I think you are right that if an Obama Administration investigated the Bush Administration, the next GOP administration would be highly likely to investigate officials in the Obama administration. Maybe it will just become a standard thing where high-level government jobs have three stages: 1) getting the job, 2) doing the job, 3) fending off indictment when the job is over.
And Orin Kerr's slippery slope seems to be too little too late anyway, as there are numerous INNOCENT Democrats who spent time (or are still spending time) in Prison due to the unprecedented politicization of the US Attorneys.
"For example, if Obama thinks the torture issue has a criminal dimension, I'd rather him forbid the practice or highly limit it, rather than prosecute those who adovcated that position."
I listened pretty carefully to the Senate hearings on Waco and Ruby Ridge. Seems as if those could be called criminal....
No, Thomas, he is saying that using tear gas with the express intent to harm the children of the compound in order to make the adults w/ gas masks surrender is assault.
Comments like this by Obama should put to rest any question about whether Obama would govern in a bipartisan fashion as President. He would not. I also wonder if Obama is thoughtful enough to consider the unfortunate precedent he would set and how it could affect his own administration when he leaves office.
You conveniently forgot to mention that Weaver's son shot and killed a Federal agent.
Doesn't the fact that any waterboarding occurred after the Office of Legal Whatever gave it as their opinion that waterboarding was legal?
If you got your facts straight, you'd probably become a conservative.
You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve.
Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law -- and I think that's roughly how I would look at it.
But the executive still has to enforce those crimes, as last I checked neither Congress nor the Judiciary has a police force (yes, yes, Marshalls). So if Congress held someone in contempt and no one showed up to enforce....
Comments like this by Obama should put to rest any question about whether Obama would govern in a bipartisan fashion as President. He would not.
Let's just let bygones be bygones.
[Obama] can’t say that he won’t look into it or else he’s committing to ignoring possible criminality (not to mention denying his base their erotic fantasy of Bush being frogmarched away) but he can’t promise to launch a major investigation or else he’s bound to it and sidetracked in a war with the Republicans from day one. So he gives the only response he can give realistically, one which Maverick [McCain] himself would likely be forced to approximate if asked.
I.e. no, it’s virtually certain that he won’t go after anyone lest it set a precedent for partisan prosecutions by incoming administrations in the future, but to borrow a choice term from a paint-by-numbers answer in the foreign policy vein, all options must remain on the table. Zzzzz.
If you think anybody who's been following this thread is still willing to believe anything you say about Riby Ridge, you need to adjust your meds.
I don[']t want to be lumped in with JF Thomas here, but I think most people, if they were faced with someone who had just shot their son without warning and without identifying themselves, I would be hesitant to surrender to them too.
And if you think anyone on this blog is going to believe that a citizen is within his rights to ignore a duly signed arrest warrant and resist US Marshals with force then you need to get your own cabin in the woods. Even if the warrant was invalid (and it certainly was) the only legal recourse is to submit peacefully and raise your objections in front of a judge.
I was referring to the situation before it got out of control. You can't plausibly argue that, before that incident, Weaver did not know that (1) the Federal government wanted him and (2) they would come to arrest him forcibly if he refused to surrender peacefully.
Should President Obama launch yet another legal investigation into the alleged war crimes of the Bush administration?
The answer -- absent clear evidence of a criminal intent to subvert the law well beyond what even the most severe Bush critic alleges -- is "no." That seems to be the answer Senator Obama wisely supplied.
And I dont' believe that Weaver was ever served with the arrest warrant (though my research was long ago). If he never got the arrest warrant, then, yeah, he had no reason to expect federal marshalls.
I'm pretty astounded that anyone would object to simply investigating possible crimes.
Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but actions like this (wholesale political prosecution of prior officeholders) is precisely the last straw that brought down the Roman Republic.
Protection of Personnel- Section 1004 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 2000dd-1) shall apply with respect to any criminal prosecution that--
(1) relates to the detention and interrogation of aliens described in such section;
(2) is grounded in section 2441(c)(3) of title 18, United States Code; and
(3) relates to actions occurring between September 11, 2001, and December 30, 2005.
(2) Retroactive applicability.--The amendments made by this subsection, except as specified in subsection (d)(2)(E) of section 2441 of title 18, United States Code, shall take effect as of November 26, 1997, as if enacted immediately after the amendments made by section 583 of Public Law 105-118 (as amended by section 4002(e)(7) of Public Law 107-273).
42 U.S.C. § 2000dd-1 - Protection of United States Government personnel engaged in authorized interrogations
(a) Protection of United States Government personnel
In any civil action or criminal prosecution against an officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States Government who is a United States person, arising out of the officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent's engaging in specific operational practices, that involve detention and interrogation of aliens who the President or his designees have determined are believed to be engaged in or associated with international terrorist activity that poses a serious, continuing threat to the United States, its interests, or its allies, and that were officially authorized and determined to be lawful at the time that they were conducted, it shall be a defense that such officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent did not know that the practices were unlawful and a person of ordinary sense and understanding would not know the practices were unlawful. Good faith reliance on advice of counsel should be an important factor, among others, to consider in
assessing whether a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the practices to be unlawful. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or extinguish any defense or protection otherwise available to any person or entity from suit, civil or criminal liability, or damages, or to provide immunity from prosecution for any criminal offense by the proper authorities.
The United States Government shall provide or employ counsel, and pay counsel fees, court costs, bail, and other expenses incident to the representation of an officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent described in subsection (a) of this section, with respect to any civil action or criminal prosecution or investigation arising out of practices described in that subsection whether before United States courts or agencies, foreign courts or agencies, or international courts or agencies, under the same conditions, and to the same extent, to which such services and payments are authorized under section 1037 of Title 10.
You are advocating--if you are arguing in good faith--that dems be subject to the same.
But you would never actually support that.
So, forget trying to prove anything about good faith.
Frankly, there should be no torture policy because it should be the policy of the United States military to take no prisoners and execute any enemy hostile who attempts to surrender. The foregoing would eliminate issues such as torture, Guantanamo Bay, etc.
Well, if [Weaver's] story is true, then there was a conspiracy. He claims he never provided a shotgun with a too-short barrel
so the foundation of the government criminal complaint was, in his eyes, fabricated.
Add to that, the feds who invited him to provide a short barrel shotgun wanted him to infiltrate Aryan Nation, which was a task he wanted nothing to do with. A rational person might think these particular feds were seeking payback of some sort.
You are aware that the rest of us are aware that a panel of FBI snipers said the ROE were unconstitutional. You are aware that the ROE were looser than many applying to our troops overseas around that time.
If you think this was an arrest, you're smoking something you probably think ought to be legalized.
There is no reason for Weaver not to think the feds intended to kill him.
Which, see Horiuchi, happens to be true.
So an arrest warrant of somebody who is not The Right Sort has proven to be "weapons free".
How do you think that makes the next member of a non-protected class feel when the boys come busting into his house? Especially when the target house was on the next block? (Happened recently in Florida, btw.)
My guess is he'll decide his chances are better in a firefight and to await the media.
Well, Oren, you've taken the bait. If this isn't a crime, you don't have much credibility on calling anything else a crime.
Regardless of your view of the law, you might think there was a conspiracy in your cocaine example, if you were accused of possession of a kilo of cocaine, when you knew for a fact you had none.
In fact, after learning about the warrant for his arrest, Weaver became convinced of a government conspiracy out to get him
What it's relevance as to whether or not he needs to comply with an arrest warrant is beyond me.
There is no evidence that the FBI preferred to kill Weaver rather than take him in peacefully. They tried for months to negotiate a peaceful surrender (remember, he was holed up in there for more than a year).
When the police surround you house and get on the bullhorn ordering you to surrender peacefully (as they should be required to do), I highly suggest you surrender.
I'm not sure Obama needs to establish that, as there is no general legal rule that would relieve government officials from criminal prosecution (some special privileges and immunities may apply to some officials, e.g. prosecutors, judges, legislators and perhaps in some cases the President). But how does the second part of your thought follow? We're talking about different alleged crimes, occurring in different timeframes, with different scale and severity. Also, in all the major crimes alleged to have been committed by members of the Clinton administration, wasn't there some kind of process (no matter the disposition)? Is there some alleged crime where it appears the authorities just declined to investigate or prosecute?
So suggesting Obama, should he be elected, should establish his seriousness by starting with Clinton is a waste of time.