Hold On There Holder

By Dennis Loo

If Holder and Obama succeed in confining the investigation and prosecution to only those who “went beyond” the stated policies for torture under the Bush Regime, then under the signboard of opposing torture, they will have further legitimated and institutionalized the crimes against humanity articulated in the Bybee/Yoo memos, the Presidential Directives, and the whole rotten edifice of torture policies that Bush and Cheney are infamous for.


By saying that they will not go after those who followed the “legal” instructions of the White House lawyers, Holder and Obama are vitiating the Nuremberg Verdict. Nazis who tried to mount a defense at the Nuremberg Trials that they were "only following orders" were found guilty of crimes against humanity.


As they should.


And as the American architects of torture and those who carried out the torture with their own hands should as well.  


There are no exceptions that allow torture. None whatsoever. As it should and can only be. 


Within the intelligence community there is a well-known phenomenon called “force drift.” When brutal measures don’t appear to be working on the person being interrogated, the use of more and more brutal methods is inevitable. Those who parsed words, parsed minutes, and parsed frequencies that different “approved of” methods were to be used, as John Yoo and Jay Bybee, among others, did, knew – and know - this very well.


In other words, this "distinction" that Holder and Obama are trying to make between those who "went beyond" the White House policies and the policies themselves is as phony as high fructose corn syrup posing as a health elixir. It's as phony as Exxon claiming to be a friend of the environment. It's as phony as snake oil salesman touting miracle cures in a bottle.


The policies themselves were recipes for torture, even if they'd been followed to the letter. Those who wrote them also knew that the people carrying out the torture wouldn't restrict themselves to the minute instructions because of "force drift."


The question that remains to be determined is this: what do the American people know? What will the American people allow and stand for? Will we recognize the real from the phony? Or will snake oil salesmen posing as our saviors be allowed to leave town enriched and laughing?


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.