Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obama Keeps Door Open on Torture Prosecutions

Barack Obama says it's up to his attorney-general to decide whether to prosecute the directing minds behind the CIA's torture of suspected terrorists. From BBC:

US President Barack Obama has left open the possibility of prosecuting officials who wrote CIA memos allowing harsh interrogation methods.

...the president's comments marked a change of tone amid growing pressure from the Democratic Party not to rule out potential prosecutions.

They reflect the increasingly complex political situation around the decision to release the memos, he says.

"With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws," Mr Obama said.

He also said he could support a congressional investigation of the issue if it was conducted in a bipartisan way.

Clearly Obama has yielded to unexpected outpouring of anger, even outrage, at the announcement by his chief of staff on Sunday that the president would not allow anyone to be prosecuted, including those who gave the orders to torture. It's obvious that he's aware of the danger of the Repugs rallying to defend their own and, if necessary, making martyrs out of them.

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