White House: No Special Prosecutor on Torture

obama-and-gibbsIt is getting rather difficult to follow the line of logic at the White House on the torture investigation. For months, President Obama has been speaking about his intentions as to any investigation into the torture program. Then, this week, he suddenly declared that he should have no role in such decisions. Then the next day, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs declared that Obama did not want to see a special prosecutor. I discussed this statement last night on this segment of Hardball. In the meantime, it appears that new pictures of detainee will be released — though obviously not the videos of torture that were destroyed by CIA officials to prevent their being used against themselves.

Gibbs flatly ruled out the notion of a special counsel or independent prosecutor: “The lawyers that are involved are plenty capable of determining whether any law has been broken.” He then added curiously that they were not intervening in such decisions when he just ruled out this critical option: “I want to stress that that determination is not going to be made by the president, or the vice president, or anybody that works in the White House, because that’s why many, many, many, many moons ago we created a Department of Justice.”

The notion of the Justice Department investigating itself is absurd in this matter. Both career lawyers and political appointees were involved in these decisions at Justice. Many of these lawyers remain at the Justice Department. Moreover, the failure of other lawyers to object to these decisions may prove potentially embarrassing and a potential source of conflict. There also remains the towering appearance of a conflict of interest which should be enough to compel an appointment of a special prosecutor. Many, many, many, many moon age we created ethical rules that bar government lawyers from working in areas where they have an actual or appearance of a conflict of interest.

64 thoughts on “White House: No Special Prosecutor on Torture”

  1. I am unaware of your wish to have me ‘return’. I never ‘left’
    – I’m busy all day. I log on when I’m free.

    Besides my medical degree, I also have a law degree and managed lawyers for several years in the liability insurance industry before I switched careers. I was also married to a government lawyer at one time.

    What I do for a livin has nothing to do with my opinions or my right to express them. I find Jill offensive.

    And I could care less what you think. You are not my patient and I am not presently charged with your care. My partner and I worked for Harvard Medical School for practically our entire careers, so you could expect the highest standard of care from either one of us, as well as most of our colleagues, here in Maine, who, likewise, trained in Boston and presently live here for the lifestyle. Certainly not for the money.

    From my lay perspective, if Jill persists on unfairly attacking Obama on a daily basis without ANY proof of allegation, as she has done incessantly since before he was even elected, then she should expect to be attacked herself occasionally. I am permitted to not like, in fact detest, people as a private citizen.

    She is WAY more disrespectful than I am.

    p.s. BTW, my father never made that comment to me or my sister. We weren’t the ones wearing the baseball hats – I guess! 😉

  2. mespo,

    “…the release of the torture pictures is part of the laying of the groundwork to rally public opinion in favor of prosecution as was the release of the memos.”

    I must point out that both the memos and the pictures that will be released are not the result of Obama’s largess, they are the result of a court order that forced the issue.

    Public opinion is not against investigation, so why do we need to lay the groundwork for it?

    JT has pointed out clearly, that Obama is deciding the matter even as he said he would not, by taking the best option to get at the truth off the table. I don’t believe in coincidences about this either.

  3. Well Josh, at least you had a car. I bet the doors were easier to close on it than a Yugo.

  4. That’s not astrology. My old Taurus always caused “travel snafus.”

  5. That Hardball episode was very informative. We learned that Pat Buchannan has a “higher moral authority” which means he thinks he’s above the law, and he believes we have a “right to kill people.”


  6. CCD,

    So long as Obama is in power he has the authority. I will offer you that we are still trying to Deport an Alleged Nazi War Criminal in the greater Chicago area. If that can be said.

    So the answer is NO, No Statute of Limitations.

  7. Patty C

    There is a Book out still in print called the “Lost Books of the Bible and the Lost Books of Eden” actually 2 in 1. Found that when I lived in the E Seminary of the SW back in the early 80’s.

    You will also find, if you look. Astrology was taken out in the Bible in the 6th Century at the controlled by People that just wanted that power.

    As we can see some still equate power with money.

  8. Gibbs is repeating what Holder said Wednesday. The investigation will be conducted by the Justice Department not the White House, great. On the surface aren’t they saying the decision to appoint a special prosecutor will be determined by AG Holder after additional information is made public?
    All new evidence released serves to bring additional public support to investigate. Is there any type of time constraint for AG Holder to appoint a prosecutor?

  9. I caught the point counterpoint with the proffesor on “hardball”,and for the life of me I can not understand why Buchannan is supposed to be so knowledgeable on every subect that there is.

    The proffesor was talking legally,while Buchannan was talking emotionally.Pat,you lost that round.

  10. My favorite astrologer passed away on Halloween.

    I must say I have been ‘lost’ when it comes to keeping
    track of the skies.

    I know, it’s not ‘science’, but I enjoy it, anyway.

    I find it explains things when there is no explanation
    – more often than you might think, too!

  11. Patty C.

    Today’s you will see a Mercury-Neptune clash which can cause miscommunications, fuzzy thinking and travel snafus, especially for Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. This influence is actually a clash between being practical (Mercury in Taurus) and embracing your ideals (Neptune in Aquarius). Although it can doom communications and make it difficult to concentrate, it’s a fantastic influence for using your imagination. It also favors meditation, dream analysis and envisioning possibilities – and simply taking quiet time to think about your life. So double-check the facts, but don’t be afraid to dream, too.

    Also, Mercury went direct on February 1, 2009 and the the next Rx will be May 6, 11:01 AM MDT, Retrograde at 1 degree 44 minutes Gemini.

    Not that I know as much as others. But I figure if Nancy can do it so can I. LOL

  12. p.s. A little astrological ‘wisdom’, Mercury goes Retrograde for 3 weeks – today, I think…!

    No, I was mistaken. It’s from May 7 – 30th
    – whew! Get those repairs taken care of!

  13. President Obama’s inconsistencies reveal either his fear, naiveté, inexperience, or—worst of all—that he is a liar and a coward. He is like a guilty defendant on the stand who is groping for a ways to hide his disingenuousness and guilt while being grilled by a competent, but fair, prosecutor.

    Just about the time I want to praise Obama for doing the right thing, he backs down or has Mr. Gibbs lie to the American people for him. Is it a prerequisite in the knowledge, skills, and abilities (known in government as KSAs) section on the OPM application form for the job description of White House Press Secretary that you must be good at lying, cover-ups, speaking poorly, being highly unlikeable by the citizenry, and portraying an image of buffoonery?

    Mr. Obama, I voted for you, although I am a lifelong conservative Republican, because this country needed an honest leader with integrity and fortitude. Our existence as a free Nation depends on you and if you fail, because you are just another lying politician, then you will disgrace and discredit your race, heritage, and the legal profession, especially the constitutional law specialty. As an untrained, uneducated non-lawyer, I understand the U.S. Constitution better than you do, unless you are in fact an accomplished constitutional scholar who is now simply a corrupt and base liar.

  14. JT, I missed you on Hardball last night. I find Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan annoying to listen to separately!

    I can’t imagine trying to get a word in with the two of them flapping their jaws at the same time.

    p.s. A little astrological ‘wisdom’, Mercury goes Retrograde for 3 weeks – today, I think…!

  15. As we are Trolling along. I think, I appreciate your original thought this time Troll. I still don’t agree with all you have said. But it is a good thought, you can have an original thought can’t you?

    But then what is an original thought other that a sum of all of lifes experiences and the ability to communicate those thoughts in an effective oral and or written communication.

  16. This is the first intelligent decision Obama has made yet. By that I mean he seemed intent on destroying the CIA and our intelligence network with all this harsh interrogation memo releasing garbage.

    Now he is going to split the nation even more when he releases the so called harsh interrogation photos as the Taliban rise up in Pakistan, confront us more in Afganistan, more bombs go off in Iraq (Obama’s cut & run strategy at work), and America sees its sons & daughters off to fight and defend America with a CIA that freely tells us that Obama has cut them off at the knees.

    Shame on Obama. Shame on all of you for being such jersk about so called harsh interrogation to the point of daily LIES about it and what we did to whom and when and who knew.

  17. I think the release of the torture pictures is part of the laying of the groundwork to rally public opinion in favor of prosecution as was the release of the memos. Nothing happens by coincidence in Washington (or anywhere else, for that matter), and these events are related. We are still a democracy and what better way to silence the critics of prosecution than displaying the vile results for the world to see. It’s a prosecutor’s strategy as old as the trial, and I think it a good one.

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