Eric Holder to the Rescue?

If there’s one area of the Obama presidency that’s been vexing to many of his strongest supporters, it’s been his reluctance to take a hard look at the past sins of his predecessor.

Specifically, questions about torture, illegal surveillance and the like have been given short shrift by this president.


The thinking of his inner circle seemed to be that dredging up the past serves no purpose, even if laws were broken. That rationale was bogus from the start.

Now it looks like things are changing, and light may finally be shed on alleged misdeeds of the Bush cabal. The president and his people, or at least most of them are starting to realize that some of the stuff Bush and his people allegedly did can’t be ignored. The “let’s move on” school has suffered a serious setback. With allegations that the CIA, at the behest of Dick Cheney, put together a counterterrorism program without letting Congress know, and that Attorney General Eric Holder may name a special criminal prosecutor to probe whether US interrogators tortured suspected terrorists, those who have been pressing the administration to get the facts have new and potent ammunition.

Even the naming of a prosecutor may not go far enough if all they’re looking at is some CIA grunt who may have gone too far. Who were the lawyers, who were the policymakers who either affirmed the use of torture or looked the other way when they knew it was happening? The narrow focus of a Justice Dept. probe may not get all the facts. And of course, there’s already pushback from Republicans with a raft of silly pronouncements about why there should be no investigation at all.

“What’s going to be the positive result”? asks John McCain. “This is a terrible trend”, argues Texas Senator John Cornyn. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama could only come up with Dick Cheney’s service to his country. All these arguments are so weak as to be laughable.

However, don’t think for a minute that some of these Republicans won’t try to hold Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation to the Supreme Court hostage to stop any serious attempt to hold anyone accountable.

Think it can’t happen? Think again. Washington ‘Beltway’ politics is a strange and often ugly thing to watch.

Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing starts Monday. Watch some of these same senators try to drag out that hearing while at the same time, on the down low, they try to horse trade with President Obama. This is where AG Holder comes in. There are reports that, even though he’s been a reluctant convert to the idea of looking at this stuff, he’s not really on board with the idea that the president’s political advisors were calling the shots against a serious investigation.

So, is it Eric Holder to the rescue,


or does the Obama Administration need to go even further in probing Bush era misdeeds?


3 Comments Add yours

  1. sanda says:

    As you said, “…looks like things may be changing”. It may only be “looks like”. We’ll see.
    The Afghanistan massacre that’s something like 8 years old, is a case in point.
    It’s covered on today’s DemocracyNow

  2. sanda says:

    Update: I just read Glenn Greenwald’s blog on this topic and there’s lots to wonder, wait
    and “worry” about in re what Eric Holder will investigate

  3. frigginloon says:

    What is up with Obama and the Republicans? Not only has he back peddled on several issues he promised to confront, eg Gitmo and the unreleased photos…hmm what am I saying…Guantanamo in general he seems to be pandering to GOP requests. Only a few days ago it was revealed that Obama has approved the continuation of high level security for Cheney . Something that no other Vice President has ever had or required.
    I always remember the “before and after” photos they showed of Obama entering the White House prior to his inauguration. He was there to be briefed by George W about secret men’s business ( I assume the high level stuff eg Iraq, UFO’s, Government secrets etc)…he went in smiling and came out looking like he had aged 20 years.
    Lets face it, he is only the figurehead for the big machine grinding away behind the pentagon walls!

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