Sunday, April 19, 2009

Obama Is Choosing To Be An International War Criminal

And I do not use the accusation lightly. Today on Meet the Press, Rahmbo made it explicitly clear that there will be no prosecutions for anyone on torture.
President Barack Obama does not intend to prosecute Bush administration officials who devised the policies that led to the harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Sunday.

Obama last week authorized the release of a series of memos detailing the methods approved under President George W. Bush. In an accompanying statement, he said "it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice, that they will not be subject to prosecution." He did not specifically address the policymakers.

Asked Sunday on ABC's "This Week" about the fate of those officials, Emanuel said the president believes they "should not be prosecuted either and that's not the place that we go."

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the idea of "criminalizing legal advice after one administration is out of the office is a very bad precedent. ... I think it would be disaster to go back and try to prosecute a lawyer for giving legal advice that you disagreed with to a former president."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said, "I don't think we want to look in the rearview mirror." But McCaskill, also on the Armed Services Committee, said there probably was a need to ask more questions. "How do get lawyers at the top levels of the Justice Department that could give this kind of advice?"

The decision not to seek charges against the interrogators has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and called a violation of international law by the U.N.'s top torture investigator.

In fact the Sunday shows were full of lawmakers on both sides completely and totally rejecting the idea of prosecutions while simultaneously leaving the idea of investigations open.

Once again, if Obama does not prosecute, he is in violation of international law. He is choosing to be a war criminal. I'm disappointed to say the least. Obama is showing he really is worse than Bush, and that's no hyperbole.

At this point as Americans, each of us has to ask ourselves if failing to prosecute and destroying what is left of America's honor is worth it.

Only by a massive effort by the American people will justice be done.

This Week's Busted Banks

Missouri's American Sterling Bank makes 24 closed banks in 2009. We had 25 in all of 2008.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said Missouri-based American Sterling had $181 million in assets and $171.9 million in deposits. The failure is expected to cost the FDIC deposit insurance fund an estimated $42 million.

The Missouri offices of American Sterling will reopen on Saturday, and the offices in California and Arizona will reopen on Monday as branches of Metcalf Bank, which is assuming all the deposits of American Sterling.

Customers can access their money over the weekend by check, teller machine or debit card, the FDIC said.

In 2008, 25 U.S. banks were seized by officials, up from only 3 in 2007.

During the current financial crisis, Seattle-based lender Washington Mutual became the biggest bank to fail in U.S. history. It was closed in September while suffering from losses from soured mortgages and liquidity problems.

The FDIC will insure up to $250,000 per account through 2009 and in individual retirement accounts at insured banks.

Many more banks will fail over the next several months and years as the industry consolidates. Or in this case, the government sponsored survivors eat the losers.

[UPDATE] And we've hit 25 with Great Basin Bank of Nevada.

Spring Cleaning With A Flamethrower

The Washington Post has its Spring Cleaning special up on the opinions page, detailing things that need to be thrown out and the cases against them. Some are good ideas (Naomi "The Shock Doctrine" Klein says it's time for Obama to toss the spectacularly wrong Larry Summers and Ana Marie Cox wants to ditch the White House Village press corps) , some are bad ideas (Jeremy Lott wants to ditch the Vice-Presidency because of Al Gore and Dick Cheney being equivalent somehow), but most are just silly (Farhad Manjoo wants to unplug your TV for good and Tom Ricks thinks West Point is a waste of money.)

I have an idea. How about we get rid of the Washington Post Editorial section?
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