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It’s Not Too Late To Stop These Witch Hunts


A few days after he lost his bid to be President of the United States, Arizona Senator Republican John McCain faded back into something a lot closer to not being the President.  Mr. McCain made an appearance at an airport in Arizona after he disembarked from a plane.  His McCain Express entourage had dwindled down to practically nothing.  There were probably a half a dozen reporters around him to hear his plans for the future after spending the last few months before the November election sharing the center stage of the world’s attention with his opponent Illinois Senator Democrat Barack Obama and even his own sidekick the co-maverick Alaska Governor Republican Sarah Palin.  I remember thinking how far the mighty has fallen.

Mr. McCain has been kept in obscurity as Mr. Obama’s star continues to shine and capture the enthrall of the world.  Mr. Obama gets a dog and the world goes gaga.  Mr. McCain had a number of dogs for years and can’t get so much as a thank you card from the local PETA branch.  Mr. McCain tried to make an issue over the fact that as President, Mr. Obama would be the recipient of more than two dozen state of the art military helicopters from a wildly over budgeted military contract.  Mr. Obama agreed and scaled the project back significantly getting credit for saving the country billions of dollars.  Just what exactly does a former presidential contender have to do to garner some kind of attention in this pro Obama political environment?

In his latest attempt for relevance, Mr. McCain warned that any attempt by Mr. Obama’s administration to prosecute the Bush era lawyers who wrote memos signing off on water boarding and various forms of torture, euphemistically referred to as enhanced interrogation techniques, would start a witch hunt that would only hurt the country.  Mr. McCain said that if you criminalize legal advice to the President it will have a terribly chilling effect on any kind of advice and counsel that the President might receive in the future.

Well duh!

If a lawyer is telling the President that the executive branch of our trifecta government doesn’t have to follow the principles set forth in the United States Constitution one needs to wonder why this person is a lawyer for what many believe is the most powerful man in the free world.  If a President acts on bad advice from a lawyer then the President, sworn to uphold and to defend the Constitution as part of his oath so help him god, needs to be held accountable for acting on bad advice.  Holding people accountable for knowingly giving bad legal advice, legal advice that would appear questionable to an advanced five year old, would have a chilling effect on people who think they have carte blanche to disregard law and tell their client whatever the hell they want to hear.  Hopefully, it will have a very chilling effect.

If the average lawyer told a client that he or she can ignore any law on the book, pick up an assault rifle and pump his or her neighbor full of lead in a preemptive strike, chances are we would want that lawyer prosecuted.  It wouldn’t be a witch hunt.  It would be an act of justice.  The same rule applies in this situation as well.

The Bush era torture memos released by the Obama administration are full of jaw dropping suppositions for what is and for what is not torture.  Simply saying that torture is not torture does not make it legal.  It isn’t a quasi or somewhat confusing or nebulous ruling of legal interpretation.  The torture memorandums used to support this wrongful activity have been judged by many legal experts as nothing more than gibberish.  To the layman, most legal writings are legal gibberish.  But we’re talking about people who should know better.

The witch hunt isn’t the one that is trying to determine who may have broken laws.  The witch hunt was the one that had so many people working so hard to root out any information from Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians in places like the prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq and the military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  People who had no affiliation with any of our opponents in the war on terror were brutally assaulted in the name of freedom in a witch hunt for information they did not have or confessions to activities they did not do.

The witch hunt we should be trying to stop is the one in the future that would run along similar lines in a so called hunt for terrorist or anybody who would do this country harm because a future presidential administration decides to employ lawyers who would rather work hard to hand their client a less than clever way to circumvent law instead of upholding law.

Mr. McCain might consider this little more than a witch hunt.  Considering the partisan way the witch hunt for information and/or confessions was originally handled I’m not surprised to see Mr. McCain push for letting yawning dogs go lie down.  Let’s just bury this whole thing under some pretense that tries to convince people that this is just a learning opportunity.  But real learning comes when people are held accountable for their poor decisions.  I guess Mr. McCain suddenly felt a real need to demonstrate once again why he was not the best candidate for the job of protecting the United States Constitution.

Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Posted by | Barack Obama, John McCain, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts

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