Dear Mr. President
an open letter from Karen Zipdrive
Tension is building behind the scenes among Barack Obama's advisers over whether the new administration should investigate allegations of torture and other Bush administration misdeeds. Obama has said he wants to "move forward," but pressure on his team has increased thanks to recent comments in The Washington Post by a top Pentagon official that the treatment of one Guantánamo detainee "met the legal definition of torture." One transition source, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters, said that Attorney General-designate Eric Holder may be more inclined than other Obama aides to press the matter.
WASHINGTON —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants an investigation into whether the Bush administration broke the law when it fired a group of federal prosecutors.
She says that what she calls the politicizing of the Justice Department cannot go unreviewed.
House Democrats last week recommended a criminal investigation to see if administration officials broke the law in the name of national security. The report cited the interrogation of foreign detainees, warrantless wiretaps, retribution against critics, manipulation of intelligence and the fired prosecutors.
Barack Obama has been more cautious. He has said he believes there is a need to look forward as opposed to looking backward.
Dear President Obama,
Moving forward is great, but you cannot allow the overwhelming burdens left to you by the Bush administration inundate you to the extent that you ignore the war crimes they perpetrated with such gleeful abandon.
The world is watching, sir.
Either America is a nation of laws with no one above the law, or it's not.
It's glaringly apparent that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld violated several laws, especially when it comes to torture, rendition and violation of the civil and human rights of thousands of people worldwide.
This is not a time to move forward, sir.
It is a time to enforce the American notion of justice and bring criminals to that justice.
You don't need to circumvent due process and railroad the Bush perpetrators into guilty verdicts; all we ask is thorough investigations, charges if they are warranted, and swift trials of the accused.
You simply cannot move ahead without seeking justice.
We love you. We trust you.
But we have expectations tied to those sentiments, and you will squander them if you refuse to deal with the Bush administration's misdeeds.