There is no mention of the obvious point that if crimes have been committed—and in the case of the authorizing of torture, which is banned by both international treaties to which the US is a signatory, and by US law, which folded the torture bans into the US Criminal Code for good measure, they clearly have been—the president and his incoming attorney general have a sworn obligation to prosecute them. That’s what “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” means, after all.
A “politically fraught” step? That should apply to not prosecuting criminals, should it not?
Mr. Lindorff is making a point that I've been trying to make for awhile about the Democrats. This thread runs back through events like the launching of the Iraq war and the question of impeachment of President Bush. That is that the Democrats are willing to sell out the Constitution of the United States for their own short term political gain.
We see it here. As Mr. Lindorff points out, President Obama is about to take an oathc to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foriegn and domestic. The very core idea of the Constitution is that we are a nation of laws. This is different from the rule of kings where the whim of the king sets the law. Instead, the principle at the very foundation of the American system is that there are laws that apply to all people, and that all people are subject to the same laws.
It is the duty of a government official, or an 'officer of the court' to report crimes that they know about. It is the duty of the Justice Department to investigate crimes they know about. This is not a political decision. This is not optional depending on the political situation. If laws have been violated, then its the responsibility of officials in the Justice Dept to investigate these and prosecute these as needed. And when Mr. Obama takes that oath of office, surrounded by 20,000 troops and police, in January, then he is giving his solemn oath that he will make sure this happens.
The Democrats have been very critical of the Republicans for 'playing politics' with the appointments of US Attorneys, and also of the various politically motivated investigations aimed at Democrats.
But, isn't it exactly the same thing if President Obama and his Justice Dept are making decisions to not to prosecute government officials who have broken the law based on politics? Obama promised 'change' in his campaign. But it looks like we still have the same old same old where its politics who determines who gets investigated and prosecuted, and not the law or the facts.