April 24th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Will Bush officials ever be prosecuted for 'enhanced interrogation' program?


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.

Eric writes:
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.

Filed under: Bush Administration
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Eddie in NC.

    NO---- There is line of devide in this country, I am on one side and they are on the other and the two shall never be treated the same. People with all of their good intension will justice a wrong to insure the line is keep intact.

    April 24, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  2. JoAnn from St. Louis, MO

    I remember spending the summer after graduation intently watching the Watergate hearings. I found it fascinating to see our goverment in action. While I understand that the President has big and pressing issues to address, none are more important that our nations premise of decency and honesty.

    We are a nation of laws. We are a nation governed"of the people and by the people" We are a nation struggling to find it's moral compass and yes, it may be necessary to prosecute former Bush officials, because it's about more than the now. It's about who we are as a country and what we stand for in the world. No man or woman is more important than that. If Nixon had been prosecuted instead of pardoned, maybe, just maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    April 24, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  3. Jim from Asheville

    Do I wish they would, yes! Do I think they will, no!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Bernard

    As much as they needs to be prosecuted it will never happen because it the business as normal in the federal government for the powerful to get off free and clear and those not well connected get prosecuted for following orders.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  5. Mr. Webber

    The united states was attacked on 9/11 and three-thousand innocent americans died that day. The "torture" techniques were used against the top terrorist's who masterminded the attacks. They knew of another imminent attack and decided to take action. The use of waterboarding saved many lives in the L.A area. No way was this Interrogation immoral. It saved US lives

    April 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  6. Bruce Gretz

    The idea that a government the size of the U.S. can't do two things at once is ludicrous. Of course there can be prosecution of Bush administration officials and a progressive policy agenda at the same time! In fact, ensuring accountability of such blatant violations of international law is part of that agenda. I am concerned that Obama's unwillingness to lead on this issue stems from the risk that too much complicity or ignorance will be discovered on the part of Democratic leaders. So, it's pitchforks to the Capitol until we get justice!!

    West Newbury, MA

    April 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  7. Bud Wessman

    The fact that President Bush's administration kept us safe after 9/11 is good enough for me - what's your problem?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  8. Kirven Dunham

    Jack, if they were everyday Americans they would already be behind bars. I completely disagree with the CNN crew who say they should leave this in the past. That means that if you are a member of a president cabinet than you are allowed to break the law.

    Also, what about those soldiers who were arrested for following orders. The Bush team knew the truth and turned their back on them like they did the CIA. These soldiers should be pardon and each member of that Bush team should go on Larry King and look each one in the eye and say I am sorry.

    P.S. does CNN plan on talking to any of these soldiers who were railroaded.

    Kirven Dunham
    Rancho Cordova, CA

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  9. Danielle in Sacramento, CA

    Jack: As a die-hard democrat, I'd like to see the entire Bush Administration go to prison (perhaps Abu Ghraib) for their policies. Especially those policies that left us broke, in debt to our eyeballs, and not playing well with others around the world. And yes, we should set an example for the world by criminalizing interrogation tactics such as waterboarding. It is not clear whether these tactics even led to information that saved American lives. But if you think for one minute that disallowing waterboarding by our intelligence agencies will prevent our soldiers from the same, you are kidding yourself.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  10. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    Only in my dreams! It's sickening to think of all that they got away with, but Republicans only refer to the rule of law when it concerns the Democrats. Clinton would have been hanged for treason by now over the no bid contracts alone, without violating the Geneva Convention or manipulating the Justice Department and the CIA to produce false evidence.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Larry Kostiuk

    Not only should they be indicted, they should be convicted!

    Otherwise, the 'high road' for America is lost! FOREVER!!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |

    Canisteo, NY: Why should they, their methods of getting information is not much different than the smothering effects of taxes on the working people. If we prosecute all the politicians who have wronged others then who will run our countr? We might have to elect someone with common sense instead of deep pockets!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  13. Kate

    I sure hope not because that's not how a democracy works. That's what dictators do.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  14. Rachel Gingras

    As a non-american I think that the only way the USA can regain credibility and moral standing in the international comunity is by coming clean and prosecuting those who commited illegal acts. Otherwise next time the Americans say something about China or North Corea or some other horrible place torturing prisoners the answer will be : "Same to you hippocrits !!"
    P Quebec Canada

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  15. Kitty

    We shot the 3 pirates and I heard no furor about the methods used . Personally, I think waterboarding was not severe enought for the 911 terrorists.
    Most people would support waterboarding to save their father, mother, son, or daughter. As to whether there will be procecution, I don't think Obama knows yet what he wants to do. It's all about politics, not the safety of the American people. I do think procecutions will not make us more safe.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  16. Braden Mugg

    In instituting and endorsing torture it is clear that the Bush administration has violated the nations laws and treaties. It is an incredible injustice that such unpardonable crimes could go unpunished while our prisons are full to the brim with the perpetrators of victimless crimes. Unless Bush and his administration are fully investigated and tried our entire legal system is a groundless sham.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  17. Jim Hunter

    If Cheney doesn't shut up – string him up and then have a trial.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  18. Doug, Columbia, SC

    Let's hope so, but don't bet the farm. Right now the president is trying to keep an even keel on this issue in order to keep driving home the fundamental changes he has to make on the economy, health care, global warming, and capping carbon emissions.

    While I would like nothing better than to see the highest levels of the Bush Administration nailed to the wall for their support of torture, the issue would have a much greater positive impact if it was brought into focus just before the 2010 election season.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  19. Dell In Texas

    No, nor should they be. If it was YOUR wife and kids in jeopardy, you'd rip the eyeballs out of any person who has the information that would prevent your loved ones from death...and don't say you wouldn't. You're dealing with folks who would slit your throat and laugh, while you "gurgle to death" in your own blood. People who would fly fully loaded passenger jets into office buildings, just to kill as many Americans as possible.....or do you need another 9/11 catastrophe as a reminder? It's just a matter of time; you can quote me on that.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  20. Mark

    Jack, It seems impossible to charge someone with a crime when there isn't a law against these specific methods. Where a law is broken criminal punishment should follow. No law means the action can not be criminally punished.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  21. Craig

    Well I happen to think that the Bush Administration folks are war criminals anyway. Using torture as the crutch to get there isn't a bad idea. Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Bremmer and many of the others need to be exposed and put through the ringer for all of the stuff that they have caused. Just look at all the $$ that Ken Starr wasted prosecuiting Bill Clinton for his little indiscression. That didn't even cost a human life. Looks at all the people these guys have killed in Iraq.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  22. CHRIS, Bx., NY

    No….. but at least we know what party supports torture…..and which doesn’t….Even if it worked, it’s still torture!! If I rob a store to feed my children, is it robbery?! We can’t justify being wrong, b/c we want to make something right……b/c in the long run the right that came from wrong, is only short term……
    Also we must all read these dates on these memos….the GOP claims that torture gave us intel on a terror plot in L.A…..meanwhile the date we prepared for the L.A. attack, does not correspond w/ the date we recorded beginning torture……Somethings wrong w/ this picture…..So did torture, oh I’m sorry enhanced interrorgation help?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  23. Jerry Smith

    No!! There are too many R's and D's that were aware of the disgraceful "activity". Bot sides of the aisle will become very "bipartisan" in order to protect their own gluts.


    April 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  24. Daniel Root, Portland, OR

    Perhaps the Bush officials should be waterboarded. Then we can get some real answers. And no. I don't think they will be prosecuted as the Dems don't have the courage to to it.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  25. greg morra, new hartford, new york


    To resurrect the Bushy sins of the past effects a detraction of the excitement of the Obama presidency and a distraction from the forward progress he pursues.

    I simply cringe at the thought of hearing Bush's name over and over again. It causes severe sphinctal cramps.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  26. Pat Peoples

    Yes, they will be. This has the look and feel of Watergate. Criminal acts have been committed and, even worse, in the name of the people of the United States. Our new Attorney General has said flatly that "no one is above the law" and that is in fact true in this country. They will be prosecuted.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  27. Tim from NJ

    Here is my stance: If they broke the law – prosecute them.

    If I steal from a cash register there is no debate on whether or not to prosecute me, is there?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  28. KenS

    McCain says:
    "If we prosecute individuals for providing their best recommendation to the president of the United States, it will have a chilling effect from now on,"

    He hits it on the head. But what if they were NOT providing their 'best recommendation'? If Cheney says to Gonzalas: 'The CIA is going to waterboard these prisoners. Find a legal theory to justify it'. Is this his best recommendation, or is he sacrificing the law for policy? An inquiry into THIS question would serve all of the purposes of criminal prosecution.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  29. rob

    I dont know if they will be but if they are the better also prosecute the senators that were briefed on it up to 7yrs ago. They knew and let it happen anyway. So they ALL are guilty not just Bush an republicans but the dems as well. I noticed it got less heated with the congress when word of releasing who was briefed may get out. Time to scramble and look for another way to blame bush.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  30. Bill

    Here's my question for you, Mr. Cafferty: Will Democrat congressional members who approved the techniques ever be prosecuted?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  31. Grant

    They darn well better be prosecuted, but frankly that's the AGs job, not that of Obama or Congress. Let them get on with their policy agenda and let Holder do his job on the prosecutions and hopefully put some people in prison. There is absolutely zero reason that those two things need to interfere with each other.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  32. bernie

    One thing I've learned is, in this world nobody, and I do mean nobody, ever gets what they deserve.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  33. Lauren

    Will Obama pull a President Ford and sweep the whole situation under the rug? With our country dealing with an economic crisis and this country's thirst for "change" I think so.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  34. Mike, Panama City, FL

    I think all who the officials who said it was in the past should now explain why it was OK , but it's likely to be a story that holds any water. Torture isn't right or left....it's wrong!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  35. Andrea

    What better way to distract from the growing questions about TARP and Obama's spending than to return Bush to the headlines?

    Sounds like some in government have too much time on their hands, which, given our current circumstances, doesn't say much about their roles to begin with.

    Scarsdale, NY

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  36. Yisehak, CT

    I would say yes because we are the nation of law. If you commit a crime you do the time. It is simple. What if other country torture our people what do we have to say?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  37. Ralph - Joplin, MO

    They should be prosecuted. However, I'll be surprised if they are. Maybe waterboarding would help them realize what they have done.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  38. Chuck

    In four to eight years will we be investigating "where all the money went" in regards to these bailouts?

    Bremerton, WA.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  39. Robert

    Sadly, they are arms of a monster; one that is thankfully not around anymore to tarnish the image of America. I think that as long as the top seat in this debacle remain safe it is useless to prosecute the peons... and there is no way we can prosecute Bush, as much as I would love to see it.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  40. Zach Grisbee

    Really? You want them prosecuted? How about thanked? That would be more appropriate. They did everything they could to get valuable information out of these terrorists while making sure they DID stay within the law. Now because it's uncomfortable to listen to, it's called 'torture'?

    I agree, no one should ever torture. That's repulsive and cruel. But what was outlined in those memos as 'enhanced interrogation techniques' is NOT torture. There are half a dozen legal arguments outlining how they stayed within the laws of torture in those memos. Any criticism of the program is not based on legality but rather political ideology and subjective feelings.

    While you may not like it, the techniques were not illegal. Give up trying to prosecute people because you don't like the program.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  41. Fred from Wisconsin

    I seriously doubt it because of the political firestorm surrounding this.
    If the Congress would stay entirely out of it and a special prosecutor of impeccable integrity could be appointed, there might be a slim chance.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  42. Chuck, Dayton, OH

    Jack..I'm all for prosecuting Bush Admisitration officials for torture, when the Justice Department charges Franklin Roosevelt and his administration with violating the Constitutional rights of LAW ABIDING Japanese US citizens during WWII by locking them up in detention camps because of 'national security'. Sound familiar.

    To take a page reagrding that, why don't we just apologize to the scumbags for waterboarding them and move on.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  43. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I hope so. Since waterboarding has been outlawed in our Nation since the 1800's. In order for the United States to regain some respect in the World, we need to "walk, the walk".

    Many say what a great country we have, yes, but when the United States a beacon of Freedom and Justice allows government officials who sanctioned torture to quietly go into the sunset, we have LOST our moral standing. No longer can we, demand, Justice for other prisoners. No longer can we condemn China or Cuba for its human rights abuses.......... when we have tortured!

    And no....... we are not safer because Bush allowed torture! Those prisoners tortured will go on, once freed to become great .........recruiters...... for Al-Qaeda and other terrorists!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  44. Mark


    I think President Obama should come out and say that he’ll fully pardon all those involved in using or authorizing these techniques. Then, Congress can hold all the hearing they want to find out what went wrong and what changes we need to make in the future. They’ll be a lot more people telling the truth and we’ll have a more complete accounting of the facts when people aren’t afraid of going to jail.

    This is supposed to be a “change” administration. If so, than let’s not fall back into the same partisan behavior Congress exhibits every time the party in charge changes. This “clamor” by Pelosi is nothing more than a political witch hunt and everyone knows it, especially President Obama.


    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  45. Donna Hayes

    I think President Obama should step up and stop all of this. President Bush did what he did to protect us after 9/11. None of us can say what we would of done in his shoes. Obama may have to answer to the
    drones someday and who knows whatelse in his future. It is ridiculous. Pelosi, if her lips are moving she is lying. That is just how it is.

    Oklahoma City

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  46. George Ray

    I don't understand how Obama, a former professor of Constitutional law, can allow the Bush administration to get away with these crimes. I guess all that law he was teaching was only theoretical. Goes to show, once again, that there are two sets of laws in this country: one for the rich and politically-connected, and the other for the rest of us mere citizens.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  47. Patrick

    It's ideal to prosecute, however I don't know if it would do any good. Besides saying that "if you do this you wont get away with it, you will be charged". However wasn't Nixon's Watergate suppose to do that? I'm sure in the future, presidents will over step their power. Lastly, as Pakiston falls to the Taliban, and the economy in shambles, should we really be focusing on prosecution?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  48. Jim from Chicago

    Probably not, Jack, but they certainly should be. Their gross violation of the principles on which this country was founded and for which millions of brave soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen have died is like spitting on the flag and their memory.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  49. Saul Freedman

    I would hope that they are held to account for their recklessness way of handling or ignoring our Constitution. They tortured in my name and I resent it.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  50. Leo Stack

    All of the ones involved should have their faces slapped in public and watch them file lawsuits for torture.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  51. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    These in the highest ranking offices of our government who advocated the use of torture will be judged by the highest court, as will the rest of America. Whether these perpetrators of crimes will be prosecuted in U.S. courts is to a great degree up to the will of the American people. If enough citizens have strength of conviction and make a loud enough noise, Congress and President Obama will have no choice but to prosecute. If we fail to uphold the law and the dignity of humanity, then the World Court will very likely take up the cause. In any case, justice will be served.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  52. Joshua G.

    You mean will someone be held accountable for their actions, in the upper levels of the U.S. government? I doubt it. There will be the usual ruckus, and false aggression by both sides but eventually this story will fade away. The guilty will go unpunished.

    "When the president does it, it isn't illegal." – Richard Nixon

    April 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  53. Joe -- Chicago, IL

    Government officials being prosecuted for something besides a sex scandal? Never going to happen. Had Bush the lesser been caught with his pants down with an intern, there would already be a special prosecutor's investigation underway. But since it was only detainee's pants down, with water-boarding and other 'enhancements' this will go nowhere.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  54. Michael Porter, Doss Texas

    If one is to be prosecuted then all must be, this includes everyone in theHouse and Senate who were informed and approved or did not object.....

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  55. Dan

    This country doesn't know what damage it will do by forcing this issue. This will hurt every President to come. Sad, sad day. I only pray that this administration thinks about this.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  56. chuck

    Jack! I just got a migrane looking at these Republicans bandits. George Bush and his Cronies will be tried and I suggest if they think water-boarding is not torture then water-boarding MUST BE USED on all involved to get the truth then send the guilty ones to Gitmo. I think Gitmo will be filled.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  57. Marty

    Keep your eyes on the Justice Department! Holder & Company will investigate and prosecute and this will keep the President out of the fray.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  58. D. Morgan

    No, and they shouldn't be prosecuted. Our government did what they thought necessary at the time to keep American's safe. And, it worked. Also, throughout the 90's, we demantled our Human Intelligence in the hopes of using electronic means to gather information. That proved fatal as we required human intel to understand structures and positions of terrorists. Through the Bush means, they were able to gather a lot of intelligence that allowed us to focus on who, what, where, when, and how. If our current administration does not want to continue with these effective means, that is fine, but let's continue to focus on the challenges in front of us and not on past decisions that ultimately protected us.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  59. Daniel Mitchell

    Grow up, people. We're at war with a merciless enemy. How exactly do you think we're going to get information? Pizza and backstop seats at a Reds game? It's waterboarding, not electrocution, amputation, or even splinters under fingernails.
    WAR is not civilized, polite, or ethical. Remember how we won WWII? Don't hear anyone demanding reparations for the Japanese or calling for prosecutions over that.
    When did America turn into a haven for criminals, illegal immigrants, and spineless whiners? Oh, that's right; a democrat is in the White House.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  60. Mike, Panama City, FL

    * I think all the officials who said it was OK in the past should now explain why it was OK , but it’s likely to be a story that doesn't hold any water. Torture isn’t right or left….it’s wrong!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  61. Ray

    The United States = Pol pot = WW2 Japanese = Stalin regime = Egypt
    when it comes to torture. Am I the only one that sees something wrong with that.

    Them others were torturing opponents to protect themselves too.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  62. Brian

    To answer the question, No they will not be prosecuted. They were using extreme measures in extreme times. I personally don't believe in torture but if that is what is needed to save more lives then so be it.

    I say we waterboard the form administration to see what kind of lies and coruption will be surfaced. A little "eye for an eye" treatment.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  63. Jerome, Montana

    I certainly hope so.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  64. JRE

    The phrase "enhanced interrogation" is simply political double-speak for "torture" which, of couse, is illegal. ....but we don't want to use that word because, by doing so, we know, as a society, that we have compromised our values and committed crimes.

    In a just and democratic society, even to protect ourselves, torture is beyond the pale....we cannot justify torture by saying that the means justifies the ends. As a people, and a society, we should be better than that.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  65. Jeff (Omaha, NE)

    They absolutely should NOT be prosecuted, and President Obama made a huge mistake by releasing the memos. The day our president takes a stand on something other than slamming his predecessors and our beloved country will be a day I cannot wait for.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  66. terrytown

    How could they prosecute the people mentioned here and not go all out and include "Dubya"...? And if your gonna get all of them for something how bout all the lives lost or maimed by us being in Iraq in the first place... BTW Did anyone ever find those WMD's...?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  67. mike

    If administration officials are prosecuted we will so defang the C.I.A. and the the White House that future administrations will be reticient to do whatever is necessary to protect the country. Are we prosecuting administration officials from the Truman and Roosevelt administrations? How about the Kennedy administration?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  68. Lynne from Cherry Hill NJ


    I think most Americans will demand it. When you think about it, we were lied to and people were tortured. Because of the lies, we entered a war that has killed 110,000 innocent civilian Iraqi's not to mention military deaths of all participating countries. This is an unimaginable and unacceptible breach of trust and crime.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  69. sorash

    Oh no! don't persecute them, try the enhanced interrogation on them maybe they will tell us the whole truth.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  70. Tyler Whitney

    Does anyone else see parallels to the Nixon pardon? Ford recognized that a high profile courtroom case would be damaging to the country as a whole. It seems that Obama is applying the same logic. That being said I feel that there will probably not be prosecutions for the "enhanced interrogation program." And you can bet that some people will remain very bitter about that. Remember, think Nixon.

    -Tyler from Denver Colorado

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  71. Pat in Greensboro

    How about instead of prosecuting them, which takes forever and costs alot of money, we just give them a dose of their own medicine. After their waterboarding session, they can tell us if they think its torture. I'll do Cheney.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  72. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Since President Obama has made it known he wants to leave the Bush administration and all of their doings to the judgement of history, I doubt any of them will ever be prosecuted for their crimes. Hopefully, we will soon get to see Dick Cheney replace the Fuhrer as the top draw on the History Channel.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  73. Leah-Canada

    No one should be above the law and Bushes Administration including the high up level persons should face the consequence for his or her action

    You can not call yourself or yours country a leader of a free world, if you are torture and treat others in the most inhumane way.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  74. Ronald

    I have a great idea for the Bush officials who don't consider waterboarding torture. Round them and their families up, set them up in a nice hotel and instead of giving them spa treatments, waterboard them! I'm sure they would love to see their spouses and children being waterboarded. Maybe throw in a free pet package. If it isn't torture, then it must feel good right?

    Using Dictionary.com, I found this definition for "torture:"

    2. Especially, severe pain inflicted judicially, either as punishment for a crime, or for the purpose of extorting a confession from an accused person, as by WATER or fire, by the boot or thumbkin, or by the rack or wheel.

    AH-geneva-CHEW! Excuse me.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  75. Murphy


    I don't know about prosecutions but I'll tell you what: they should have the "enhanced interrogative techniques" applied to them 236 times like some of the "enemy combatants".

    We have seen the enemy, and it is the Bush administration.

    Waterboard them all!!!!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  76. Blaine

    Of course not Jack. There is no accountability whatsoever in Washington today. There are plenty members of congress serving us today who were also around when these memos were written. They are simply too afraid of anything coming back to bite them. The rabbit hole goes to deep for them to start handing out prosecutions.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  77. JD Henry

    If they are, it won't be here in the United States, because politics will outweigh justice (as your article points out, Jack, President Obama and many Democrats are trying to protect the prior Republican administration from prosecution, which is about as political as it gets). The International Criminal Court is the only real possibility for justice in this situation, and the question there is will the US government extradite these officials to face international prosecution even though the US is not a member of the ICC?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  78. Phil

    I hope so! If we want to make progress towards holding governments like that of Al-Bashir in Sudan accountable for their crimes, we can't be selective in who we prosecute. If Bush administration officials authorized acts in violation of American law, the Constitution, and the Geneva Conventions, they should be prosecuted and punished as such.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  79. Carolyn - Marin County, California

    Probley not. One would like to think they would, but the Republicans would say it's the Democrats tyring to "get even" with the past administraction instead of it's the American People asking for Justice from our curent leader, for our county.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  80. Ron from SF

    Yes, either we do it and clean our own house or the World will do it and that will make us look more like Yugoslavia, than what we purport to be. I'm ashamed that we are discussing if we'll do the right thing. This proves the terrorists have won, as we aren't America anymore.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  81. mickie

    While I generally think it would be best for everyone to just move on, it would be unfair to the peole who were penalized and/or prosecuted by the miltary to let the brass off the hook. I think we need to release all the information, publicly address the military people who were punished for these actions and labeled as bad apples, and then admonish all the people who let this happen and then pretended to be outraged. I don;t think actual prosecutions need to be held, but these people should not be allowed back into any government or government affiliated agencies.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  82. Robin in SC

    No, Jack. They won't be prosecuted. Just as Ford pardoned Nixon so that the country could move forward (even though it was very unpopular and ruined his political career), it would be too backward-looking to prosecute these folks...Obama has all but said so. Even though he says its up to Holder, bet your bottom dollar Obama will have the last say. Not that they don't deserve to be prosecuted, but I just don't believe it will happen.
    Robin in Greenville, SC

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  83. Ed from Tallahassee Florida

    If you break the law then you should get punished.

    I don't like the idea of being "nice" to the terrorist, but I hate the idea of America not being the Good Guys and the True Beacon of Hope that we are in this world. Bush and Cheney blooded our hands and took away our integrity on the issue then lied about it over and over again.

    Give them their day in court, just like everyone else.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  84. George Hayduke

    No, I doubt that they will ever be prosecuted. I believe that the President will not let that happen. Obama does not seem to be the vindictive type. (Although Pelosi seems to be able to do a pretty damned good Elphaba impression.) Too bad, as this will allow Cheney and his band of merry men to continue to snipe at the administration and keep the far right engaged with wedge issues and obfuscation. I would prefer to see Bush and Cheney tried for war crimes at the Hague. Of course that would mean that many folks here in America would have to abandon their state of denial that America can do no wrong. Which won't happen either as I haven't met a right winger yet who is capable of unwrapping him/herself from the flag long enough to deal with the truth.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  85. aaron

    they should be prosecuted. they broke the law. this is black and white.

    however, if they are not, then this administration needs to create new laws or agencies that prevent this from happening ever again. like never again.

    it has to be one or the other.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  86. James Mack

    shameful that we used to be the good guys standing on high moral ground. and now known as torturers. Didnt we prosecute WWII japanese soldiers for waterboarding american POWs?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  87. Peter Hirst

    Perhaps enhanced interrogation techniques could be used on Cheney, etc to get them the tell the truth.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  88. Blake

    No. Not a truth commission. Nothing less than an international tribunal will do. If international law was broken, those responsible should be held accountable. My opinion has nothing to do with Republican/Democrat-based motives. It has to do with being an American that wants to be proud of all that is good in America.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  89. Thom Richer

    If there is any justice left in America. Seems like prosecution is only for the poor and lower middle class. When power and or money can buy your way out of a criminal act, then we had better take a good hard look at our court system and those in it.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  90. Tom

    We are walking down a slippery slope here as everything gets displayed and judged in the public square. There is little or no doubt that policies need to be changed, but not for the sake of politics disguised under the false pretense of full disclosure. There is not an administration of government on this planet that will truly ever be able to disclose everything without impact on ones ability to lead. Even good policy will be compromised if leaders are forever looking over their shoulder to please political agendas.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  91. JJ Moran

    Get a clue Jack!!!!!
    The inmates are now running the asylum.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  92. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    No Jack what for. What they did kept us safe and made us safer. Thats a fact weather you approve of enhanced interagation or not. The only reason this is news right now is to once again continue to distract us from the trillions going out the door to what we have no idea. Focus on what matters Jack and stop being a stooge for the left.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  93. Nathan Prophet

    Are we a nation of laws? Do we have and do we honor our Constitution? Is anyone above the law or above the Constitution? Did we sign up to and honor the Geneva Convention? Is water-boarding or other so-called "enhanced" interrogation techiques defined as torture under the Geneva Convention or other internationally recognized legal body? Have laws been broken in this regard? I say Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Yes, and Yes. The law-breakers, including Bush, Cheney, Tenant, Rice, Rumsfeld, attorneys, and others including the military, who ordered U.S. citizens or members of the military to torture people or order foreign nationals to torture people should be immediately arrested, put in cuffs, and marched off to jail to await trial. If found guilty, they should be sentenced under U.S. law and serve their time.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  94. Jim - Canada

    I doubt it, but they should be tried. And some people will attempt to try them, namely Maher Arar. Although Bush administration supporters will argue these "enhanced techniques" kept Americans safer, I suggest these people talk to Maher Arar or any of the other innocent people tortured "by mistake" – yes people, not everyone tortured was a terrorist! Some were just people of the wrong heritage...

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  95. Mason

    I believe they should be. However, even if they do end up being prosecuted, I don't believe that it will settle this issue for good. It's only a matter of time before the next nut case like Cheney winds up in the White House and tries to pull the same stuff they did. There's always a loophole for Republicans to slip through.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  96. S B Franklin

    We, the American people should continue to DEMAND that they are held accountable. If we don't, we're no better than the Nazis, the Chinese Communists, or the very terrorists we called ourselves fighting. We as a people are better than that, and it's time we showed the world that the "Cowboy" mentality we suffered under the last 8 years are NOT representative of the America we all believe in.
    Lancaster, TX

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  97. Jason

    Probably not. And it's a shame. If anything I think these 4 should be water bordered for some answers but then they won't think that's fair.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  98. David M.

    I hope not!What is going on!!Defending killers!!Do you people really think that prosecuting all the Bush people will make the rest of the world like us, or will suddenly fix all problems?I don't think so!These people ( the ones tortured) want to see Americans dead!!!Also we are undermining what little power we had left by tying the hands of the people who are expected to protect us.If you people really think that other countries will hold back getting info any way possable out of prisoners you must be living in wonderland.All we are doing is showing the rest of the world how little stomach we really have, I bet China,Iran and Russia are laughing at what we have become!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  99. Eric, Washington, DC


    AS much as i feel bad for them, i think that Dick Cheney, Rumsfelt, and Gonzales should be prosecuted. Dick Cheney pressured President Bush and together, they messed up our country. Today Iraq is more dangerous that it was under Saddam. We still have not catch O Bin ladden. If torture was so great, why in the word it did not lead us to Ossama.

    DICK CHENEY should be arrested now.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  100. Pat

    I think a gigantic monument should be created in Washington DC, with detailed busts of the people involved. Under the statues, a granite plaque should be inscribed with their names, and a list of the atrocities they were responsible for. It would stand as a reminder both of what they did and of what we, as a country, are capable of overlooking when under the influence of fear.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  101. James Hamilton

    I hope anybody that was involved with this is prosecuted, be they Dems or Republicans. This is not a partisan issue.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  102. TGM

    I sure hope they will be prosecuted. Nurenburg resolved the old " I was always doing what I was told" routine.
    The americans who did such things KNEW they were wrong when they did it.
    You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure it out.
    If we allow it, then it must be ok for everyone else, and should be allowed in criminal cases..
    Remember the Magna Carta?
    Remember when American police needed to knock on your door before they served a search warrant?
    If this is allowed, beware tomorrow.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  103. Adam

    Probably not Jack. The way i see it is that these individuals that handed down instructions condoning such treatment will walk away in shamelss glory. In their minds, which seem to have the ability to distort the truth, they did what was necessary to keep our fine country safe and sound, they protected us from the evils of the world. They decided that they were going to do this protecting of the free world after 9/11 (when we were attacked on their watch) and they were going to do it by destroying the moral grounds that most of us choose to stand upon in this country of ours. Why wont they be prosecuted? Because this is America and what is not okay for the rest of the world is okay for America. I stand here today stunned and confused as to what is happening to this country of ours. We stand separated on almost every issue when what we need the most is unity! The people separating us in this time of new administration are the same people that stood on their high horses for the last eight years and kept us separated then. May we come together as one and turn this country around!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  104. John in CA

    We can impeach a president for lying about staining a blue dress, but we can't prosecute THESE people? You can't "look forward" until you exorcise the past.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  105. Sue

    Is there anything Washington won't investigate? Isn't this a bit like criminals investigating their own crimes? Pelosi, who is steamrolling the need for hearings and panels, was briefed and aware of these techniques. If they are so bad why was her objection first noted a few years later? Hypocrite much?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  106. Jared Uncles

    No and nor should they be. Regardless of how it was done, the methods approved by these officials have kept our nation safe. You cannot play by a rulebook against an enemy that refuses to follow the same rules, it makes no sense at all.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  107. Jeff Hense

    The enhanced interrogation program was a U.S. program...not just a Bush administration program!!..Congress, including Nancy Pelosi were well aware of what techniques were authorized and being utilized. Those members of Congress who tacitly approved these techniques are as culpable as any administration official...this includes Rockefeller and Pelosi.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  108. Greg, Ontario

    I doubt it Jack. It's easy to point the finger at the actions of others but pointing at yourself takes a whole new level of soul searching I don't think Americans can handle. I can't ever remember an administration saying " We were wrong." Can you?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  109. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Do not think they will Jack. It would be devastation as to the integrity of our country and throw our political system into even more turmoil.
    No man should be above the law regardless of position. This bunch of hoodlums have obviously broken ours and the worlds regulations
    on the treatment of prisioners. They are a disgrace as to what our country has always represented.
    They and their actions have ruined them forever and they will become outcasts living with a black mark on them and their actions. They
    should be exposed, but probably not prosecuted. We have enough
    diasters without adding more.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  110. Johanna Walters

    Obama should be ashamed he's allowing this to happen. Can't wait to see what the administration following his prosecutes HIM for.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  111. Robert Worthington

    I am torn on this question. I do agree with President Obama that CIA agents who carried out the torture on prisoners should not be prosecuted. In retrospect, I do believe that those officials and legal counselors who declared that the torture was legal should be prosecuted. One of the main things that I appreciated about Obama is his campaign promise of government accountability. It appears now that he has moved away from that pledge by saying that we are concerned with moving forward. We are told that in America, nobody is above the law. To the contrary, it does appear that there are some people who are above the law.

    The fact is, that the release of these memos does not matter. We as Americans all knew that torture was practiced, whether we choose to admit it or deny it based on our political beliefs. Just because it happened under a previous administration does not mean that it should go unpunished. I hope that we will see some officials held accountable for the torture among other issues. This is a prime example of the change we were promised, that has yet to be delivered.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  112. Harvey Ar.

    No I dont but maybe they should waterboard all of them 183 times and if that doesnt bring a response maybe try it 183 more.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  113. Kevin

    Your question implies that these people should be prosecuted, which they should not. It is too easy to forget the fear and uncertainty that existed in the months immediately following the 9/11 attacks. These people were charged with keeping Americans safe, and they did that. If we want to question the steps they took to achieve that, we should also know the nature of the information that was obtained and how that information was used to save American lives.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  114. Bubba

    Heck no, they're too rich. No rich person can be successfully prosecuted. They will pass off their crimes as 'political disagreements' and be back in four years to harm us again.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  115. dennis x

    I think Bush administration officials will use every red herring they can fish up to distract the public on this one. I can foresee some ad hominem attacks against Obama as well. They can try to slam Obama all they want for the way he handled this, but in the end they should still have to address their own immoralities. The best disinfectant is sunlight. Obama brought sunlight to this situation and the rats are running from it as fast as they can. even if they don't get prosecuted, this says a lot about Obama's courage to stand up and do what is right in the face of much opposition.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  116. Scout in CA

    I sure hope they do prosecute and it would be great it they start with open congressional hearings. It will make the country even more divisive. As a conservative it will definitely stimulate the funding for our PAC's and create more resolve against Pelosi & Reid.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  117. Seth from Brooklyn, NY

    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.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  118. Anna Luhman

    No. They should be ,but they won't be because the whole mess is politicized. This is not a "left" or "right" issue, but a moral one. This fact is lost because the Rep. are protecting their own and the Dem. are in some cases wanting the Bush people punished. The U.S. does not torture. Our collective conscience has always mandated this. Whether from fear or vengence the last administration decided to torture, and break a 230 year prohibition. Morallity- torture is wrong.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  119. Kurt W Sorenson`

    I certainly want the story told, i would like the justice department to try those obviously involved in criminal behavior, (I strongly feel the justice department has NO choice in that). From what i read now, i do not much care about jail time, in fact, if the current administration want to move on, pardon all those found guilty on the premise of "good" intent. We, the American people paid to make all this happen, we deserve to be faced with just what we bought. Good, Bad, Ugly.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  120. chris

    And while I would like to see it happen, at the same time I have trepidations...it sets a disturbing precedent of prosecution of former regimes that I could certainly see being abused.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  121. Cardinal

    They should pay for their crimes. But I have no hope that they will.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  122. Michelle, Philadelphia, PA

    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!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  123. dave

    For our nation sake I hope not. But they need to be in Jail the law is the law weather it got great results or not it was wrong. Dillinger rob banks during the great depression he was thought to be a hero by many and many didn't see what he was doing as a crime because what the banks was doing to the people. But in the end the the law kill him. Justice must be served but in this case justice is better off not being delayed.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  124. david

    If this country fails to bring war crime charges against these people, how can we say anyone else in the world is doing wrong if they do the same thing? seems we are a nation of laws, only when convenient! never fear, war crime charges are brought by other nations all the time... you may think you have gotten away but....time will tell.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  125. Bon from Louisville Kentucky

    Jack I think it's a bad idea to prosecute these officials. Politically I think it will sound the death knell for the Obama administration and the end of the Democratic majority in the congress and senate as ealy as next congressional elections. This is not coming from a republican. On this issue these is really a gray line between justice, national security and politics.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  126. Eric

    No. The bushies will get off scot free. The country doesn't have the stomach to face up to the truth.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  127. george Coma

    No it would be a big mistake to even think of prosecuting anyone from the Bush administration. It makes us look like a banana republic by throwing the opposition in prison. And what goes around comes around, the next administration will be looking for payback. Waterboarding and loud music might be considered torture for school children but certainly not for hardend terrorists.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  128. grumpy in michigan

    no and they never should have to. i don't like cheney or any other person involved with this mess but let it go! our enemy will behead us .

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  129. William Engdahl, NJ

    Of course they won't, jack, that would be justice, something this country seems to have run out of lately.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  130. Ed Krepps

    While not a surprise, these allegations are quite disturbing. Who does one trust today? This makes me feel that we are no better than the people that we vilify. These decision makers weren't asleep at the wheel, they're driving the bus over the cliff and the citizens are paying for the ride.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  131. Steve from Pacifica, CA

    Jack, I seriously doubt charges will be brought about them. Americans have become so complacent compared to the rest of the world I doubt most Americans will care enough to do anything about what's been done. They'd rather bury their heads in the sand and not know about it.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  132. Phil

    Sure, why not. Then when the Republicans are elected back into the Whitehouse, maybe legislation can be passed outlawing the Democratic Party altogether. This is a witch hunt, is ridiculous, and is way out of line. We are one country and need to take care of ourselves. Turning in on ourselves is a signal of the beginning of the end. Every U.S. citizen should be outraged by the current administrations actions, including a lack of honoring campaign promises. This administration smacks of anti-Americanism. Maybe it's time for the country to split into two; Republican's can take one half and Democrat's the other?? (long sigh)

    April 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  133. linda in Columbus, Indiana

    They had better be brought to justice or our laws won't be worth "squat". The majority of American people expect no less.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  134. Batman

    I doubt it, and realistically I hope we don't end up sending to many former big wigs to prison or anything. I'm a fairly liberal guy, an Obama supporter and very anti-torture person, but I don't think a whole lot of good will come from prosecutions.

    I think that under the circumstances following 9/11 it's easy to see how some cowards would resort to this type of thing, and I think that history will judge their cowardice strongly enough that a prison sentence won't be necessary.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  135. Christian

    also – Bud – I agree completely. Were all alive, safe and well. What we do from here forward is in our control, and we are fortunate enough to still have life and liberty to make the decision for ourselves.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  136. Rob

    I have a better question. Will some people ever realize the number of American lives that have been saved because of these enhanced interrogation techniques?

    I'll even answer my own question. Some people (including some of the media) don't care because they just want to drag the Bush administration's name through the mud. I hope President Obama will take the same strong and necessary steps to keep American safe like Bush did.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  137. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    As much as I detest the entire Bush clique and would love to see some of them in jail, there will be no prosecution. My liberal friends would cringe but this is the only issue I agreed with that made total sense. I don't give a damn what happened to the planners of 9/11 or those that have killed thousands in Iraq & Afghanistan. If water-boarding saved one life then it was worth it.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  138. Ron Hayden

    I highly doubt anyone will be prosecuted, because this was NOT just Bush administration officials who authorized and oversaw this program, as your question is so bold to point out. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and SEVERAL other high ranking members of the House and Senate were involved with the programs oversight – whether they want to acknowledge it or not. Nobody had a complaint immediately after 9/11 and ensuing months trying to figure out what happened with 3000+ American people died. This was necessary at the time, according to all involved. This is a witch hunt, nothing more.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  139. Kate, Kalamazoo

    We all know they aren't going to prosecute. Bush and Cheney are thugs who thought they could do whatever they wanted, and thus did. The individuals who were involved in this torture policy should be held accountable. Everyone says we haven't had an attack on our soil since 9/11, do we forget that 9/11 happened on Bush's watch!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  140. Bratkov Andrew

    Here's a better question Jack – – Will terrorists ever be prosecuted for what they have done; in the States and around the world?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  141. Marc L- West Nyack,NY

    No, they won't face prosecution, and they shouldn't. Does everybody really think that they approved these interrogation methods because it would be fun? Does anybody even know what torture is? Simulated drowning and actual drowning are very different.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  142. Pauline Kliewer

    Jack, I do not expect any Bush officials to be prosecuted for any of their crimes. However, I would really like to see how long it would take to waterboard Cheney until he told the truth.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  143. David from Granville, OHIO

    Jack we do like to make things complicated. This one is child-like simple.

    Waterboarding is torture. The international community says so, John McCain says so, all sensible Americans say so.

    Torture is defined as a war crime. All war crimes are required to be prosecuted.

    Either we prosecute or other countries will. As you know Spain has already tried.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  144. Bill, Carlisle, PA

    Of course not Jack. No prosecutor in their right mind would want to touch this one. They would be laughed silly out of the court room.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  145. Shaun

    More then likely if anyone is prosecuted they will pick one "scapegoat" and then walk away claiming victory! Sad but true, doubtful anyone who was actually responsible will see a day in court.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  146. Rick McArthur

    Jack, If we are going to prosecute Bush officials, let's throw politics aside and prosecute others as well. That would include Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and many other Democrats as well as Rupublicans (Harry and San Fran Nan knew about the so called "torture" of animals that have killed Americans). Actually the whole idea is terrible. The Obama administration had endangered Americans everywhere. It's amazing to me that liberals will put the so called "rights" of terrorists (sorry, human caused disasters) before the security of my family, my friends, and my fellow Americans. Democrats will pay for this in the future dearly. The next terrorist attack (sorry again, I mean man caused disatser) will be all on the Democrats.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  147. Kevin (Hawaii)


    This matter can be a bit involved and I am sure when the ball of twine is unraveled it will only get messier. We as a country have "signed on" to the Geneva convention standards and have blown the whistle loud and clear many times on countries that have used different types of torture towards POW's. So now, are we going to turn ourselves in?

    Isnt it interesting how we are now calling this practice "Enhanced interrogation" but if the shoe was on the other foot.....(might be called a much more literal name). War isnt fair, never has been, never will be.

    Some may get more than a slap on the hand when this is all done..stay tuned.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  148. Erik S.

    What you seem to be glossing over is that once Obama opens this can of worms, you can bet the Democrats who had knowledge of this will be going down as well, the main one being Pelosi. ANYONE who had knowledge of this and did nothing should be prosecuted, and that means anyone in Congress as well. We'll see how far this goes when the people who wanted to stack blame becomes targets themselves.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  149. Terri Brunson

    No, Jack, sadly they will never be prosecuted. I just don't get this "it will be a distraction" excuse coming from Pres. Obama, and I really don't get "the end justifies the means" stuff we're hearing from Cheney et al. The last straw for me was when I heard a republican lawmaker saying that only banana republics need truth commissions. Pres. Bush turned the US into a banana republic when he decided to subvert the Constitution by torturing prisoners. That's behavior befitting South American dictators, not U.S. Presidents.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  150. Judy

    I hope not. We cannot afford another Watergate right now. We all know Cheney is guilty. By the way, can anyone shut him up? Eight years is enough. I don't really care about his free speech.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  151. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,lets hope not,we shouldn't be punishing people for keeping us safe.The methods worked that is all that matters!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  152. Jon Stafford

    No. As a nation, we've lost our soul and I'm afraid we'll never get it back.

    Wilmington Nc.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  153. Rick in Brookfield, CT

    Hopefully not. Once we start prosecuting prior administration officials for policy differences, it will open up a whole new can of worms. And you can bet the next administration, especially if the Republicans win, would be quick to exact retribution – and the blame would be squarely on Obama. This doesn't sound like change we can believe in.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  154. ray munholland


    nothing would be dearer to my heart to have such folks held accountable. as a lawyer, i have been particularly mortified for my country to see lawyers attempt to provide "legal cover" for these heinous acts. it has been heartening to see information come out this week that the timeline for these legal opinions post-date the administration's decision to implement torture.

    in addition, i think all officials who authorized and/or substantively participated in the development of this interrogation policy can, and should, be prosecuted. as mr. holder said, let's investigate the evidence and let the chips fall where they may. no one is above the law.

    ray munholland
    albuquerque, nm

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  155. Jack P

    Mr. Webber – And another nearly 5,000 American soldiers lost their lives fighting a war based on lies, while those who plotted 9/11 found hiding places in Afghanistan.
    And you say that Bush kept us safe? What a joke. We are hated more then ever, and now that the world knows, and they should know, that we are hypocrites because we've denounced torture while committing it ourselves.
    And guess what else? Think about what might happen to captured US soldiers in the future? Have you heard of any of them being tortured in recent history? Not to my knowledge, but since you think it's ok for us to do it, we may be getting a taste of our own medicine in the future.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  156. Ralph Nelson

    No. The Republicans well raise a big stink, call their old shirts out onto the streets to protest and wave Nazi Socialist signs, block any effort, and the President won't push it so as to not alienate the right and center. Remember, Nixon got impeached for robbing hookers names from the Watergate, and Clinton got impeached for lying about sex. Bush and Cheney only broke domestic and international law and trashed the Constitution. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  157. Doug

    Cheney should be behind bars, no question, but the last thing this young administration needs is another congressional witchhunt like those during the Clinton years. Torture-gate would make Whitewater and Watergate look like non-partisan picnics.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  158. Keith

    For the 10,000th time, KSH was captured in 2003, the LA Tower plot was uncovered in 2002. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE that the use of torture prevented this. Look at a calendar!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  159. Bill....Michigan

    Jack......I certaily hope so.
    It's the only way that the U.S. will regain its moral and ethical standing in the world. We must show that we are not a lawless and dictatorial country as Bush, Cheney and others were trying to lead us. We are a moral and principled people.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  160. Loren

    No. My question would be why? This seems like a classic case of shooting yourself in the foot. As the Taliban likes to point out, Americans are weak and don't have the resolve to defend against the Islamic Jihad. There is at best a debate as to whether these actions consituted torture under the Geneva Convention. President Obama ran on the platform of change and he has changed the policy. But one other change that he promised was an end to the intensely partisan political actions that characterized the Democratic and Republican fighting of the nineties and since. While Nancy Pelosi seems all gung ho for it, why not just let this dog lie and say that we need to move on, the policy has changed and while we disagree with what was done, it was done under color of law and reflects the time in which it occurred. Let's move on.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  161. Mark Ellis

    "enhanced interrogation techniques" are now the politically correct way of saying TORTURE. We should not feel outrage if our own troops are waterboarded if captured.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  162. William Munyon

    I sure hope not. I can't believe this is even being considered. Does noone remember how we all felt after 9/11? This country was under attack. If you took a poll at the end of 2001 I would imagine 99% of the country would approve of these means of extracting information from the enemy. I guess I'm getting old - this country's gotten too politically correct for me!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  163. Geoff

    It would be a mistake for one administration to prosecute the officials of its predecessor for any but the most unambiguous of offenses. We take such things as the peaceful and orderly transfer of power, regular and reasonably honest elections, and a lack of political violence for granted in America. However, those blessings depend on the confidence of officials that it is safe for them to relinquish power. Some Bush administration offenses may have been so egregious as to demand prosecution–but we should be very cautious. We have much more to lose than to gain.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  164. David

    As a tax paying law abiding citizen of the U.S. With so much going on today in the world ranging from economic to terrorist & pirates. I think I speak for most americans when I say we have much more major issues than worrying about the harsh treatment of "Terrorist". When are people going to wake up we are a nation at war that wasn't started by us and in War bad things happen its neither right nor wrong its "WAR".

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  165. Marvin

    Jack, only if the Democrats impose their majority will but I don't think President Obama wants to be the lead prosecutor since that will impact his popularity poll numbers that's why he's delegated this movement to his attorney general and the Congress. The American public is not interested in prosecuting the Bush administration but it will make for good television ratings and sell New York Times newspapers so they won't fold. Bottom line is that these enhanced interrorgations against an enemy who does not follow the Geneva Conventions laws of war by not wearing a uniform and are suicidal saved innocent American lives. If we were at war with an enemy who followed the laws of war, then as POWs, they would have been treatment humanely in my opinion. Our nation's survival is at risk if another terrorist attack occurs and destroys a major city, killing thousands of Americans and justifying any means necessary, including enhanced interrorgations to prevent further attacks from an enemy who are radical and suicidal.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  166. Darby Lezhava

    I certainly hope so. We hung torturers in other countries, but when people torture in our own country we say, oh they were just trying to protect us.
    It doesn't add up.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  167. Dan Preucil

    Jack, at the very least, they should be investigated. As a rule of law, waterboarding is illegal, end of story, period. It is torture. And we did it. Alot. Who, why, and by whose authority needs to be addressed. Is it convenient? No. Will it be a distraction? Yes. Will it slow the President's agenda? Probably. But if we are to take the position in this world as a free nation governed by the rule of law and then have the – dare I say it – audacity to ignore this situation for convenience sake, our credibility, already on life support, goes out the window.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  168. Kiwi

    No. The lying, torturing murderers will get away scot free, because in the United States, you can buy all the justice you need with your blood-stained billions from your illegal war for oil. What a travesty.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  169. Thomas

    Of course not. Politics is sickening. No wonder Congress' rating is at its lowest ever.

    These are ruthless individuals who killed thousands of people and wouldn't hesitate to kill these Democrats who are now asking for these investigations. We were a nation under threat. We waterboarded them. If the current administration doesn't feel we need to do so anymore... then let's abondon the policy and move on.

    The Obama adminstration will pay dearly politically for this. So will the Democrats.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  170. Bob in Florida

    I don't condone torture but I also don't condone attacks on the U.S. It would appear that the torture may have gotten information that was used to prevent just that. There is also the precedent that would be set in any prosecution. Remember Janet Reno was never prosecuted over Waco and no one was prosecuted over Ruby Ridge. To start prosecuting people now for what they believed was right at the time could lead to qualified people shunning government service for fear that they could be jailed by the next administration. This is especially true if Rice, Cheney or someone of that level were prosecuted. Just stop the torture now (if in fact water boarding really fits the torture moniker) and move forward.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  171. earnieeveridge@hotmail.com

    probably not I think some Democrats don't realy want the truth to hit the fan because. They didn't stop it .

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  172. Jonathan Zerulik

    No. This is a political decision, not a legal one. I do look down on the men and woman who hid behind these memos when they ordered or conducted torture. I find the decision to approve torture to be morally reprehensible. I have yet to see any clear statement to show that torture ever produced useful information. It cost us our integrity as a nation. When we are willing to make someone suffer because it makes us feel less afraid we have done a shameful thing, and we are all diminished by it. Rationale thought, not fear, should be the basis of policy making, and I see no rationality here.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  173. Ray Stein Willoughby, OH

    Are you on kidding, Jack? When was the last time a top level Government official was prosecuted for criminal action? They see their role as private advisors.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  174. agray

    In my opinion this is ridiculous. At the time everyone (most people) can agree that when the attcks on 9/11 happened that everyone (most people) felt that we should do whatever we can to get the information necessary to prevent further terrorist attacks on American soil. To now go ahead and try to prosecute a past administration for "torturing" these terrorists is obsurd. We need to look forward and worry about more important issues right now like Afghanistan, our declining economy, and wasteless spending.

    LET IT GO!!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  175. JimBrau

    I don't think it will ever happen here (prosecution); this will be just another one of those "can't we all just get along" things reserved for the powerful. However, I wouldn't be planning any out of country trips if I were any of the individuals involved.....

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  176. U.S. Citizen

    Probably not but they should be. The DOJ has enough evidence to indict the authors of the memos, the CIA operatives and President Bush. I'm sympathetic to the "just following orders" defense but it is not valid. It was rejected numerous times, including Nuremberg and My Lai trials. The operatives can raise it and perhaps it will be a mitigating factor in the sentence, if any. Also, the Nazis had legal opinions justifying their crimes. The ensuing criminal investigation can determine which techniques broke the law and who else in the administration and Congress, including Dems and Republicans, should be prosecuted.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  177. Susan - TX


    If we don't procecute those who signed off the torturing at least these four-gangsters should be tortured in the public with all the techniques they signed off...this would be good enough for me.


    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  178. Bob

    Until the slime that ran this nation into the ground are brought to accountability, we cannot again be a great nation. The republican party is the party of despicable immorality and treason. The damage they have done is incalcualble. Trillions of dollars flushed down the toilet of Iraq – an unnecessary war launched on pretext. Hundreds of thousands of people killed. Our economy brought to ruin. Our moral standards compromised and essentially destroyed. The republican party masquerades as patriotic, moral, small-government, etc., but they stand entirely for the opposite. These crimes cannot be swept under the rug, just as the Nazis should not have been allowed to get away with their crimes of the 1930's and 1940's. Some were hung – but a great many escaped without penalty. The uneducated, stupid, and immoral people that comprise the consituency of republican party must have these crimes rubbed in their faces – because, otherwise, we'll see them repeated over and over again. It's time for justice.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  179. Ed

    Jack, my feelings are akin to those regarding Capital Punishment, when a horrible crime is committed I say "hang the so and so's", but eventually my perhaps more rationale side kicks in. Reid and the president are right, our many crises demand we move on.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  180. Gary

    No they won't be and they should not be. There was no reason for the interrogation techniques other than to protect Americans from harm.

    I have never heard anyone state which law was broken.

    This prosecution would be the end of any possibility President Obama has of providing meaningful leadership for this country

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  181. Robert Hamilton

    It's an unpopular thought, Jack, but I'd like to see President Obama issue a standing pardon for all the high-up officials of the Bush Administration. We don't need the distraction and nothing effective would come of a long, costly prosecution that could go all the way to the Supreme Court. It's just airing dirty paundry and I for one am sick and tired of hearing about George Bush and his administration. Let i go will you?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  182. Robin

    Jack, unfortunately I don't believe anyone will ever be prosecuted or investigated. Its a sad day for our democracy when we will investigate and attempt to prosecute consensual sex between a former President and an Intern...but we won't prosecute willful violation of laws in regards to torture of human beings. We will throw an athlete in prison for cruelty to animals but will not put a politician in prison for cruelty to human beings. These politicians are basically endorsing the tactics of the KKK, Nazis and KGB as a policy our great nation should continue to use against human beings... as if our great judicial system, rule of law and approved interrogation methods couldn't get the information we need to protect our citizens. Shame on everyone who endorses torture which by default indicates they do not trust our constitutional processes and rule of law.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  183. Brent

    Why do we hold the Germans & Japanese to a higher standard than we hold our own officials?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  184. carlos marrero

    We should hold ourselves to the same rules that we hold the international community. Those that held us above international law should be held accountable.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  185. eric


    Seems to me that any smoking gun has been long since shredded, burned or otherwise confiscated.

    Instead of prosecutions, why not water board Cheney and see what he says.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  186. Jacob Dagani

    There is actually no legal basis to prosecute anyone over their success in preventing terrorist attacks on our country.
    Pelosy and her lackeys knew very well what was going on and approved everything.
    If we are to prosecute each previous administration over a policy or technique the following administration dislikes, we may perhaps arrest and prosecute Carter over his administration's incompetence and go on from there.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  187. Jose

    torture just shows the weakeness of the Bush administration to get proved the Facts they need to be thrusted by the EEUU people. But in somewhere place use to say : today for me tomorrov for you....so it will never be prosecute anycase.....

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  188. Mike, from Florida

    I think the actions of Dick Cheney and his gang of thugs were reprehensible, but I don't think that the Obama administration is correct in pursuing prosecution. Let's just leave the wrongs of the past where they belong, in the past. The world knows that Obama is not Bush, so we don't need to see Bush-style crusades from Washington. Just let it go.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  189. karl bell

    here we go again anything but what needs to be done for the american people. those people are at war with this country what ever it takes to get info is right and no one should ever be prosecuted for protecting this country. the ones that need prosecuting are pelosi and her cronies that continue to sell this country out.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  190. awilliams4

    Obama voter and fan here.

    The interrogation techniques are one of the few things I always supported the Bush Administration on.

    When I hear about people complaining that it was torture, I think to myself that I would like to ask them if there were two punks or terrorists for the sake of this argument that had just taken their child and they were getting ready to rape and kill them and that one of the two were caught and knew where the other punk and child were. I would ask them, would you mind if we waterboarded this dude to find out where your child is?

    I suspect the answer would always be 'do whatever it takes'!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  191. Shaun

    I would assume that within the country politicians will want to cover this up. Especially, because most can take some heat for lack of congressional oversight. The average American attention span is so short that this would be easy.

    However, foreign influence may make trial prosecutions necessary.

    I hope fair and speedy trials are held for the top officials. They should be thankful we don't just drop them in straight jackets and parachutes over the Hague court. That would be more humane than their attempt to use fear for diabolical ends including domestic spying, stringless bail-outs, torture, and the dissection of our legal system.


    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  192. Jerry

    Uhhhh.... excuse me, Mr. Webber. The "imminent attack" in the L.A. area you are touting is a fantasy, and besides, that was SIX MONTHS BEFORE THE WATERBOARDING BEGAN.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  193. Kerry Diehl

    I really don’t care! (I’m sure you will cut this pc wrong answer out)

    Let us first look at and COMPARE the tortures committed by Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists done to our troops and others. All we ever heard on media reports about the found victims captured by the enemy was “The bodies showed signs of torture”. Signs of torture meaning what???? Beheading, fingers cut off, finger nails pulled out, sexual mutilation …let’s compare apples to apples for a change.

    What happened to some REALLY bad guys can be equated to college hazing by our side AND the results certainly have saved many more lives here at home. I’m sure your listeners can tell some really horrific fraternity rituals if asked.

    Look at it this way, IF your child is in jeopardy of being killed or tortured by the enemy, what are YOU willing to do to save YOUR CHILD?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  194. Tito

    Absolutely not I am appalled that we are even considering this! After all we are not beheading these people. Should we bribe them so they have a financial gain after so much pain and destruction inflicted upon this nation. Give me a break!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  195. Rob

    Of course they should be prosecuted. As another network's newscaster proclaimed "This is America, WE DO NOT TORTURE!"

    If they tortured, they are criminals. Criminals go to jail after a trial before their peers.

    It shouldn't matter how much power they have or what their position is in Government, if you're wrong and you committed a crime, you don't get to use a "get out of jail" free card just because of your job title.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  196. Rurik, St. Paul, MN

    Call me naive, but I still believe in the the old American ways of justice and law. Just because cretins like Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld et al. chose to deliberately maim our laws doesn't mean that they're exempt. I'm not sure if we'll actually see them prosecuted for their vile misdeeds, but I sincerely hope that they see jail time for dragging America through the mud and bringing national disgrace on us all.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  197. tom farrelly Seattle, WA

    The answer depends on what day you're asking the question and what strikes Obama as politically most helpful that day. Right now it seems the answer is "No" but Obama has tossed this tar baby to his strictly non-political Attorney General, and he, Obama, has better things to do than get involved, what with so many Third World dictators to suck up to.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  198. Aaron in Provo, UT

    While I do agree that Waterboarding is torture, I think the furor of many attacking the last administration sounds like cries for revenge. There is still a lot of anger about the 2000 election, Clinton's impeachment, and Kerry's failure. There is anger and long-memory that will not forgive. This type of anger over past political loses and slights will only make for a more divided nation. I am proud that the current administration took the high-road by banning torture. Information gained from torture is information we as a nation do not need. However, we need unity now. Partisanship will never end, but partisan hate must disappear. Nothing will be gained from persecuting the Bush administration, as nothing was gained from the Clinton impeachment. Nothing will be gained except a deeper partisan divide.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  199. Jeff

    Why do so many believe these individuals should be afforded the protection of the Geneva Convention? They represent no government, no armed force, and the religion they portend to defend rebukes them.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  200. Louise P. Ledoux

    I am writing because I am outraged at President Obama and the Democrats for even entertaining the thought of prosecution for Bush era leaders on the Guantanamo Prisoner Interrogations. We are in a war. This political correctness crap is getting old and killing us. This kind of in-fighting and blame will only hurt our country and our foreign relations at this critical time.

    If the interrogation of convicted terrorist prisoners – no matter how- saves even one military or civilian life, it is worth it!

    Our newly elected leaders need to take care of the problems and business of getting our economy back on it's feet and focusing on the War on Terror, not mud-slinging and blaming the past actions of a totally different time and situation.

    Thank you.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  201. john strand

    Nobody of any significant level will ever be prosecuted for the torture and sick practices of the Bush administration. What we have is two wings of the same bird of prey and both Democrats and Republicans take their marching orders from the Council of Foreign Relations.
    It's very obvious that the main priority of the new administration is to protect the rear end of the last criminal administration.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  202. Abigail Hoffman

    Torturing is UNAMERICAN in every way. Whether or not it gets us information doesn't mean squat. If we torture and mistreat our prisoners, than that just gives our enemies more justification in mistreating and torturing our soldiers. It's a pretty simple concept, and it's more than a little frightening how many republicans can't manage to grasp the concept. Torturing is completely out of step with American values, values that so many of our young Americans have died for over the years. We MUST prosecute anyone involved in defaming America and our sacred principles.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  203. Guy

    So Bud, you're saying you'd be ok with being tortured by the government just because they thought you knew something about a possible attack? What if you were innocent? Then would them torturing you look kind of like...Oh I dunno, torture? But its cool, right?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  204. Steve Talmadge

    Who knows? I personally doubt that any prosecutions will result given the context in which this occured. It will, however, further tarnish the image of the Bush administration and provide political capital for the Dems. Moral superiority will have morphed into hypocrisy at is always tends to do.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  205. Peter

    "The fact that President Bush’s administration kept us safe after 9/11 is good enough for me — what’s your problem?"

    . . . and he was where BEFORE 9/11?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  206. Joe


    They will neverbe prosecuted. We can't exactly admit to the world we were wrong. How about we just make the previous administration get in their Death Star and go to a galaxy far far away.


    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  207. jp,michigan

    No one went after the men and women who be-headed American citizens and soldiers. If they did why haven't we heard about them. We, the American people have to fight fire with fire. Water boarding is a walk in the park compared to be-heading!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  208. B Leat

    They are being prosecuted every day on the internets, not just Bush administration thugs but all the known fascisti, which spans party lines, and more being rooted out into the open all the time. Broadcast media transmits only a fraction of the data. So yes.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  209. Sean

    I think this issue is too political to ever actually turn into a legal battle. If there is evidence that Bush administration officials violated U.S. law, then they should be subject to the same judicial system that an ordinary citizen would face, meaning a fair trial with the presumption of innocence. Releasing pictures will likely inflame the conscience of people, but just because something is offensive does not make it illegal. Maybe the government should look at the success of the South African Truth Commissions that were created after Apartheid.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  210. Charlie

    If they start an investigation on torture, the torture will be on us in having to listen to the endless talk.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  211. Eric

    Should not be prosecuted or even brought to our attention. The ACLU should be abolished. They serve no purpose.

    Course, neither does this current administration.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  212. mike from ohio

    Jack, hopefully these men and women who kept our country safe for the last eight years will never be prosecuted, but I’m afraid there will be an awful lot of pressure from the left to do so. President Obama is right, he needs to focus on the economy and foreign affairs. Pelosi, Reid and many other Democrats certainly knew and condoned harsh interrogation of terrorists during one of the most frightening times in our country’s history. It’s unconscionable that they now deny that they were informed. Sad.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  213. Marc

    Hoping that someone from the Bush admin. gets prosecuted is not the issue or should be the glee of others. It is that light must be introduced to a very dark chapter in our democracy. We must know what was done in our name and decide what to do from there. If the law was broken, then measures must be taken to right the wrongs. No one, but no one is above the law and that must be re affirmed. If not, then the Constitution is just a piece of paper.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  214. Spike in Conshohocken, PA

    Yes. After this week's waffling executive decisions, there is no turning back. If there's any good news, it is that during the course of the painful national discussion that is just getting started, the defense may force declassification of some documents that show how close we got to additional mass murder, post 911, but never knew, because ‘enhanced interrogation’ worked as it was intended.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  215. Dennis, Hampton VA

    They are already guilty as discredited and incompetent war criminals in the world court of public opinion...prosecution through the legal system or other admonishment process would just be icing on the cake. Let's just do this quickly and fairly while maintaining our focus on the pressing issues of getting our nation back on track after the last eight disastrous years.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  216. Tyrone

    They will not be prosecuted, just like the US was not prosecuted for the African slave trade

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  217. Paul J

    Mr. Webber the lie that enhanced interrogation techniques(AKA torture) saved anyone in LA is false. Those techniques weren't being used until months after those supposed attacks were supposedly thwarted.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  218. Farrell Sacramento, CA

    The prosecution of these and other Bush era officials is essential if our country is to remove the stain they have left on our country, on our constitution and on our reputation around the world. This must happen if we ever hope to hold our heads high once more and proclaim to the world that yes we are proud to be Americans.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  219. Matt in Minneapolis

    They will, but they shouldn't. If your boss tells you we'd like to do this is there a legal justification? Aren't you going to search for the way to do it? While I think only the waterboarding was torture, I don't know how we can justify telling someone that you didn't take part in the act and you didn't order it, but you found a legal grey area so you're going to jail.

    President Obama will regret bringing this up for the entirety of his administration.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  220. Charles Dennis

    The biggest problem and oversight in this whole thing is that we are trying to see and judge the terrorists as if they hold the same value on human life as we (Americans) do. How quickly have we forgotten how these people so deliberately and callously flew into buildings, knowing the number of human lives that would be taken. What do you think the outcry would be like if these 'techniques' had not been used and another attack had happened? Also, and I 'have' to ask this...do you think we would see and hear any of this if Clinton had been president? I'll go ahead and provide the answer...'NO'!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  221. DP

    I hope so.....!

    It is unambiguous that waterboarding is torture. These officials will hide behind a legal memorandum which, in my opinion, was poorly crafted on purpose. The memo's author knew he was writing a BS "fig leaf" memo to cover people. At his level, he should have known, absolutely, the history and unambiguous nature of the US's position on waterboarding, that it is illegal, but he was doing his duty to give false cover to officials who never, in their wildest imaginations, expected this memo to see the light of day.....

    All of them need to be prosecuted....

    Additionally, all the lower ranking officials who were prosecuted need to be released since they too did the bidding of the higher ups....! They are scapegoats. You want to stop this crap of hiding behind stupid, badly reasoned opinions, make them accountable. Legal opinions will start to become much better and more accurate when their is accountability. I am sure Judge Bybee would not tolerate crappy reasoning when someone who is before him as a defendant tried to give a dumb justification for why they stole a car, or struck someone. He enabled, through his opinion, so he should take the consequences of that enablement.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  222. Greg H.

    None of the Bush Administration will ever be held accountable for anything that they did in their entire 8 year reign of fear, war-mongering, and 'terror'. Dick Cheney will continue to spew his ignorant rhetoric , just as Rush Limbaugh will. The Bush Administration will get away with everything that they did, precisely the same way they got away with all of it while they were in office.

    Americans all sat by blindly as we suffered through 9/11, were taken to war under false pretenses and outright lies, tortured POW's, and had our civil liberties stripped away from us one by one by our own government, under the guise of 'National Security'.

    The Bush Administration were not ever held accountable while they were in office for anything that they did, nor will they ever be.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  223. Sylvain

    I doubt it, Americans would rather spend their tax dollars investigating if the President is sleeping with an intern or if Joe the Baseball player was using steroids 3 years ago. It's pretty pathetic actually...

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |

    You liberals make me sick....waterboarding doensnt hold a candle to cutting our guys heads off would you say...these guys are animals that dont deserve to live!!!!!!!!!I have an idea...why dont you cry baby liberals take them in your home...Im sure you will sleep well at night.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  225. Dan Nelson

    I don't think they should be prosecuted Jack. These prisoners are not regular army combatants they are religious fanatics that kill innocent people and would and has cut off peoples heads that they took as prisoners. They also want the destruction of the western way of life and will do anything and everything to make it happen! To use scare tactics is far better than they deserve but if you want to obey the law then they should get a speedy trial and convicted of crimes against humanity and put to death merciful with an IV! Then they will get God's judgment and burn in hell forever!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  226. KeithC

    If the Bush officials who authorized & oversaw the interrogation are in anyway punished, I believe this country will be so weakened by the political fallout that BHO will not be able to accomplish anything for the rest of his term(if he himself is not impeached for high treason). If one life was saved thanks to these methods, I feel they were warranted. If it was up to BHO & Pelosi, we would have politely asked these prisoners for any information and released them so as not to violate their rights as terrorists. This show of weakness is absolutely embarrassing and will backfire on us as a nation. This should have been handled within the closed doors and not in the court of public opinion!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  227. glenn , southeast-texas

    i really don't care about the " officials " , i'd like to see the guys at the top take the hit like the troops and this economy experienced . we know the light-weights we elect aren't able to walk and chew gum at the same time . we know they're too busy dealing the money around to their chump buddies--so , expect nothing . Glenn-Southeast , Texas

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  228. Kathy Andes from Cayman Islands

    There is no excuse for torture, ever. Waterboarding, etc. ARE torture. Those who made the decision to use these inhuman techniques should answer to the law just like any other citizen of the United States of America.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  229. RIfey

    We Americans aren't above the law. Cheney thinks he is...but he isn't. I think the Bush administration did so many things to hurt our country that this doesn't surprise me at all. I'm sure the current administration will decide what is right for our country on this issue.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  230. Pat, Pa.

    I'd love to think YES, however, I'm afraid that the answer is NO. They absolutely deserve it.
    I'm also sick and tired of hearing about how the Bush Administration kept us safe for 7 years because it is not true. That is just the scare tactics that they used to make the gullible believe it is true.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  231. Neal from Pudget Sound

    Nothing wrong with torture.
    How else would the Spanish Inquisition been able to find out witches, burn them and make medieval Europe a safer place to live and prosper.
    The estimated 100 000 women killed were well worth the price.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  232. Pat S

    By the way, in response to other comments, this torture only made us less safe. Don't you think maybe Bush should have read the memo titled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States", instead of making up excuses to attack Iraq?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  233. Todd from Wayne, NJ

    Enough already! The media-fed bloodlust for the Bush administration is getting tiresome. The sheep were told for 8 years to hate this Republican president/administration and. . .what a shock. . .they did. The false sense of outrage and indignation is no longer humorous, it's just boring. Most of the "public" have no idea what has to be done to keep this country safe. These people who feign disgust at these interrogation techniques or the Abu Ghraib "torture" (more like hazing if you ask me) need to be sent into a war zone for a few weeks – see if they come back with a different attitude.
    Oh, and to answer your question – no, no one will ever be prosecuted for this. And they shouldn't be.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  234. Abraham Mathew

    These war criminals should have been taken from the white house directly to the Hague for war crimes against HUMANITY. PERIOD. What a waste of time and money!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  235. Mike

    Of course they should not be prosecuted. To all you craving prosecutions, I ask you, would you be okay with someone being waterboarded if it meant saving your child's life? Or your spouse? These programs worked, the facts speak for themselves, and all this debate is doing is weakening our country each and every day.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  236. David, Tampa, Fl

    My question is this, if these top Bush people knew and approved of the use of enhanced interrogation techniques and they briefed congress, during which time the Republicans controled both the House and Senate, with oversight responsibilities aren't Congressmen and Senators from both parties just as culpable and deserve to be investigated and held to the same standard as the administrations lackies? Hopefully some investigation will be done, some conclusions drawn and we can move on with the pressing issues confronting this country instead of engaging in yet another round of expensive but useless headhunting.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  237. Victoria Abernathy

    Prosecution will depend on truth telling and evidence not manufactured by officials as it was in many cases during the Bush years. My hope is that whatever happens, we never have to bow down
    to a "christian" agenda again while its practitioners steal, lie, and give unfair advantage to their rich counterparts, while the rest of the
    world suffers just because 33% of America is believing the lies of the

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  238. Steve C.

    Hey Bud Wessman,

    The problem is with people like you who advocate torture which is immoral and contrary to the rule of law and American values. Under Bush, you and those like you became them.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  239. Phil

    To those of you who say, “Prosecute them and send them to prison”. I say, would rather have the interrogations or would you rather have had more planes slamming into buildings? Like it or not, it did save lives.

    What’s wrong with this whole this is that Obama and his cronies on the hill are playing politics with it. They are playing politics with the lives of every American. I hope this blows up in their face and they all get thrown out as soon as possible.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  240. Pete from New York City

    Jack, if Democrats like the idea of remaining in the White House in 2012, they're going to do something about this national disgrace. Frankly, I'm greatly saddened that the President feels that a special inquiry will take away time and energy from his policy agenda. Taking the necessary steps to make sure no one will even think about torturing another human being again is energy well spent and an agenda that the American people believe in.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  241. Pam in Oregon

    It is imperative that the people who authorized enhanced torture methods be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. The law is the law and illegal tweaking of the law relative to torture is a criminal act. If people who have the power to alter the definition of the law and allow horrific acts of torture, then they are participating in the torture itself. Not only has this shamed us as Americans, but it has affected our international relations in an extremely negative way. It also opens the door for the any adversaries to perform the same methods on our citizens.

    Investigate now and get it done - Pam in Oregon

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  242. Cindy

    I can not believe that people want to see people in the Bush administration punished for protecting our country. Maybe people should watch the tapes of the reporter that had his head cut off. Come on stop showing your ignorance. The waterbording was not the same as the Japanese and Viet Namise did. Do you honestly think that those countries had a doctor stand by to assist if needed. Maybe when the Talibon take over, you will then understand what torture truly is.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  243. John, Minneapolis MN

    While I do think that some people should be; I doubt anyone will be; too many people are responsible for what happened. If anyone gets prosecuted it will be a lower level scapegoat to quell the cries for justice. True justice, however, will not be found in a story as sad as this.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  244. Betty Blue

    No, they will not be prosecuted because it is a lose-lose situation for the former admin, the Obama admin, and all of us in general. The leaders on the hill, the sensible ones at least, know this and won't take us down that disastrous path.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  245. Hippy Mike

    If there is anything that is really called democracy these individual's need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All of them. From Cheney down the line and Bush should be investigated for being so stupid that he just didn't get what was going on. I believe that we will see investigations that will tie the hands of the Attorney General so that he will not have a choice but prosecute. The last eight years almost destroyed this country and part of that breakdown was the lies and corruption that came from the Bush administration and his band of liars, thieves and murderers.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  246. Chris

    Careful what you wish for – if there are prosecutions, people like Pelosi will be in as much trouble as the Bush Administration considering she and other Dems were shown the techniques (back in 2002) that may be used against high value detainees and had no problem with them.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  247. Steven Vermaas

    This investigation is likely to take on a life of its own. Who knows where all of this will go. The Republicans were in power and need to bear a substantial amount of responsibility, but it appears many Democrats were complicit as well. Let the sun shine in!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  248. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    I have been an avid Obama supporter, but if he thinks that this will just go away and that that would be OK, he better think again; if these criminals are allowed to violate our laws and treaties, if they are not investigated, prosecuted and punished, I wiill NOT vote for him again. Among other things, I find it very offensive that those on the Religious Right who can work themselves into a lather in a nanosecond over a clump of cells (abortion, stem cells) have not been heard from on this issue where hundreds, perhaps thousands of actual, living human beings have been tortured and some have died as a result. Where are they on this grave issue of morality? If this is allowed to stand, we are finished as a country because we will have lost our self respect and the respect of the world.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  249. Jake

    Should and will an independent Commission look into the allegations of torture? YOU BET! The vast majority of us demand it! And that's because legal precedents like our Constitution, the Nuremberg Trials, and the Geneva Convention are emphatic: (1) the end - no matter how noble - does not justify the means, and (2) "orders from on high" cannot justify illegal activity.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  250. Jerry Hopkins

    I don't understand the rush to prosecute. We did not behead any prisoners nor cause them any permanent damage. We extracted information that saved lives and prevented more attacks on the USA.
    This nothing more than a modern day witch hunt, by bleeding heart liberals. You know who they are, the ones that fly their families around on Military Aircraft on the taxpayers tab.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  251. Steve; Denver

    No and nor should they. Everyone was acting within what they believed to be the bounds of the law. To prosecute them retroactively sets a precedent in which officials in current administrations will be too afraid of possible future prosecution to offer their opinions and advice on difficult decisions.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  252. C

    If someone betrayed my trust to the extent the Bush administration has and then gets away with it scot free, I would never trust them or their like (the government) again. Neither will the rest of the world. There's always that element of doubt – no trust.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  253. Kevin from Colorado

    "Nancy Pelosi denies knowing U.S. officials used waterboarding — but GOP operatives are pointing to a 2007 Washington Post story which describes an hour-long 2002 briefing in which Pelosi was told about enhanced interrogation techniques in graphic detail."

    Well you would have to trie a bunch of democrats right along with them.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  254. Poet Kivals

    America has laws and signed international agreements that make torture a crime.

    Did America torture during the Bush administration? It appears so.

    Not prosecuting anyone for these crimes will result in a breakdown of the U.S. Justice system or, at least, the recognition of a 2 tier justice system, one for the law makers and one for the rest. If politician are allowed to break the law then America has lost the morale high ground and any rationale to exert influence in the world.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  255. EJ in metro Houston

    I really doubt if they will Jack and all this is really doing is dividing our nation even more. I can tell President Obama REALLY does not want to deal with this matter and would prefer it just go away...which it won't.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  256. Allen L Wenger

    No, they won't. The saying, "no-one is above the law". Is just something we say, it's not a real policy.

    Mountain Home ID

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  257. Al from SoCal

    No, but if Obama doesn't stop all his ill-fated demagoguery, and America is attacked again, they may be summoned to reactivate and orchestrate a "new expanded & enhanced interrogation’ program"

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  258. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    If we do not, then in ten or twenty years, when the next group of lunatics take over the government, they will be encouraged because nothing happened to this gang of anti-democratic lunkheads, just as Cheney, Rumsfeld et al were encouraged by the somehow sainted Gerald Ford's pardon of the Nixon.

    As for me, if I am ever prosecuted for anything, my defense will be to tell the prosecution to look forward, not backward.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  259. USMC VET - Dallas, TX

    Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, the vast majority of those who add comments to this blog have never been to war, seen one up close, or apparently even talked to anyone who has. These so called "enhanced interrogation" programs are mild forms of intimidation that have been used to even harsher consequences in every war we've ever fought. The "techniques" used by the bad guys make ours look like frat hazings. Stop all this naive rhetoric and let's get the bad guys by whatever means is necessary to save this great country.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  260. DAME-O / TEXAS

    Jack, I surely hope so with all my heart....

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  261. George from Michigan

    No they will not be prosecuted. As bad as that sounds, a solid case may not be possible. As a nation we need to decide once and for all that those methods of obtaining information and confessions are not morally acceptable. That is why we used to adhere to the Geneva Conventions regarding prisoners of war. This should also apply to enemy combatants. Torture is a cover for extracting revenge. And even if you could prosecute the government officials who condoned such atrocities, what are we going to do with our citizens who committed the acts of torture? Pretty scary to think that those people are running around free. Where in your mind can you go to live with such a thing. There is enough hatred and cruelty in the world. We are the United States of America and we need to hold the moral high ground and sell it out because of a few sick politicians.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  262. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    Even if prosecutions are handed down–which I seriously doubt–and Bush officials are found guilty, I have no doubt they'll be pardoned by President Obama since they were given orders from higher up in the chain of command. Anyway the whole premise is mute if there isn’t any specific laws on the books against the methods of interrogation that were used. Even should Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld be found guilty of authorizing or condoning questionable interrogation techniques I believe presidential pardons will follow.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  263. Joe

    I think our country has an obligation to investigate the matter or torture and also that of the manipulation of intelligence leading to the Iraq war. But the democrats won't ever do it. They're too nice and forgiving.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  264. Rick Cairns Swarthmore, Pa

    Only if Obama wants to be more than a one time wonder.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  265. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, if the government can spend millions trying to pin something on President Clinton surely we can spend a fraction of that to investigate what looks like gross abuse of the offices of the president and of the vice-president.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  266. Jeff

    I Have a Dream, I sure as hell hope so, Jack!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  267. Benjamin in D.C.

    This is a democratic republic; our offiicals are elected and represent us, the citizens. When torture is done by our government, we are all complicit. Our hands are soiled. I can't help but feel we should focus on problems of the day, but at some point, those who morally condemned us without our permission should come to justice.

    And to all naysayers who claim torture helps, I can't help but point out that there isn't a single success story out of centuries of history that support the hypothetical that torture ever helped uncover a single plot. Why do people believe this myth? What is this country really about?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  268. Scott

    No, the Bush administration officials who authorized and oversaw the interrogation program will NOT be prosecuted...nor should they.

    There were plenty of people in Congress, on both sides of the isle, fully aware of the methods being used. They did nothing to stop or otherwise curtel these practices and thus, are just as responsible for their use.

    Those Members of Congress have already figured this out. They will make noise for a few months and this issue will slip into history.

    Afterall, protection of our people and our nation come, before the welfare of any individuals pledged to do everything possible to destroy those things we hold so dearly in our hearts.

    ....sometimes you have to be as bad as those trying to hurt you in order to ensure protection.

    Scott B
    Tomball TX

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  269. anil patel

    These four are culprits of the country. They should be prosecuted for their act against humanity. V.P. and Condaliza Rice are the biggest culprits. They have always lied to the country and misled the arrogant president. They created the mess and now trying to defend themselves.We are not liked country in the world. Because of the Bush and his v.p. and Rice. Ashcroft was smart so he left early. Why are we waiting for. Prosecute and move ahead.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  270. Mike Allen

    As Keith Olbermann stated, last night, on MSNBC, the ones who would relent, and talk under extreme torture are the ones who would never have the ability to stand up to it, like the ilk of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh types.
    They would be the first to crack.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  271. Dragonfly

    I do not have a problem with the interrogation techniques if they are used in extreme situations and are done without "official sanction". And there was no reason to give official sanction to something that would have happened anyway, except for some very inept and supposedly privileged republicans wanting to feel macho.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  272. Dick Hildreth

    First, the Bush administration did NOT keep us safe. It was due to their negligence that the attacks on 9/11 occurred in the first place. Second, the 9/11 attacks were NOT the last terrorist attacks against the US – there were the anthrax attacks (still not resolved) and the sniper attacks up and down the east coast. Third, there is no evidence that any information of value came from the torture, and there is evidence that a lot of "bad" information resulted from the torture. Fourth, independent of any arguments concerning the efficacy of torture, torture is illegal under US and international law. Those who justified, ordered or committed torture are criminals. Fifth, if the wingers think the only concern in any action this country takes is to keep them "safe" then, when they sing the Star Spangled Banner, they need to stop after "o'er the land of the free", because they certainly are not residents of "the home of the brave".
    On second thought, maybe they'd better stop before that "free" part, too, since they have been supporting the shredding of the Constitution for so long.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  273. Mike

    A little water on the face never hurt anyone. Kids at the pool get more in their lungs than the TERRORISTS did. They are terrorists not American citizens! Spineless Dems go ahead and try to play nice and appease the world. Ask Neville Chamberlain how that worked out.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  274. John MacDaniel, Huntsville AL

    NO – not because it is needed and necessary – but because the Republicans will hound it to death so that their involvement in this most criminal activity will not see the light of day – or of justice!

    Unfortunately, the hue and cry for a 'commission' will become a greater distraction in the effort to move 'beyond the past' into the future, and the Republicans will have won the war against what was done, and who authorised it. It will be a travesty of justice, but, in the long run, what is more important – getting back on track, or squabbling about who did what?

    April 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  275. Richard W. Schmitt

    I think that the prosecution should go all the way to the top!
    You can't tell me that they and Presedent Bush didn't know what was going on.
    They can condemn others but fail to look at themselves. I feel that they were in it for their own gain!


    April 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  276. Ken in NC

    I think the ONE responsible for the decision to allow “torture” should be prosecuted for that decision and those that conferred with, contributed to and or went along with the decision should be charged with and tried for Conspiring To Torture. Those that had knowledge of torture, be they Democrat or Republican, should be charged as accessories before or after the fact.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  277. Josh

    I would rather seen them prosecuted internationally under international law than domestically. Anything to bypass an inevitable partisan train wreck. Bush has done enough harm, we don't need him to derail the current government too.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  278. Tony from Chicago

    Jack are you kidding? Should they? Yes! Will they? Well you and I both know the Republicans would scream bloody murder! In fact Its the ONLY reason Dick Cheney has decided to come out of the wood work and open his mouth for the first time in 8 years. This way if the accountability stick starts swinging in his direction he can claim he is being punished for speaking out against the "Horrible Obama administration". These people are as predictable as a low budget horror movie.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  279. BillyBob369

    Before we attempt to prosecute those people who were trying to protect from the savagery of our fanatical enemies,let's prosecute those self righteous hypocrates in Congress who put in harm's way in the first place by tying the hands of our security agencies with misguided procedurel handcuffs.God Bless America and President Obama.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  280. Keith Reyes, PhD

    Hi Jack!
    It is obvious that the majority opinion is that perpetrators of torture should be prosecuted. They broke the law. Dick Cheney who seems to have been in the forefront this illegal activity is displaying an unfortunate level of arrogance in defiance of government’s policy. Referring to torture as “enhanced interrogation” does not minimize the crime. The argument of Dick Cheney that there was some “gain” as a result of this crime is extremely naïve. Civilized societies do not subscribe to this nonsense that “the end justifies the means”.
    Keith Reyes, PhD.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  281. Shorty

    I'd rather be waterboarded 200 times than have my head chopped off by a terrorist with a video camera. Let's keep things in perspective. It's not like these detainees were all rainbows and skittles.

    Obama will not prosecute because he's not an idiot. At some point in the next 4 years, he is going to have make some unsavory decisions. He is not going to want his loyal staffers (or himself for that matter) to be retroactively indicted by pissed off partisans.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  282. Art S.

    The country has gone crazy. These officials didn't authorize this actions to put money in their pockets. They did it to protect our families. Everybody thought after 9/11 we were going to be attacked again, so who can blame them from doing everyhing possible to protect us.....by the way it worked.

    Can anyone deny if they took a more "civilized Obama Like" approach and we were attacked, that the Democrats wouldn't be screaming about that too.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  283. kelly

    Torture is going to work on a sunny Tuesday morning in September and then an hour later, hanging from the 90th floor of your office in the World Trade Center, knowing within a matter of minutes you have to decide whether you burn to death or jump. Thats torture. Torture is not water up your nose or not being able to go to sleep. Wake up people.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  284. D. Sangiovanni

    No , they don't, USA has the perception that those guys were protecting the country, so they could kill or do whatever they wanted to do. But should be an investigation about the Irak war and if any crime is found in that fraud, they should go to jail.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  285. Ray

    The hypocrisy of the republican party (elected officials and bush administration) is unbelievable. They went after Clinton with both barrels loaded for an indiscretion with an intern and wanted to impeach him. But when a whole administration colludes to break international law and authorize torture we are suppose to just put it in the past and promise to never do it again. Unfortunately, putting it in the past and promising to never do it again will ensure it will happen again. The only way to ensure it won't happen again is to prosecute those who broke the law. Rice, Aschroft, Cheney, Tenet, and Rumsfield should all end in court (and hopefully jail) for their part in taking American down a path of immoral activity.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  286. Patrick

    I like to see Obama's, Pelosi's, and the other people in the House, Senate, and the rest of DC opinion of these techniques if one of their family was missing and they thought a certain suspect in custody knew where this family member was.

    You can bet that any and all methods to get the suspect to talk will be used. Water boarding, sleep deprivation, and worse would be used to get the info out of that suspect.

    There is a lot of talk when it is not someone you care about involved. Then as soon as someone you care about is involved, all bets are off.

    A lot more of the "do as we say not as we do" attitude from these outspoken people.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  287. Juanita

    Most probhably not. But Bush and Cheney should be tried for war crimes. Not only for what they did to the POWs but mainly for what they did to our own American soldiers, CHECK WALTER REED HOSPITAL

    April 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  288. Faye

    They should be punished. We need to show the world that we really are an honorable nation. I agree it is indeed a bother but these people knew better. People who would condone these things did our country a great harm.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  289. davidson

    The photos look just like the Bush famous wanted deck of cards ,wonder which one will be indicted first.Rummy would be a good start for ordering mass shock and awe bombings on Iraqs civilian population and then torture,mushroom cloud Condi ,mobile chemical weapons plants and uranium Powell.Cheney with the methods from the dark side and last Bush with the amount of deaths is not that significant in this war.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  290. Matt - Phoenix, AZ

    So far, everything I have read clearly says that nothing illegal happened. We better firmly nail down what we think is legal before prosecuting anyone. Americans are firmly believed to be the dumbest people in the world and we keep proving it. Let's try and get one right for a change.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  291. Jeff Crocket

    Yes when all the Senate Democrats and House leaders who wrote the laws or approved the process get their day in court too!!

    Jeff in New Britain, CT

    April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  292. Jay faulconer

    Torture? Water boarding? That's not torture, just because you say it is. John McCain was tortured, pouring water over someone is what you do at the beach.

    Btw, I was at ground zero in NYC six months after 9/11. What I saw was not a simulated hole, it was a hole. They used planes as bombs and killed thousands, we use a pitcher of water. Thank God liberals have Conservatives to protect them, I don't think they would make very good servants to whatever invader ran them over unopposed.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  293. Micheal Willard

    I know the majority of the people hate the Bush administration but, Dick Cheney and several other officials have stated that there are documents stating that the enhanced interrogation techiques did work. I know many of you, like H Clinton will say... i dont believe him....But until these documents are shown to the public or even investigated until its sure that there are no such documents you realy cant decide these people should be prosecuted

    Now to argu the reason for these "methods" i would have to say this. What if your child or a relation of you got captured by some terrorists. Would you decide to interrogate a terrorist who was involved, to see if that person could give you the info you needed to find the person captured or even find the people responsible? I would say yes.

    This is what the Bush admin had to decide, do we (the admin) interrogate these terrorists to see if we can get information to help protect you (the citizens). Or do we just hope that our intel will be good enough to prevent such activities.

    If im not mistaken these is a quote stating that there was more infomation gained from these acts then the CIA, FBI, NSA.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  294. david Armendale, SF, CA

    Those parroting the GOP talking point about the dems being "just as complicit" in authorizing the crime of torture should question their sources.

    The problem is that the GOP led by Bush/Cheney et al have for so long repeated so many numerous lies about torture, war and other national security matters that they have convinced themselves of these flat out falsehoods.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  295. Art Solano

    Hey Jack,

    As always your slant pardon, article, fails to mention that Pelosi and Reid and company were very much aware of the methods of interrogation, including waterboarding in the briefings they got...and as a matter of fact, some Dems felt as if that wasn't harsh enough. Now you and them want to act, in your Bush bashing style, as if they were saints and kept in the dark about these details. Please stop drinking the KoolAid, and don't let the facts get in the way of HONEST reporting.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  296. Tim in Durham NC


    Simply put, those that gave the legal opinions, those that accepted those opinions and authorized that they be put into practice are the ones who hold the vast majority of the blame here.

    The agents and soldiers that carried out these rationalized torture techniques are far less so to blame.

    We are the United States of America, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Those that gave into immoral practices that we have prosecuted for in the past (see WWII and the Japanese) should be subject to those same legal precidents.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  297. John

    Waterboarding is torture, waterboarding is illegal. Waterboarding was done by these people and they violated the law. Those are the facts, not the argument. This is establish already by our legal system. The only argument left is, Does the law matter or not? Are these people above the law?

    For those of you that support ignoring the law, why is this any different than gassing our supspected enemies in a shower or burning them in an oven? None of these are any more ilegal than torture? If you excuse ignoring the rule of law, who sets the standard? What is not allowed if the law is not our source and guide?

    April 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  298. Joe from Indianapolis

    At the time these "enhanced interrogations" took place America was still reeling from the events of September 11. We had very poor intelligence about the terrorists we were fighting and it would take years to develop a network that could provide us with reliable information. Even today, it is not entirely clear what is or is not an acceptable interrogation technique.

    I don't believe that anyone abandoned useful and proven techniques and substituted water-boarding instead. I think they were acting in good faith in an effort to protect this nation from another attack upon its civilian population. And I think that the keyword here is "civilian". I think an attack on our armed forces would have elicited a very different response.

    Finally, I don't think that people who disguise themselves as civilians and then engage in acts of war are entitled to the same protection as uniformed members of armed forces and I don't believe it is a good idea to offer them the same protections.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  299. Jon

    Anyone who says don't linger in the past is an idiot.
    That's how people are able to do horrible things.

    The irony is I'm sure those are the same people who want capital punishment. Isn't holding anyone accountable for their actions simply 'lingering on the past'?
    No, it's called justice. And, that's what this country was founded on. Justice, and equality.

    There's a difference between concentrating on the past and moving forward with legal investigations to make sure that international human rights laws were not broken and if they were then how can we hold those people responsible.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  300. E.B.

    Let's go ahead and waste MORE taxpayer dollars on prosecuting those who believed that dunking a terrorist's head under water for 40 seconds with a physician present, is "torture." Give me a break. These people would cut our heads off without second thought. And while we're at it, why don't we come up with another bailout package to help, say, large litigation firms?

    April 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm |