Turley: ‘Disturbing’ for Obama to call torture a ‘technique’

Raw Story

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that President Obama’s suggestion that waterboarding yielded valuable information was “disturbing.” The President told reporters that he thought “waterboarding was torture” during a Wednesday news conference but also implied that reliable intelligence was gained from the interrogation technique.

“It is obviously disturbing to hear torture referred to by the president as a technique. It is like saying bank robbery is a technique for withdrawing money from the bank. It is not a technique. It is a crime,” said Turley. “The idea or the notion that torture works is expressly rejected in treaties we have signed, in cases we have prosecuted. It does not matter what is yielded in torture.”

I found myself yelling at my TV during the speech by President Obama. This issue enrages me. As long as our leaders and the press continue to use ambiguous, warm and fuzzy terms, such as “enhanced interrogations”, and “techniques”, or worse yet, calling what they did a “mistake”, instead of calling it what it is—“torture” and a CRIME—nothing is going to happen to hold these people who set this entire thing in motion accountable for their crimes. They have done SO much damage to this country.

None of this is secret any more (though there could still be a lot we don’t even know yet..). The world is watching. The US will have NO credibility going forward in the future, and we will not not be able to continue to lead holding the high moral ground if the laws are not enforced and our system allowed to work. We will NOT be able to condemn, or hold other countries to account for doing the same thing. This country has been made LESS safe, and our soldiers are now at even greater risk. 

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Turley: Torture prosecution is not ‘retribution’

George Washington University law school professor Jonathan Turley was a guest last evening on The Rachel Maddow Show, and discussed the White House release of the Bush-era secret torture memos, and President Obama’s ruling out the prosecution of CIA officials for the use of those tactics.

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Turley: Obama gets low grade on prosecuting Cheney

Raw Story:

On 60 Minutes, the president fired back at comments made by former Vice President Cheney about his foreign policies. He even repudiated Bush/Cheney torture policies and Guantanamo Bay.

Did Obama do enough? Rachel Maddow is joined by George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley.

Turley just can’t say it any clearer than this. There is NO need for a “Truth Commission”. Congress has ALL the evidence necessary to call for a criminal investigation into war crimes for the Bush/Cheney torture programs. There is no question, no debate or ambiguity here.

Turley: “This would be the shortest investigation in history”.

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Turley: Bush terror memos are ‘definition of tyranny’

Raw Story:

Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley presents a legal perspective on memos released about the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism policies and whether some members will be prosecuted for them.

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Turley pleads for prosecution of Bush crimes

Last night on Countdown (MSNBC), Keith Olbermann interviewed Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley.

Raw Story

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has suggested a bipartisan panel to seek the truth about accusations of criminal wrongdoing by the Bush administration. Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley discusses why Leahy wants this panel to have the power to grant immunity and serve subpoenas.

If you have not seen this interview, you must watch it. Nobody could say this any more clearly than Professor Turley:

“Truth commissions generally have been used by emerging democracies, often third world countries that have nascent legal systems, countries that are trying to create new governments. They’re not associated with the government that’s supposedly the leader of the rule of law. We don’t have any question about the obligation to follow these treaties.

There’s no question that torture occurred here. There’s no question it was a war crime. And so, the only reason to have a commission of this kind is to avoid doing what we’re obligated to do under a treaty. And the fact is, that these members of Congress view this as a very inconvenient time to fight on principle. But they would do us all a favor if they’d save the money on another useless commission.

Let’s just take the old 9/11 Commission Report, rip off the cover, put a new cover on it, and call it a day. Because it is shameful that we would be calling for this type of Commission.

Everyone knows what we’re doing. We’re in violation of our obligations now!

We were supposed to investigate. It’s not up to President Obama. It’s not up to Senator Leahy. We’re obligated to investigate.

This whole discussion in front of the world is basically saying that we’re not going to comply with the promise we made, not to ourselves, but the world.”

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Countdown: Tortured Logic

Raw Story

Turley compares Bush war crimes to Pinochet

Prof. Jonathan Turley talks about what will happen to President Bush if the Obama administration decides to prosecute what they deem as war crimes.

“If waterboarding is torture — and Barack Obama has said that it is torture,” Turley emphasized, “and torture is a war crime, then the president has committed a war crime if he did order waterboarding. You have to do some heavy lifting to avoid the simplicity of that logic.”

This segment made me stop what I was doing and caught my full attention. I wish with all my heart that those taking over the administration and the Justice Department pay attention to this. Nobody says it as simply and straightforward as Professor Turley.

It is what it is. No amount of spin changes that..

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