Obama won't prosecute Bush officials on torture and the reason why

White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel has announced that the administration will not prosecute Bush officials that authorized torture. When the torture memos were released a few weeks ago Obama stated, "it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution." With that statement some still had a hope that those authorizing the torture would be prosecuted for breaking the law.

Now the reason for the Obama administration's hesitation comes to light. Under President Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the CIA's rendition program as Clinton's deputy attorney general. The rendition program moved suspected terrorists from one country to another that cooperated with the U.S. If the Obama administration were to pursue criminal action on the Bush administration democrats under Clinton could easily be brought into the prosecution. Another interesting detail mentioned in that article is that Obama signed an executive order on January 22 allowing rendition despite condemnation around the world.

On another note, a prison in northeastern Poland was used as a transfer note for terrorist suspects. But this isn't a surprise since the Polish government is always sucking up to the U.S.

In another scary move, the Obama legal team is asking the Supreme Court to overrule a law that gives defendants' the right to a lawyer before police questioning. Most of the troubling decisions from the Obama administration lately have come from the Department of Justice. An explanation may be that Republicans are blocking Obama's choice for his choice for the Office of Legal Council. I don't know what the relation of the OLC to the DOJ is, but this could be part of the reason for some of the administrations decisions.

On the environmental front, the current administration is still doing things to upset activists. They have decided to stick with the Bush-era decision to not allow the Endangered Species Act to be used to impose limits on greenhouse gases. Business groups had expressed concern regarding the ESA to be used to impose the limits, so business got their way.

My friend Max posted an interesting connection relating the world of Dune to the past two administrations. In Dune, first a cruel and evil nephew gets put into power, who the people hate and detest. Then the plan is to replace him with the good, fair nephew that the people will love. Interesting thing to think about.