The Gateway to the Ultimate Prize

Unfortunately, today the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, has engaged in behavior that endangers all American citizens. He has appointed a special prosecutor that wiCheck Spellingll investigate CIA interrogators who questioned some of the most dangerous individuals on the planet in an effort to protect all of us. Even CIA Director Leon Panetta is opposed to this and has reportedly said that he will resign as a result.
There have already been investigations of those who allegedly abused the terrorist detainees. These investigations resulted in exactly one prosecution and subsequent conviction (a CIA contractor abused a terrorist with a flashlight).

By allowing this to happen, President Obama has started down the path of investigating the Bush Administration for its conduct of the War on Terror (which according to the Obama Administration does not exist). This is the gateway to prosecution of the Bush Administration officials who drafted the memos on enhanced interrogation techniques. However, I do not think that the witch hunt will stop there. The ultimate prize for the far left of the Democratic Party is the prosecution of Vice President Cheney. That is, in large part, what this is all about. I also would hate to think that this action is being taken by the Administration in an effort to take away the focus away from their failing health care plan.

So, what we have here in the criminalization of policy between succeeding administrations. Every American should think long and hard as to whether this is what they want. This type of behavior is more suited to banana republics where the current government sets up “truth commissions” to criminalize the policies of its predecessor.

The consequences to our peaceful transfer of power between administrations will be undermined. It will prevent the current occupant of the Oval Office, whomever he happens to be, from receiving frank and open advice from his advisers and attorneys. Staff members will not be willing to engage in a free exchange of ideas with administration colleagues if they believe that they will be subject to criminal prosecution for their analyses at some indeterminate time in the future. Mr. Obama has left open the possibility of criminal prosecution because one lawyer has a different legal analysis than another.

Next, it becomes difficult to recruit qualified people to work in the government. Why would anyone want to give up a lucrative career in the private sector to enter public service if the results of that work culminate in a jail sentence? The relatively small salary of a public official, combined with an overly intrusive vetting process already make a career in a Presidential administration less than ideal. The threat of criminal prosecution may be the final straw that prevents qualified individuals from serving their nation.

Also, Mr. Obama’s statement opens the possibility of the criminalization of policy differences between Administrations. Clearly, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, President Bush was presented with circumstances that are different than those currently facing President Obama. President Bush made the decision to allow for enhanced interrogations based upon the world as it existed at that time. Mr. Bush put in place policies that some may find objectionable. President Obama, as Mr. Bush’s successor, is free to make the determination that Mr. Bush’s policies were incorrect, inappropriate and/or no longer necessary. However, criminalizing the policy decisions of his predecessor establishes an incredibly poor precedent for all of Mr. Obama’s successors.

In addition, it has a chilling effect on those heroic Americans who are currently serving in uniform or working in the intelligence community. How motivated will they be to pursue their craft in attempting to obtain information from terrorists in their custody that is vital to our national security? Based these investigations, it is very possible that critical information that could save the lives of thousands of US citizens will never be obtained so as to stop a terrorist attack.

The President is once again showing us that he is not up to the task of being Commander-in-Chief. He is continuing to show our enemies that he is weak. It is particularly troubling that at the exact same time that Mr. Obama is begging our allies to take the terrorists that are currently (and thankfully) detained at Guantanamo Bay, he is now looking to incarcerate brave American citizens who answered their country’s call to service. What message does that send to those who would do us harm?


The Conservative Soldier said...

All I can say is that Hell is going to become incredibly crowded in the next 20-30 years.

Anonymous said...

1. The country is more at risk from rogue agents who break the law and tarnish the reputation of the U.S. than from investigating crimes, including murder, carried out by its representatives.

2. Your characterization of truth commissions is not correct. The truth and reconciliation commissions set up in South Africa and El Salvador were bodies that were set up as part of negotiated settlements to civil conflicts. They investigated acts of violence on both sides of the conflicts. In South Africa, perpetrators could give testimony and ask for amnesty. In El Salvador, the Legislative Assembly granted amnesty for all violent events during the war.