be true for the elite at the top of this awful crime. If we insist, they will prosecute.
    Best,
    Ben Davis

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  38. anne gardner

    These lawyers need to tell the public who asked them to write such memos-if they don't then they should definitely be disbarred. The people who authorized any and all of this torture, should also suffer consequences for basically trashing the Geneva Convention rules concerning POWs. Every American serviceman and woman is now at risk of being tortured to the extreme, because our government condoned and allowed this torture. Also, consider that the rest of the world is watching this closely-what message are we sending by saying that 60% of us agree that torture was being used, yet no one should be punished for authorizing it? I am glad to be in the minority on this one. The whole thing is atrocious!

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  39. Linda P. Carroll

    I don't think that disbarring the lawyers who authorized the "harsh interrogation methods" would put an end to the debate. I think it's a way to start. (And yes, I think they should be disbarred.)
    I am in favor of a nonpartisan commission to investigate the use of torture and abuse. I believe that we the American people want and must know what has been done in our name and with our tax money supposedly to "protect" us. Those who have broken the law should be brought to justice under the law. (This includes the former President, Vice-President, Attorney General, etc.)

    If congress chooses to investigate, that's fine with me. I just don't want the investigation to turn into a right versus left issue. (It's a right versus wrong issue.)

    May 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  40. Johnny from DC

    Here's an idea - why not start prosecuting every American combat soldier for assault, battery, attempted murder, murder, or mass-murder, depending on their role in the war?

    Terrorism and all counter-terrorism activities require extraordinary measures. Waterboarding known terrorist leaders, while grotesque to the average civillian, saved countless of American civillian and soldiers' lives. (Thanks, Colonel Jessip).

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  41. Emily DeHuff

    Until we apply the same standards to ourselves that we do to other nations and nationals, we will continue to be hypocrites and bullies and to be recognized as such by the rest of the world. After World War II we judged Japanese to be criminals for waterboarding and Germans to be criminals for "just following orders." Why would the same laws not apply to us? I cannot be "proud" to be an American until we start acting in a way that I can recognize as honorable.
    Emily DeHuff, Newport OR

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  42. mickey

    No. Once again it comes down to the good old double standard. Time after time America has forcefully done it's part to overthrow regimes that violate civil rights in this way. When we do it, however, we try our best to sweep our violations under the rug. No wonder there is so much anti-American feeling in the world.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  43. Jordan from Peterborough Ontario

    Jack, just because something is unpopular does not mean it is unnecessary. President Obama likes to say that he is focused on the future and taking the longview, if he really means this he'd know that this decision sets a historic precident. Eventually the republicans will take power again and this judgement will allow a future President to control the law at their whim. Disbarment is most certainly NOT ENOUGH.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  44. gene

    If the action by these lawyers had taken place anywhere else our government, and the rest of the world would be calling on the world court to bring these people to trial.No wonder that most of the world sees a double standard here,

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  45. Hank Corbett

    Jack, the entire investigation of the torture issue is a waste of time and money. It is all a matter of interpretation and politics and will only disrupt President Obama's attempt to instill some sense of civility in our political system. Of great importance, however, to our country and our system of checks and balances is the clearly illegal manipulation of our intelligence assets and the abuse of power that led to our invasion of Iraq.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  46. Frederick Davis

    Yessssssss...Bush lawyers should be disbarred to be taught a lesson, just like the prosecuctor in Tenna Texas should be for stealing inocent people money. That issue should be sent to the Justice Department for Civil Rights Violations. That town found a good ole boy to help do their dirty work. Amazing what money can make people do.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  47. Simon

    Simon from Savannah Georgia.

    NO! We Want Justice!

    If the reports that the Bush administration used torture to establish a link between Iraq and 911, there should be an investigation and those responsible should be held accountable.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  48. David Dickau

    It is so frustrating to me that Cheney abused the power of his office to influence policy and practice and then walks away without consequence after laws were broken. If we want to take the consitution seriously he should at least be censured by congress.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  49. jarrod

    IThink this torture issue should be turned to the U.N. and let the world court decide whats right and who's wrong.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  50. David McLennan

    Jack- I have a question regarding the torture memos. Has anyone investigated whether there was a quid pro quo involved in the memos written y Jay Bybee (sp?). In other words, is his new position as appellate judge a reward for his having written these memos?
    -DJM, Chicago

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  51. John, Fort Collins, CO

    There will probably never be an end to the torture debate, but I agree with President Obama that we need to leave this sordid part of our history behind to allow the administration to focus on the many critical issues facing our nation. Disbarring the Bush lawyers and ignoring those who called the shots would accomplish nothing.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  52. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    I think they should go all the way to the top rung. They were so secretive for eight years. I say tell them like someone told Harry Truman.......Give um Hell Harry. They should get anyone involved.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  53. Molly

    What are we, Jack... morally bankrupt? If we fire or even prosecute only a handful of people while higher government officials get off, we are.

    We know it's torture. What else do we need to know? Let's get the process started!

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  54. Brent

    Jack, we live in a country where we have prosecuted our own soldiers for waterboarding. We've also executed enemy combatants for waterboarding. Because some lawyer drafted a memo saying that it might be ok to do these things to detainees does not make it ok to have done it. Merely disbarring lawyers and judges does directly punish the people who authorized these policies. As a country that has prosecuted against waterboarding in the past, how can we retain our moral standing in the world if we do not prosecute our own officials when the grotesquely violate the Geneva Covention and involve themselves in torture? It would be hypocrisy at its worst to merely disbar a judge while holding no one else responsible.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  55. Howard

    No.

    Over sixty years ago, the US was responsible for being a major player in crafting the Nuremberg doctrine. It's time we lived up to the ideals we espoused ourselves and advocated to the world.

    Doing the morally wrong thing, even under orders, does not absolve responsibility and until those responsible are punished to the full extent of the law, we are a nation of hypocrites.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  56. David (in Ontario)

    Are you people honestly that stupid?

    My father is an American citizen and as such I've grown up with a lot of love and respect for the U.S. and want to apply for dual citizenship some day.

    But seeing nonsense like this in the news just makes everything worse. As you know, it's quite common in Canada and Europe to bash the U.S., almost casual really and when I see that over 2/3 of Americans don't think the Bush Administration should be investigated and subsequently punished for legalizing torture, well it sure doesn't make defending you guys any easier.

    As Paul Begala said one day on your show, the U.S. executed Japanese Soldiers who waterboarded U.S. POWs, and yet you can somehow justify using that very same technique on others?

    You should be horribly ashamed. What good are morals and values if you won't stand up for them when they are tested. Anyone and everyone who as involved in this should be prosecuted too the full extent of the law. That's what you did after WW2, and that's what should be done again, if you want to have any credibility again on the world stage.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Bill Dell

    No.

    Our system of laws that guarantees freedom to all is dependent on equal treatment under the law, without privilege or prejudice regardless of status or class. If we put anyone above the law, then we can't rely on the law to protect all of us.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  58. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    The torture debate will end when all those who supported enhanced interrogation methods as legitimate are interrogated by waterboarding, thrown against walls, and forced to be nude.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  59. mark in tacoma

    The issue is too divisive so I say sweep it under the carpet. And I wouldn't hire these Attorneys to defend me in traffic court so go ahead with disbarring them. The ineptitude of the Bush years continues to amaze.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  60. Ron Bodwell

    I would like to know where this poll comes from. they must have only polled boss limbaugh dittoheads. No disbarment is not enough for those scumbags. however if thats all we can get so be it.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  61. Gary Watts

    No, they are still moving Nazis because of war crimes. ALL involved need to be openly prosecuted.

    All elected officials should be subject to the UCMJ, maybe then ethics will prevail.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  62. Jim Blevins

    Obviously not.. There is a total cultural war occurring as is evidenced by your poll results. In my world, human beings do not torture, ever, under any circumstances. Other creatures have a much lower definition of what it means to be human. Until humanity either emerges or until reverts to being savage beasts, the arguments will continue.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  63. Only Human

    Disbarring these 'lawyers' should be the least this administration can do to highlight wanton ideological policymaking of Bush folks. There needs to be more intense media scrutiny of the former vice president's office and the Neo-conservative cabal. You just may stumble on another Nixonian statement- "If the president does it, it must be legal."

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  64. Pierre M. Michel

    What good would disbaring those two lawyers? It seems that the so called "moral majority" has lost it's morality already.
    Better to take Bush and Cheney to trial, after all, they were the men in charge of this disgusting program.
    Cheney asserts that torture worked. So, why put Khalid Sheikf Mohammed through 183 water boarding? If he didn't answer their question after the first time it proves that torture doesn't work. Either that, or he gave them what they wanted one letter at a time. On the other hand, if he talked the first time around, I guess the othe 182 times were just for fun....

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  65. Ken in NC

    Jack it will serve no purpose. The disbarred lawyer will write a book titled "I Fought The Law and The Law Won" and he will sell millions and do the talk show circuit, book signings and still make millions.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  66. Ron Siegel

    I don't believe disbarment is any kind of solution. It is pretty obvious these lawyers were told to legally justify a desired result , giving the Bush Administration legal cover for a policy they deemed necessary.
    This whole thing is a shell game. I believe the responsibilty lies with Dick Cheney and George Bush who were knowingly useing the constitution for toilet paper.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  67. Ken

    Just disbarring the lawyers will not end the practice of "if the president does it, it is not illegal". There is no doubt in my mind that the lawyers were told by the higher-ups to come up with a legal oppinion that it was legal. The lawyers should be disbarred, and prosecuted at least for conspiracy to violate the law. The higher-ups should also be prosecuted and jailed for being the ring leaders of the conspiracy. I'll go a step further and say Obama, if he does not cause an investigation and prosecution he should be impeached for violation of the oath of office.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  68. Les

    No, but it'd be a good start

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  69. Jonathan

    Of course it won't end the debate. Don't forget, torture was illegal then, and is illegal now. If a significant portion of the populace believes that torture can be justified, then we need to address whether we truly believe it should remain illegal.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  70. Dan from NJ

    If this administration follows the polls as it seems to do, it will probably not prosecute the lawyers involved. But the issue will continue to fester, and leaving 50% of the country behind in either case is a loss given the good relations that have been fostered so far, Repub naysayers not included. Thje reputations of the writers have been appropriately qualified for the rest of their careers based on what we already know. What has to happen is some sort of truth and reconcilation commission. There was some conciliation on the part of Congressional leaders who knew of torture and they can then come clean and get their records straight as well. By the way, the writers weren't told to write the memos, they were asked for a legal justification, and they willingly complied.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  71. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Disbarring John Yoo would be only a small step in the right direction. We hanged Nazi judges for making these kinds of decisions. The United States was primarily responsible for the treaties that we violated based on Yoo's specious legal reasoning. It is ludicrous to ask the public what to do about this: it is a technical question for professional interrogators like Bob Baer, who assert that torture is of no use whatsoever in intelligence gathering, and human rights lawyers, who have shown that waterboarding has been illegal torture under US law since 1899. Why is this a question, now? There is neither truth nor right in the Bush Cheney position on this, there never was, and the public is just too ignorant to know it. If we do not seriously punish the people who were responsible, the black stain on the US will last forever, and we will never again be the "shining city on a hill" invoked by Ronald Reagan.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  72. Terry from Austin

    The Democrats got what they wanted out of this which is the Republicans have been kicked in the nuts again. Obama made sure of that by releasing the information. The Democrats do not want the torture debate to go on because it would really bring out the fact that prominent Democrats like Nancy Pelosi knew as much about the torture as any of the Republicans. Don't kid yourself Jack, the Democrats are as guilty as any of the Republicans. I would love the debate to go on because the Democrats real role in this mess needs to be brought out.
    Terry from Austin

    May 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  73. Dan - Eustis, florida

    No, the lawyers are but bit players in this mess. Until the architects of
    torture are held accountable for misuse of authority,punishing the
    lawyers involved is deflecting the public from the truth that we all know.
    President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and the rest of their ilk put
    aside our Countries principles and preyed on the fear they so masterfully
    cultivated. No one will ever be made to pay for this sorry chapter in our
    history. Do you honestly believe Politicians will prosecute other
    Politicians.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  74. Tunde Akindele

    I think we have a lot of problems at hand and only sensible not to start another one that would seem endless as many more past misdeeds would rear their heads. Obama should remain corrective and forget about the past. Sometimes harsh situations demand harsh solutions and so be this particular case. We should leave the lawyers alone and allow the sleeping dog to lie.
    Tunde,Flint Michigan

    May 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  75. Mary Hague

    Jack, If those lawyers and the those higher up in the food chain are going to go scot free for the torture memos, then we should demand that the National Guard troops be pardoned. There was a photo in Newsweek at the time of the Abu Griab incidents that clearly showed a number of people taking in part that was greater than the 7 the Army tried and convicted. The low ranking people shouldn't take the fall for the rest of the culprits! Mary South Dakota

    May 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  76. Sam Godbouldt

    No! Any actions past President Obama's call to just 'move forward' will just be a way for the extremist-left of our party to play payback with the Bush Administration. Truth of the matter is albeit sad that Bush's actions did actually make me feel safe. The criminality of it all belongs in the hands of officials.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  77. Ken H.

    Our goal should be to move forward as a country, not simply to look forward. We cannot do so carrying the burden of acts that disdained our Constitution, ignored our international agreements, and tarnished our national reputation. Delegating to President Obama and his administration the right to ignore such crimes makes no more sense than delegating to President Bush the power to commit the crimes. Combined with our tolerance of the actions of high-placed financiers, it is beginning to look like the rich and powerful have little to fear from the American justice system regardless of the outrageousness of their actions.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  78. Dawn from Utah

    Dear Nation

    We the U.S.A. put Japans men in uniform on trial and sentenced them to Death for water boarding our American G.I,s .

    these men broke long established Law and should be prosecuted
    accordingly

    remember the rule of law every body like to talk about well I guess we are going to find out if such a thing exists

    Dawn from the Great State Of Utah

    May 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  79. Edward Bauerle

    What bothers me the most is months, even years after 9/11 you couldn't find anyone that would even listen to you if you were against torturing those that were either responsible, or had knowledge of those responsible. Now all of a sudden it has become a political platform to continue to strengthen the democratic party, and to continue to stomp the republican party into the dirt.

    Torture is wrong, but so is war. One goes hand in hand with the other. I wish those that continue to bring this issue to the table tell the American Viewer what there thought was a week after 9/11.....

    May 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  80. James (Lk In The Hills, IL)

    Jack,

    The "debate" should already be over and is only being kept alive by those who just cannot let the Bush II era pass into it's rightful place of historic infamy. Did we know it was torture? Did we want them tortured? I think the poll says it best... Yes and again yes. Anyone who says otherwise is a hypocrite or a liar. After 9/11 we gave carte blanche to the Bush administration and they ran with it, all the way. If we're going to have these lawyers fall on their swords for the sake of history, then we need to go all the way to the top. Otherwise we should just do what we must to move on from this sorry chapter of American history.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  81. Bill hackett Florida

    All people involved in this matter should have to answer to the law. If it were you or I we would be put through the ringer. No forgiving the average man.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  82. Jackie in Dallas

    No, it will not end the debate. All those lawyers did was rubberstamp something that the upper echelons of the Bush Administration wanted.

    We really need to go after the people/person who put forth the issue of using torture (yes, waterboarding is torture - has been considered such since the Spanish Inquisition!)...not necessarily to prosecute them but to make sure that the precedence is set that: NO, just because the President or Vice President wants it or does it, does not make it legal! We live in a country that is supposed to honor law above man or office, and that is supposed to honor our treaties and agreements.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  83. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    The torture debate will end when all those who authorized harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding, throwing detainees against walls, and forced nudity are themselves interrogated thusly.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  84. Dan Nelson

    Well if we can't get them to talk they should have speedy trials and get convicted of crimes against humanity(these guys are not even human when they treat others the way they do)and sentenced them to death with no appeals but given a merciful death with an injection then they can be judged by God and thrown in hell to burn for eternity!

    May 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  85. ray from brooklyn

    why disbar them? why not give them medals instead. everyone knows the difference between right and wrong so let's cut the crap. sooner or later if we keep being hypocrites no one will believe anything we say, you know, like all those phony so called polls. contrary to the new mantra coming out of washington i always look back; then i had a job, peace of mind and a few bucks to buy a beer every now and then.those wuz the good old days

    May 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  86. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Let these poor attorneys alone. I agree with Jack,someone had to direct them to write these rationals. Go after the top oficials that directed these attorneys and the interrogators to do their bidding. What exactly do people not understand that the US violated the Geneva Convention that they signed and committed war crimes by torturing? Recently the AP ran a story about the other 145 signators of the Convention and that if the US does not prosecute these people then these countries have a responsibility to do so. Also,if Obama does not prosecute them then he is accountable. Governments are supposed to pursue their own war crimes committors or the other signators need to do so. Bush and Cheney were way out of line on this and if not prosecuted by Obama will be by the world.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  87. Jerry

    No No No I said NO, This was breaking a law. It doe's not make a difference what percentage thinks we should look ahead not behind, It needs to be decided by a court and a jury. The same goes for GW, Cheney, Condaleeza, Rumsfield and Gonzales. It seems to me that if you let this go your just as bad as they were. What do they call that? Oh yeah Accomplice after the Fact. Is the Obama Administrtion driving the get away car? Jerry, Iowa

    May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  88. Marjorie Haines

    Although I would like to see criminal prosecution of the lawyers and the initiators of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" (aka torture), I would settle for disbarring the lawyers who twisted the law to meet the requests of the Administration. It's a sad state of affairs when Americans accept the "ends justify the means" rationale for sacrificing the very ideals that soldiers have died for over the centuries. I would be even happier if all those who claim that waterboarding is not torture be sentenced to experience just 3 times of being waterboarded and one week of cold, nakedness, sleep deprivation and standing in an uncomfortable position.
    Marjorie, Gouldsboro, PA (Pocono Mountains)

    May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  89. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Disbarring these lawyers would be a step in the right direction.What about the harsh techniques,and torture at the hands of the interrogators in the nations we sent them to. The C.I. A. conduct is in question.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  90. Lou in Florida

    Sadly, nothing wiil end this debate as long as partisan politics is the predominant factor. Obama should step in, cut the debate, say there will be no prosecutions, and there will be no more torture, Period. That ends it.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  91. Chris, NYC

    Jack,
    It's a start. By ending the careers of attorney's who are meant to uphold the law, and make sure it's appropriated fairly, this will send a message to future lawyers who would dare authorize revisions and permissions, that were otherwise against the law, and or humanity.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  92. Margaret Hodgs

    Margaret Hodges
    Millville DE

    No. This is more than a debate, it is a series of unsolved crimes.
    As other forms of human torture in history that are still talkeds about, nothing is ever enough to resolve inhumane acts of injustice.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  93. Kevin S

    What's done it's done. It would be naive to beleive that the intellectual culprits will ever be prosecuted. And the lawyers that wrote those memos are only powns in the board. It is sad and wrong, but this phrase is still governing us: In times of war the law falls silent...

    May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  94. Tim in Louisville

    Absolutely not. However, it would be an important reminder that none of us, including the president, is above the law. More importantly, it asks all of to consider who is a human, and who is worthy of human rights. Where do we draw the line between the rights of some and others? If America does not rebuke the actions of the previous administration, it is setting a powerful precedent for the world, that torture is okay. The debate will continue, achieving a satisfactory end by a convenient means may sadly always be a temptation for those in politics. But we must be accountable to our faults, complacency is the worlds' greatest evil.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  95. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    Although, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are the guilty ones, what's done is done and we need to just move on. Pursuing the memos any further would just be a distraction. It was important to admit it was done, but now it's over and we have to look to the future and solving our economic, health care, and energy problems.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  96. Ron from SF

    I'll never stop trying to have Bush Administration members charged for torture. If we do not uphold our values and prosecute, then we become a nation of War Criminals. That means all of us are equally guilty. In addition to the stain on our honor, our citizens become at risk. For example, the North Koreans and the Iranians can do anything they want to the women they hold and say, if it's ok for you to do whatever you wanted, it's ok for us too.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  97. Ed Bassett Sr

    Should not we ask ourselves how we would feel if an 'enemy' was torturing OUR soldiers?? Do the Geneva Convention rules not apply to us too???
    Ed -– Watertown CT

    May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  98. Graeme

    No, only a complete accounting of the torture program and prosecution of all those that authorized it will restore America. Good intentions are mitigating factors for sentencing not a defense. Do you think your country would rationalize hijacking commercial airlines and flying them into civilian and military targets if they thought it would keep them safe? The United States of America and all its people are tortuous until you stand up and hold the men and women that ordered this cowardly and barbaric program fully accountable. Its the right thing to do, its the only thing to do. I am waiting!!!

    May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  99. Chris Corbin

    Not to me. I think we need to follow the trail to whomever it leads. We should realize that people, possibly innocent people died under OUR TORTURE. What's on the CIA tapes that were destroyed, torture of who? And I would love to know why the FBI got information out of one of the prisoners and then we tortured him months later. We also need to follow up on the ex-Deputy in the State Department (Larry Wilkerson) who said most of the prisoners at Gitmo are innocent and that Cheney and Bush no it. We must stop being hypocrites to the World we need to relate to.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  100. MaxC, OR

    Absolutely NOT Jack! Can you say "end around"? Barring the Bush attorney's does not directly address the real criminals Cheney and Bush! This is just another "country club" agreement struck by politicians protecting politicians and a sad sad example of an American justice system gone bad!

    May 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  101. Kevin Howard

    No. The Office of Legal counsel is not a court, but a legal counsel to the President. The boundary of their legal advice must be limited by the principal of Stare Decisis. If the OLC’s legal opinions can extend beyond established interpretations of the law, if OLC’s opinions are not subject to judicial review prior to Executive action, and if both actors and legal advisors are insulated from criminal prosecution, then the OLC becomes a safe haven that removes the legal restraints on the Executive branch imposed by federal law, treaties, and the US Constitution. In the case of the "Interrogation Memos", no credible member of the Bar can conclude from any reasonable review of the historical record, that water boarding is not torture. Circumventing the established law by modifying the definition of torture is beyond the valid authority of the OLC. In American Jurisprudence, only the Court, particularly the Supreme Court, has the authority to set aside legal precedent in light of new, previously unconsidered facts. Accordingly, criminal prosecutions are the only way we will be able to restore our national credibility and close this dark chapter in American history.

    Kevin Howard
    Phoenix, Arizona

    May 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  102. jim from arizona

    no and it shouldn't. Nor should there be polls taken on the issue. The question is whether the laws were broken and by whom. We are a nation of laws and until that changes there should be an investigation, and prosecutions. If the administration wishes to pardon those who have committed crimes so be it. Not investigating, however, should not be an option.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  103. Kevin Parker

    The main character is now a federal judge. Based on his analysis of the law I would think that he is not fit to sit in judgement of anybody. I think we should allow him to impeach himself and then offer a deal to both of the (ugh) lawyers: provide the name(s) of the Cheneys, I mean those who asked or made them write the memos to support the administration's horrendous actions. Then we can just move on up the chain of command until we get to the source.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  104. Peter Popp

    Hi Guys Its time to let it go. Disbar the laywers ( for what good it will do ) and lets work on the problems that count. Peter V Popp Fond du Lac WI

    May 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  105. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Nothing will satisfy the far-left until the entire Bush administration is behind bars. The only problem is that it will never happen. I despised what Bush & his band of rogues did for 8 long years but I also have little sympathy for the monsters who planned 9/11 along with countless acts of terror around the world. Compared to the justice that the Taliban & friends employ, water-boarding is better than having one's head cut from the body.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  106. Michelle in San Antonio, TX

    I don't want President Obama's presidency affected by what the Bush administration did.

    However, say out loud: "I'm an American and my country tortures", how did that make you feel? The republicans (most famously Bush) repeatedly said: "America does not toture". Why, because they wanted to be seen as morally better than the enemy. I think they did something wrong and would be happy with congress dealing with the matter or any of the other ideas in the pipline.

    In the end, Obama didn't create this mess and I don't want him dealing with the politcal fall back when there is so little in favor of investigation. How about the Bush administration admit what they did was wrong and apologize. Like that would ever happen.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  107. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    Jack..

    The ONLY way we will ever convince the world that Americans in general are not barbarians, is to do our best to bring these animals to justice.

    Everyone seems convinced that obtaining convictions of the leading culprits is unlikely... but that is no reason not to humiliate them publically for making Americans look like a nation of Josef Mengolas.

    I personally would like to see a big enough show of public indignation that no future American leader will try this sort of thing in the future.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  108. gerald serlin

    I am a lawyer. Disbarment (prohibiting a person trained in the law from performing his life's work) is too harsh a punishment for lawyers who were just performing their jobs. They were asked for a legal opinion of what constitutes torture. They gave it their best shot. Why should they be punished in any way? A legal opinion is provided by lawyers for their clients every day. If a lawyer cannot be honest in his opinion, it is worthless.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  109. Fred Schaefer

    Being a previous veteran I say disbarring the attorneys – plural – who decided waterboarding, etc. is not torture should at the best cause them to find a career that does not leave behind so much ill will against this country. Although I was startled by the percentage of "Americans" who want to run away from the issue, it does not surprise me with the increase in the types who beat their chests at the sports stadiums.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  110. Jacqueline Mongeot

    Who committed the crime of torture? The lawyers or the Administration who authorized certain techniques of torture.
    Webster's Dictionary defines TORTURE as "the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a mean of getting a confession or information..." It seems to me that the crime of torture was perpetrated by the preceding Administration, not devised by the awyers Their. Disbarment would not.accomplish anything. Address the guilty individuals who broke the rules.
    Jacqueline, San Diego, CA

    May 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  111. Wm Mayberry

    Of course not. Nothing will end this witch hunt until some other perceived abuse the Bush administration inflicted on some other unfortunate group rears it's ugly head. I can hardly wait to see what is next!

    May 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  112. J. Weidenbach

    Oh no, Jack. But "waterboarding, throwing them against walls, and forced nudity" just might put an end to the torture debate.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  113. John

    Our service men and women deployed throughout the world are protected by the very laws which were broken by the Bush administration. These individuals must be held accountable, to include top members of the administration to show that the international community including the United States, will not accept, and will prosecute anyone that breaks these internationally agreed upon laws. Accountability only begins with barring the attorneys who crafted the illegal documents.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  114. Jack Adkins

    No, no, and NO...These morally challenged lawyers wrote an "opinion" that they knew their superiors wanted to see. Okay – disbar the lawyers, but you have to go after the originators. The rule of law in this country has been getting kicked around like an errant stepchild. If we make the rule of law negotiable, we will have changed
    this nation into something that would have tears streaming down the faces on Mt. Rushmore.
    Jack
    San Francisco CA

    May 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  115. Robert Browning

    Yes, I think disbarring lawyers who advised the Bush administration that waterboarding was lawful would serve justice, because it was in their capacity as attorneys that they erred. Politically, too, it would suffice because the people who define torture broadly are more in favor of certain justice than of harsh punishments. The Obama administration needs to distance itself from torture for reasons both of principle and of foreign policy, so it must not block ordinary procedures that will hold these lawyers accountable. It does not need extraordinary procedures that will alienate the majority of Americans who do not want these misdeeds investigated. Somehow the McCain ticket did not attract all of their votes, since that ticket lost.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  116. vern-anaheim,ca

    no,it wouldn't do any good but i would love to see tat jerk dick chaney punished for the crimes he comitted,bush probally wasn't involved as he isn't intelligent enough to have stopped cheney's wrongdoings,bush is not a evil man and means to do the right thing but i can't say the same about his v.p. dick chaney who is pure evil and behind the torture and other atrocoties commited by the bush administration

    May 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  117. Nancy Griggs

    Yes, they should pay the price by being disbarred from practicing the law, They seem to think they did not need to follow the existing laws and supporting the ," let's make them up as they go Bush policies." So now they must pay the price for blindly following the Bush administration. Will it quiet down the rederrick? No someone besides those who were tortured needs to pay the price of breaking our laws against torture. What better then to take away a Lawers ability to practice. Let them stand in the unemployment line and see who it feels.
    .

    May 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  118. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Not for me and hopefully not for Spain. War criminals are war criminals and should be treated accordingly. I find it ironic that the Justice department is investifgating the Justice department. I think we need to contact Sen. Leahy and give him our support and views.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  119. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I don't think disbarring the lawyers that wrote the memos would stop the debate over the use of torture by the Bush administration. The debate will go on and on regardless, unless Bush himself was tried by an internationonal court. I would like to see Cheney and Rice waterboarded until they admitted they were screw-ups and deserved waterboarding for having been involved in this idea in the first place.. Personally my bet is that Cheney would admit being a screw -up before his first session, but most likely would have a heart attack and die before the session would begin. The true test here obviously will be how history treats this issue.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  120. David Gomez

    1)after WW 2, The prosecuted the japanese soldires for waterboarding american POWs. Now was that mistake to prosecute them? thats something that shouldn't be forgotten in this debate

    2)In the spring before 9/11, there was an incident off the china coast in which a chinese fighter jet clip the wings of US spy plane and was forced to land at a chinese island near Vietnam. The service members from that spy plane were later subjected to stressful positions and sleep dreprevation. This is just another example of an incident that shouldn't be forgetten in this debate.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  121. Margaret Hodges

    Margaret Hodges Millville DE

    No. This is more than a debate. It is a series a criminal acts against humanity. Like other such acts throughout history, the injustices are discussed for generations to come, often so much that as we know,some become indifferent others do not believe such injustices ever happened. It is important to teach our children and grandchildren how to live lives of justice since adults forget how.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  122. Richard

    Obama wants to play Desmond Toto, the Senate wants to be on T.V. looking concerned, and we join the ranks of China and Russia and the Stans in modern Law Enforcement. We let this go and what comes next?

    May 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  123. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Jack,

    Yes, disbar the attorneys that 'bent' the Law to suit Bush & Cheney. Yes, indeed drag them before the Bar, and have them pay for corrupting the law, not only of the U.S. (waterboarding has been illegal since the 1800's, look it up!) but also International Law.

    Bush, Cheney, Rummy, and the rest of them must face the justice that they denied others! I do not care if there are terrorists..... we ARE a Nation of Laws. We are STILL America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

    What Bush & Co., did IS a crime! Since when do we, say "do as we say, not as we do"??

    One more thing, I looked up the chances an average American has on being killed by a terrorist compared to being killed by cancer or heart disease:

    The chance of being killed by ......... heart disease........ 50%, or 1 in 2.

    The chance of being killed by a terrorist attack......... ONE in 9.3 MILLION!

    Bush, Cheney are war criminals! IF we allow them to go free, our Nation's standing in the World will be even more damaged. We will not be able to be the Voice of Freedom & Justice.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  124. kawsu sanyang, Atlanta, GA

    jack, my belief is that this high impact, sensitive decision should be an all around one; to go after all involved and let them pay their qouta of involment or let the sleeping dogs continue snoaring, and open an era of damage repair the past administration enjoyed on their watch front all fronts.

    kawsu
    Atlanta, GA

    May 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  125. Richard

    I still can not beleive that we are comparing "water boarding" to 9/11, decapitation, bombings and other VIOLENT forms of torture which the Taliban and other terrorist organization used on not just the United States but other helpless citizens of the world.

    Then there is the finger pointing all towards the Bush administration, but what about the committee headed by Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats and republicans who also signed off on these. Where will the political and legal ax stop. Many could be brought up on charges in which "I did not know" would not stand.
    \
    LET IT GO! What is done can not be undone. The next President of the United States may change the "definition" of torture yet again. It always does.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  126. JOE

    Absolutely Not, When Bush Administration Officials are standing trial in other countries for War Crimes, I can assure You Public opinion will be quite different. They will be tried, if not here then somewhere in the World.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  127. Elizabeth

    Jack – we are a nation of laws, "ruled" by our Constitution. What the Bush Administration did was defy our rules and turn the U.S. into a nation ruled by men. Disbarment of the lackey lawyers who did the administration's bidding doesn't restore our nation's constituttional authority. If we allow the current situation to remain, we're cooked!

    Obama's notion that we should look forward instead of "backward" is a ridiculous argument. Our entire justice system is based on looking "backward" when a crime is perpetrated, in order to find and bring evidence into court to present at trial. If his administration is too lazy to gather evidence to prosecute Bush's crimes, have them use the contents of Vincent Bugliosi's book for evidence and then send Vincent into the courtroom against them as lead counsel. Case closed.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  128. keith collins

    The lawyers, Bush, Cheney and many others need to go to prison. Otherwise, torture will become standard operating procedure. From a security standpoint it wasn't even good for our country. Many on the front lines say it is the best recruiting tool the radical Muslim organizations have ever had.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  129. Roy - Chicago IL

    A better solution would be to bar Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzalez, and other pertinent officials from EVER holding political office again, like the IL government did to their former governor.
    I almost asked for forced nudity for these same people.....but that would be more punishment for the American people than for them.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  130. Shannon

    Of course it'd be enough to end the debate! The Democrats would be happy enough to have a direction to point their finger and the Republicans would be sighing in relief that no one high up got hit with the blame. Simple solutions that solve no problems are always easily obtainable.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  131. Margaret Hodges

    No Jack as it is more than a debate . It is unsolved crimes that should not be reduced to a debate.
    Margaret Hodges
    Millville DE

    May 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  132. Shannon Iowa City, IA

    Of course it’d be enough to end the debate! The Democrats would be happy enough to have a direction to point their finger and the Republicans would be sighing in relief that no one high up got hit with the blame. Simple solutions that solve no problems are always easily obtainable.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  133. Simon

    Simon from Savannah Georgia.

    NO! We Want Justice!

    If the reports that the Bush administration used torture to establish a link between Iraq and 911 are true, there should be an investigation and those responsible should be held accountable.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  134. Gigi

    We know what the CNN pole says but what do the American people want is more important. We would like to have reason to have pride in our country and not sweep everything under the rug. After all the only persons that are being fooled are the ones that ignore the events being broadcasted all over the world.
    My answer is still No... Most of us respect the guilty who take responsibility to their own bad deeds.

    May 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm |