Republicans will deeply regret the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General. During his confirmation hearings, Holder declared without hesitation, "Waterboarding is torture." This should have terrified Republican senators because it was a sure signal to the left-wing blogosphere that they are going to enjoy four years of show trials.
Torture is a crime and Holder will prosecute President Bush and other officials for condoning it. Republicans should have jumped on his comments and opposed Holder's nomination for these dangerous views on what constitutes torture in the fight against terrorism.
Republicans tried to pressure Mr. Holder to promise not to prosecute, but he clearly refused saying, "No one is above the law." By "no one,” he meant President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and any other top Bush administration officials who authorized waterboarding. Or, as Keith Olbermann at MSNBC calls it, the "Bush System of Torture."
All the talk of bipartisanship is a sham, and Republicans are foolish to listen to any of the sweet talk. President Obama agreed with Attorney General Holder when he used the identical phrasing with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on January 11 saying, "No one is above the law." Thus far, President Obama has been vague about investigating the Bush administration saying, “He wants to look forward.”
But Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News that, if there was evidence of criminality, he would ask his Justice Department to “immediately review the information that's already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued.” Once again he reaffirmed “nobody is above the law.”
This is how the whole scenario unfolds. First you will hear calls for prosecution from The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, MSNBC, and other liberal ideologues of the media.
Secondly, these calls will be reinforced by comments from the left-wing legal authorities or so-called "experts" such as George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, who told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC: "These are war crimes…. we were going to have a true change, where people would be held accountable. And all this talk about civility makes it sound like it's just simply uncivil to investigate people for war crimes."
Law Professor Lawrence Velvel was even blunter when he told the Los Angeles Times: “We must insist on appropriate punishments including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war criminals in the 1940s.” Hangings? Such insanity wouldn’t be taken serious under normal circumstances.
Jonathan Turley also told Maddow: "Most certainly. The status of George Bush is not that different from Augusto Pinochet. They've both been accused of running a torture program. Outside of this country, there is not this ambiguity about what to do about a war crime. There are four treaties that make this an international violation. So if you go abroad, and try to travel, most people abroad are going to view you not as ‘former President George Bush’ -- they're going to view you as a current war criminal."
Next Congress will take action. Judiciary Chairman John Conyers announced he will push for “a blue ribbon commission to fully investigate Administration activities and independent criminal probes.” Conyers calls for this official investigation in a report his committee released titled “Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the Presidency of George W. Bush”.
While issuing the report, Conyers declared, “Even after scores of hearings, investigations and reports, we still do not have answers to some of the most fundamental questions left in the wake of Bush’s Imperial Presidency,” and accused the Bush administration of a slew of “crimes” including allegations of torture and inhumane treatment, extraordinary rendition, warrantless domestic surveillance, the Valerie Plame Wilson leak and the U.S. Attorney General scandal."
Conyers is acting with Nancy Pelosi's full support. According to the Los Angeles Times, she herself is actively “pushing for an investigation into the Bush administration's handling of the Justice Department.” In justifying these “investigations,” Pelosi declared, “I think that we have to learn from the past, and we cannot let the politicizing of, for example, the Justice Department, go unreviewed.”
And the bottom line is this: The lunatic left will not rest until President Bush is behind bars, or worse. For some activists taking vengeance on the former president and his administration is their number one priority. “Arrest Bush” signs were everywhere on the Washington mall the day Barack Obama took the oath of office.
In the end, Mr. Holder will succumb to pressure and appoint a special prosecutor to focus exclusively on Bush's “crimes.” That will take these issues off Holder's desk, and ensure years of investigation. The truth is the Obama administration would like nothing better than to prosecute, convict and imprison President Bush and members of his administration.