Saturday, February 07, 2009

Leon Panetta is a Criminal

Forget Sully and Suleyman. Watch Leon Panetta. He is the former Clinton administration chief of staff who is now Obama's CIA director nominee.

Panetta had stated quite correctly that the Bush administration kidnapped people and had them tortured. He stuck with his story until a Republican senator got all testy with him at his confirmation hearing and he then folded like a lawn chair. "I'm not aware of the validity of those claims."

But wait, there is more. There was great celebration when the Obama team said they would abide by the Army Field Manual directives in their treatment of prisoners. That promise lasted for all of two weeks. Now Panetta supports the old ticking time bomb excuse.

“If we had a ticking bomb situation, and obviously, whatever was being used I felt was not sufficient, I would not hesitate to go to the president of the United States and request whatever additional authority I would need."

Of course, we all know the problem with the ticking time bomb. CIA agents, soldiers, cops, teachers, and dog catchers will all claim that a ticking time bomb is all that stands between us and death and they will torture people. They will do it a lot. Not to mention that torture is a violation of U.S. and international law.

But wait, there is even more. Panetta announced that he will violate international law, just like his predecessors. He will not prosecute anyone who claims they were ordered to torture and he won't go after Bush administration officials who broke the law in ordering the torture. "I'll leave that for others," said the cowardly Mr. Panetta.

Panetta knows the truth about torture and rendition, but he didn't get to be where he is without also knowing the rules and he isn't about to buck them.

Yes we can!