Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Put Down The Torches And Pitchforks And Let Nature Take It’s Course When It Comes To Bush Administration Prosecutions

I as much as anyone would like to see President Bush prosecuted and jailed if evidence proves he has violated the law or committed war crimes. But, come on people lets get over the fixation on it as a top priority or something that has to happen immediately or somehow that indicates President Obama is selling out to political pressure from the right.

Liberals need to reel it in and dial back the mob with torches mentality when it comes to making George W. pay for his criminal behavior. It’s uncomely, unrealistic and makes their actions akin to the tactics they hated so much when the shoe was on the other foot.

Barack Obama has been President for about 3 weeks and as we all know has a completely full plate of problems to deal with, some unprecedented in their complexity. Yet, several elements of the liberal left have got their panties all in a knot because Obama has not made the prosecution of the former President Bush or other Bush administration officials a top priority.

Listening to the likes of Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley of Georgetown University, who I have great respect for, speaking on MSNBC Countdown, “we will all become accessories” and Rachel Maddow on her show, “is Senator Leahy trying to help out the Obama administration”, by calling for a truth commission type investigation rather than regular criminal prosecutions. You’d think the world was coming to an end unless immediate action is not taken to prosecute, convict and jail Bush and all members of his administration who committed war or other crimes.

These hyperbolic statements I think are not helpful and tend to paint Obama as someone who is unwilling to prosecute crimes because it would be somehow politically unpopular or counterproductive. It also shows in Maddow's case a lack of an understanding of criminal prosecutions and how they normally evolve.

Obama stated during his press conference on Monday in response to a question of the subject from a reporter with the Huffington Post, “nobody is above the law, and if there is clear incidents of wrong doing they should be prosecuted just like any other ordinary citizen".

What the left has to realize is that this just isn’t going to be a top priority and shouldn’t be, given the unprecedented state of disarray the country has found itself in follow 8 years of George W. Bush. Need I outline the laundry list? Frankly, I think reasonable people would say that things like the economy, the housing crisis and two wars are a bit higher on the priority list right now. I believe that Obama sees this as something that frankly has to be on the back burner for now also.

I would even go as far as to say, this is a matter better suited for late in Obama's first term or even his second term because the evidence is more likely to be there with the passage of time, investigations, whistle blowers coming forward and books written that expose the wrong doings and criminal acts. The Statute of Limitations for federal crimes range from one year to twenty years depending on the type of offense and should be a consideration for prosecutors. But in spite of the Statute of Limitations the reasoning remains that this is not the time to make these prosecutions a top priority.

Eric Holder the new Attorney General I’m sure if given the time to investigate and dig around in the Justice department closet will probably find the evidence needed to prosecute whomever needs to be prosecuted. But people like Maddow, Olbermann, Turley and the the likes of the ACLU need to take a deep breath and realize that there are other matters, as strange as it may seem to them, that will have to take precedence over jailing Bush, Cheney and others right now.

Congress is another thing. They are an independent body and if Patrick Leahy’s Judiciary Committee in the Senate or John Conyers in the House want to investigate or set up a truth commission let them go ahead and do that. Oversight is what they were supposed to be doing all along. Why it would need President Obama’s approval to do that is not really a fair question if there is enough political pressure or evidence to go ahead.

It is my educated guess that Bush and his cronies will be brought to justice in the end. But only when matters are allowed to run their natural course with the normal prudent investigations, indictments and subsequent trials. In other words it going to take time people.

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