Thursday, April 23, 2009

Partisan Obama - Criminalizing policy differences

In the US after the election for president the losing party willingly gives over power to the loser. Most countries are astonished that the loser give up their power easily. The winner gets to set policy for the future. But that's not enough for Obama. He intends to go back and punish those he disagrees with. Not the CIA analysts he now relies on to keep us safe and his reputation for doing so. No; he is after the people who had responsibility, but gave it over to him - the decision makes in the Bush administration. But he won't get the full picture if he casts such a narrow net. Congress funded the terrible programs; they must have been informed. He should put Nancy Pelosi under oath to see what Congress knew and when. Presidential Poison -
Policy disputes, often bitter, are the stuff of democratic politics. Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama's victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power. If this analogy seems excessive, consider how Mr. Obama has framed the issue. He has absolved CIA operatives of any legal jeopardy, no doubt because his intelligence advisers told him how damaging that would be to CIA morale when Mr. Obama needs the agency to protect the country. But he has pointedly invited investigations against Republican legal advisers who offered their best advice at the request of CIA officials.

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