By Matthew Rothschild on May 15, 2009
Barack Obama is fast becoming an accessory after the fact to the war crimes that the Bush Administration has committed.
By not prosecuting the torturers and those who ordered the torture, and now by not even going public with the photo tortures he’d already agreed to release, Obama is doing Dick Cheney’s business for him.
Cheney’s been telling every news outlet that will have him on that a) we didn’t torture or do anything wrong and that b) everything we did was necessary to keep us safe.
The photos of our brutality that are in Obama’s possession could disprove these points in a hurry.
But now Obama, like Cheney, wants to hide the evidence.
Obama says he’s worried that releasing the photos might enflame hatred against Americans and imperil the troops.
But Obama can douse that flame by acknowledging that a previous Administration committed these crimes, that we find them abhorrent, that they will not occur under his watch, and that those who committed the crimes and ordered the crimes will be held responsible.
Instead, he’s caving in to the Cheneys and the Limbaughs and the O’Reillys.
This is profoundly undemocratic.
Our system is based on openness. And if people acting in our name did something heinous, we have a right to know that, and we need to come to grips with that, in all its heinousness, so it won’t happen again.
Beyond being undemocratic, hiding the evidence may itself be a criminal act.
The statute says: “Whoever, knowing that an offense has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.”
Obama is relieving, comforting and assisting all those who tortured and countenanced torture.
He is staining himself with the crimes of his predecessor. And that’s a crime.