Pete Williams is reporting that Republicans are threatening to expose Attorney General Eric Holder’s role in renditions during the Clinton Administration if he pursues an investigation into torture. Imagine that: raw political retaliation could finally give civil libertarians a full investigation of this country’s long-concealed abuses.
It is now clear that our mistake for the last eight years has been to call upon members to follow their conscience and principles. We should have expressed human rights in terms of a good way to embarrass your opponents.
Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Richard Shelby of Alabama pressed Holder on the CIA’s “rendition” program under the Clinton Administration and demanded figures, which Holder promised to supply.
When is Holder going to stop this farce and allow a disinterested special prosecutor to investigate this matter? Until then, we will continue to see political ploys in both parties continue to diminish our standing in the world. At the moment, this entire controversy is being treated as a political contest by both Democrats and Republicans.
Ironically, the muscle play may backfire. Holder and Obama have already been accused for promising Bush officials before the inauguration that they would privately block any investigation or prosecution into torture. Their actions since then have only reaffirmed those statements by Senators and CIA officials. Now, if Holder does not investigate, it will be viewed as knuckling under to avoid personal embarrassment into his own actions during the Clinton administration.
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