In editorial published Monday, the Washington Post called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint "a career prosecutor" to "look at the facts and apply the law" to "those who went well beyond the often-extreme measures authorized by [the 'torture memos' authored by the George W. Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)."[1]  --  Indict Bush Now, a project initiated by Impeach Bush, celebrated the editorial as a major event, saying that "Once the prosecution opens, it will lead inevitably to the doorsteps of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.  It was they who ordered the torture, secret assassination teams, the breathtaking massive spying operation against the American people and, most importantly, launched a war of aggression in Iraq that led to the deaths of nearly 1 million people at the cost of nearly $2 trillion." ...

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Print edition

Editorial pages

Editorials

INTERROGATIONS AND PROSECUTION

** U.S. operatives who went beyond Bush-approved methods in questioning detainees must be held accountable. **

Washington Post
July 27, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR2009072602192.html

In April, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. declared that it "would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department." He was speaking, of course, of CIA operatives and other government interrogators who complied with the "torture memos" authored by the George W. Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

Mr. Holder was right to shield these interrogators from criminal prosecution. He is now confronted with a different question: What to do about those who may have gone beyond -- perhaps far beyond -- even what the OLC sanctioned?

We reject the distorted interpretations that underpin the OLC memos and that serve as legal justification for harsh interrogation techniques that either border on or constitute torture. But those who relied on the memos and shaped their behavior in the good-faith belief that they were following the law should not be subject to prosecution. It is an entirely different story for those who went well beyond the often-extreme measures authorized by the memos.

In 2004, the Pentagon reported that 34 deaths had occurred in detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan; at that time, nine deaths were classified by military medical examiners as homicides. While the Defense Department has conducted several courts-martial of military personnel in abuse or death cases, the same level of scrutiny has not been applied to civilian personnel.

Take, for example, the case of Manadel Jamadi, an Iraqi insurgent captured in late 2003 and taken to the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison. Navy SEALS delivered Jamadi "alive, kicking, and shouting" to CIA interrogators, according to a *Post* account. Jamadi is believed to have died during the interrogation, while in CIA custody.

A Navy SEAL was court-martialed and ultimately acquitted for his role in the Jamadi case. Yet CIA operatives involved in the matter have thus far escaped accountability. This is inexcusable. Even under the warped logic of the OLC memos, interrogations are forbidden if they result in pain associated with organ failure or death. Jamadi's interrogation clearly crossed that line.

The task before Mr. Holder is not an easy one. If he authorizes an investigation, he could be accused by some of criminalizing policy differences with his predecessors. He may also appear to undercut President Obama's desire to leave the past behind and "look forward." The attorney general must put political considerations aside. He should assign a career prosecutor to look at the facts and apply the law.

We continue to believe that an independent commission would best be able to shed light on a wide range of questions regarding detainee detention and treatment policy. It would help to ensure that such mistakes are never repeated. But some acts, including the violent deaths of detainees at the hands of U.S. personnel, must be investigated and addressed by law enforcement.

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[Email received from IndictBushNow.org, a project initiated by ImpeachBush]

WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL CALLS FOR A PROSECUTOR

** The flood gates have been opened! **

Indict Bush Now
July 27, 2009

http://www.impeachbush.org/

We will succeed! The indictment and prosecution of those who committed crimes during the Bush era will soon become a reality. Nothing is more important to restore the Constitution.

The flood gates have been opened because of the massive grassroots intervention by you and hundreds of thousands of others who have petitioned, sent emails and letters, and made phone calls that deluged the White House, Justice Department, Congress, and the mass media.

The Washington Post lead editorial today calls for Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a prosecutor to "look at the facts and apply the law" for the "violent deaths of detainees" in U.S. custody.

This is a remarkable development. The pressure to appoint a prosecutor will not go away until justice is served.

Once the prosecution opens, it will lead inevitably to the doorsteps of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. It was they who ordered the torture, secret assassination teams, the breathtaking massive spying operation against the American people and, most importantly, launched a war of aggression in Iraq that led to the deaths of nearly 1 million people at the cost of nearly $2 trillion.

Now we are entering the next stage of the IndictBushNow movement. We must guarantee that the truth be told -- all the truth -- and that the prosecution not end with the indictment of low-level officials and operatives.

Please make an urgently needed donation now so that we can sustain this national movement, place newspaper ads and provide the general public with the full story of the unfolding details and revelations of the criminality of the Bush Administration.