Turley Speaks Out On The Bush "Policy Of Crime"

Barack Obama and his new administration need to prosecute the malefactors in the outgoing Bush Administration for the crimes and crimes against humanity they perpetrated while in office. The law is not just to punish, although it is for that; more importantly, it is to set an example for society to see and know, to exhibit what is wrong and not to be tolerated.

Tonight on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown on MSNBC, Professor Jonathan Turley made a passionate plea to Mr. Obama, his Attorney General to be Eric Holder and the incoming administration to do just that: prosecute the malefactors for the egregious conduct and set an example.

There is a difference between criminalizing policy and a policy of crimes, and that is what we have here. We just had three Attorney Generals that couldn’t tell the difference, and the question is whether he will prosecute confirmed crimes.

Indeed, that is the question. Watch the clip, it is must see teevee.

Paul Krugman said much the same in today’s New York Times:

I’m sorry, but if we don’t have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years — and nearly everyone has taken Mr. Obama’s remarks to mean that we won’t — this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don’t face any consequences if they abuse their power.

These two luminaries are speaking the gospel. Spread the word.

  1. bobschacht says:

    Thanks, bmaz!
    Thanks, Professor Turley!

    I sensed in the questioning of Holder, that didn’t go quite according to expectations, that a tide was rising for the rule of law, with no exceptions — or, at least, with fewer exceptions than had been commonly supposed.

    It may be that a critical mass has been achieved, and Obama can no longer stand at the sea shore, like King Canute, and command the tide not to come in, if that was ever his intention.

    Bob in HI

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      I think you are right I wonder what the polling is? Fox’s 24 seems to have failed in its propaganda mission to make the American Public more accepting of these matters.
      The GOP has to learn they can’t govern or sway public opinion by just speaking to 30%ers.
      Voters are paying attention to the issues thanks to all of Bush’s failure’s.
      And when they pay attention and vote the GOP loses.

  2. PJEvans says:

    The people who don’t want to prosecute are, as one of my friends said today, forgetting that forgiveness requires repentance and remorse first; it doesn’t mean pretending they never did anything wrong.

    (I don’t expect remorse from these guys, or any kind of honest reflection on what they did. Prosecutions, even if they were found innocent (preferably by reason of insanity), would be excellent. And Cheney is going to end up in a circle so far down that Benedict Arnold will be excreting upon him.)

    • Eureka Springs says:

      There is also the whole idea of “we the people” forgiving ourselves. The best repentance, imo, would be embracing and utilizing the best of our constitution, its treaties… and restoring firm command of the rule of the law, Beginning with the most egregious violators.

  3. darms says:

    Martha Stewart’s ‘crime’ sent her to prison. Just exactly how many people did she order killed and/or tortured, again? How many billions of dollars did she steal and/or squander? Who & how many did she illegally spy upon?

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Completely agree. I used to dismiss her; no longer.
      She has a damn sight more integrity than Scooter Libby.

      And I ’second’ everything that PJEvans said @3

  4. Kathryn in MA says:

    There should be four parts to an apology, and these are prerequisites to forgiveness =
    o One should acknowledge what one has done.
    o One should express remorse for what one has done.
    o One should swear to never do it again.
    o One should make restitution as best as one can.

  5. rwcole says:

    Will be interesting to see who Clusterfuck pardons on the way out the door. Has the decider decided yet?

    When did Clinton announce his final pardons? Day before he left?

    • elmoticky says:

      Can Pardons by revoked??
      If compelling evidence of crimes against humanity exist, can Obama and
      “the people” revoke pardons to those who committed the crimes?

      • brantl says:

        Nope, pardons can’t be revoked. There needs to be an amendment to the constitution that revokes a president’s ability to pardon his own administration’s officials. And it needs to be written that they can’t pardon people in an administration that they had a significant part in, too. (Like Gerald Ford)

  6. RevBev says:

    I heard some coverage today (car radio/hard to pay attention) that one of the Ob spokespeople had said while speaking to a group that he does not intend to prosecute. I am hoping I misunderstood, etc. but that is what it sounded like to me. Did anyone else hear a similar report?

  7. DWR1 says:

    Turley was so right: if we walk away from dealing with Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Gonzales WAR CRIMES, then those become OUR crimes. We need some dose of ’sunlight sanitizes’ … and we need it soon. To let the criminals walk away with to their safe havens with the plunder, then we are weak and complicit.

  8. Smgumby says:

    What an excellent segment! And Turley’s point at the end really summed it up. Even if you do accept the premise of the ticking time bomb and torture is the absolute only way to obtain the intelligence in time… …the President can pardon the crime. Making the crime policy is an absurd solution, to an absurd premise.

  9. rwcole says:

    GW Clusterfuck can’t shut up. He said goodbye last night but was still flappin his jaw today about how he saved the country from a bad economy- but that the positive effects won’t show up until Obama’s watch. He’s actually insane you know!

    “updated 10:27 a.m. PT, Fri., Jan. 16, 2009
    WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush said Friday that while the current economic crisis has sent shock waves around the world, he believes steps taken by his administration have “laid the groundwork for a return to economic growth and job creation” early in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama”

    • PJEvans says:

      What gets me is that he thinks Homeland Security, NCLB, and Medicare part D are good things he’s done.

    • bmaz says:

      There is plenty of torture available within the confines of the Army Field Manual, and Obama is reported (although this isn’t yet confirmed) to be at least considering a classified provision to allow techniques outside of the Army Field Manual.

      I will be doing a post soon, maybe later tonight, maybe tomorrow, on the the gaps in the Army Field Manual, which Obama and Holder say they are going to follow, that allow for a whole lot of unconscionable torture. They are NOT as clean as they are letting on with this subject.

      • ratfood says:

        I’ve noticed that Team Obama appears to be hedging on these issues of late. I do take him at his word that he won’t torture… until he changes his mind. Not that he’s done anything like that before (FISA).

  10. rwcole says:

    I have come to like Turley lately- as opposed to when he was a part of the Clinton lynch mob-

    Unfortunately- I’ll be surprised to see one member of the Clusterfuck admin. spend twenty five minutes in jail for their crimes.

    • ratfood says:

      I’m confident Obama won’t target his predecessors. Not because he doesn’t believe they deserve it or fears establishing a precedent that might boomerang but for the simple reason that it would have a polarizing effect and make it harder to push his agenda through Congress. I don’t share that perspective but don’t hold your breath waiting for justice to be served.

  11. rwcole says:

    Turley gave a scholarly speech to congress on why Clinton should be removed from office for a blow job.

  12. TJ says:

    Our country is never going to be able to move forward under the weight of so many crimes committed by its leaders. When will Obama realize that the only way to separate the country from the past is to put the past in jail?

  13. JohnLopresti says:

    It should be a salubrious exercise for congress to address its usual politics of circumscription in defining some of the related issues. While I have yet to view the videostream, I experienced a likely similar forensic arts bemusement at a rendition of Turley’s superb invective on ToTN while in a vehicle with radio on a few days back, his opponent Charles Fried with a laconic British accent, Turley attacking like an expert barrister, the host’s demeanor his usual amiable reluctance to formulate any sentence to goad the two debaters, Turley steaming through the interruptions and half formed verbalizations of the moderator. I think a few similarly gifted folks work in congress, as well. It is a test to see what kind of lemonade congress wants to make. Turley’s students are blessed by his intellect and wits. Steve Aftergood’s lastest CRS additions seemed to address some of Turley’s concerns, though perhaps too oblique for linking yet.

  14. ondelette says:

    Does anyone know if it is possible to classify pardons? That is to say, could he issue secret pardons, and the people to whom they were issued could hold them and bring them out only if someone attempts prosecution? Or do they have to go on the public record?

  15. Assumpsit says:

    We set the standard at Nuremburg; we should adhere to the same standard, otherwise our hypocrisy will be plain for all the world to see.

    • sona says:

      do you presume that the bulk of humanity, ie, the world outside the USA, has not seen that hypocrisy already?

  16. rwcole says:

    You can’t prosecute anyone without prosecuting Bush first.

    Prosecuting Bush would probably be political suicide- goopers would represent it as a partisan witch hunt. It would poison the presidency for the balance of the term- at least that is what they will fear.

    The idea of trying the ex pres on a capital crime when many of most of americans feel that he did what he did only out of an ill thought desire to protect america won’t wash in my opinion.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Or it could link bush real fast to Abu Graid photos on the news 24/7 in which case the GOP will do anything to get that off the TV.
      Bush resigning like Nixon did is not an option Bush would try and plead guilty to a minor offense but do no time.
      We must resist the plea bargain’s now.

    • brantl says:

      I think it’s the other way around, I think we’re going to have to prosecute all the others in order to get them to rat out Mr. Bush.

      I don’t think you’ll have enough evidence to get him without rolling up the other people, and only rolling up the other people will get you (step by step) the access to evidence that is needed.

  17. behindthefall says:

    Didn’t FDR basically say to Congress on some issue: “Make me!” With an added “Please!” to be understood? Is Obama doing the same?

  18. itwasntme says:

    He’s got to do something about the crimes. I think he will, in his own time, when he has neutralized the death-grip partisanship has held over this country. Watch for it. Remember, Obama is a very cool person – that is emotionally cool, and level-headed. When he catches the scent, he will be on it, not big-time, but small-time by small time. I’ll stand by this.

  19. AitchD says:

    I’m old enough to remember when Keith demanded that Bush “Resign, Sir”, but it didn’t work out. Probably insufficient prestige. But since his ratings improved, maybe he can demand that Bush turn himself in.

  20. RevBev says:

    OT: Does anyone have ideas about why W tears up all the time? It can hardly be b/c he will miss Washington. He gets out of there as often as he can. Does he realize he is such a failure? Or could he be aware of and/or afraid of what we are talking about. He’s always getting teary about something…

  21. Palli says:

    I think Obama has been lying low on the torture issue, waiting until he has power, waiting for our collective relief to drift away and we look look around to see all the hard work begin. His calm patience is really his way of working the crowd. He just prepared in as many sensible ways as possible and let the Bush/Cheney criminal protest too much, running their mouths with tired lies. Americans will want someone to blame, we will want to feel – to be- better than the guys who got us here. Torture litigation is a good focus for purging that collective shame and anger. Whatever the motives of any single American to strive to make right the wrong of torture, the effort will represent the very nature of Justice. I think this is what my father would be telling me. I hope it will happen before one of those remaining unrepentant, unAmerican torturers goes postal.

  22. freepatriot says:

    I’m thinking that Kieth Olberman is gonna expend some of his media capital on this issue

    KO commented in thereisnospoon’s diary

    Monday we go gently after the Torture Prosecution…

    I personally believe the repuglitards are stupid enough to defend george on these issues, and I want this fight to happen

    the evangelicals are gonna feel pretty stupid when they realize which side they’re on, but let these fucking fools defend crimes against humanity

    let the truth commissions begin

  23. FrozenNorthObserver says:

    The simple fact of the matter is is that BushCo has admitted to waterboarding, BO’s attorney general has stated that waterboarding is torture and illegal under US law. If BO refuses to or blocks efforts to prosecute BushCo he will in fact and in law be guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and or obstruction of justice which makes him a war criminal too, plain and simple like it or not, thats the way it works. Plus he has elevated a group of people to be above the law, plainly violating the constitution and that silly little part about “all people be equal”. Obama is a constitutional laywer so he is fully aware of the offence he would be committing, which would make it premeditated. Mr Obama like Mr Bush appears to ready to ignore laws he finds inconvenient. So whether you choose to ignore your withering democracy or not if BO ignores the the admitted crimes you will have yet another criminal president. Some “change” huh?

  24. Dismayed says:

    Obama would be nuts to fold his hand on anything at the moment. He’s patient and disiplined. This is not the sort of thing that can be jumped in wholesale, and he has yet to get his hands on much much evidence.

    I dont’ think your going to see this moving hard during year one. But, perhaps some groundwork, some revelations to bring the public around. He needs to get a good strong hold on power before going after these guys, I mean think about it, George still has the football – how crazy is that?

    I see two likelyhoods, one is that Obama realizes that doing anything here would be very hard on the fabric of the nation during a difficult time. In that instance he may quietly tell some other nations that he will not interfear if they have prosecutable evidence and arrest Bush administration persons while on foreign soil. I’ll gurantee you that if I were Rummy I wouldn’t put a foot off US soil until the day I was IN US soil.

    The second situation is that he waits and prosecutes up the ladder, inocuous at first, but quietly deals are made until he gets up to Cheney. Cheney could easily be proscecuted. I’m not so sure about Bush. It’s be far smarter to let that poor fool go – mental incompetence and all that. Truth is he just did what Cheney said, and I don’t think he was ever anything but the bottom in that relationship. So is Bush guilty in the true sense of the word. I’m not so sure he is. Culpable yes, but truly guilty – to dumb to be so if you asked me.

    We’ll see, but IF something is done domestically, it’s going to take time to do it right, and if that’s to be the approach, Obama’s the guy.

    And one more consideration. We probably have some very powerful equally guilty senators in the Dem party. What does one do about them. How do you bring down Rummy without taking them down? Then again the one’s that come to mind I’d really, really like to see gone anyway, so nevermind – toss ‘em to the wolves for being compromised cowards.

    • Legion303 says:

      “How do you bring down Rummy without taking them down?”

      I’m failing to see your point. if someone is guilty of committing a crime, he’s guilty of committing a crime. Party affiliation is not part of that equation.

    • BlueStateRedHead says:

      Agree with you based on what I read and a pinhole-sized view onto the inner organizational –not policy–operations of the Campaign’s highest level.

      Knowing his traits and his disciplined use of language, I think there is room to read his last Sunday’s remarks as follows

      about the good people doing their work and looking forward not back as an indication that the political appointees

      • BlueStateRedHead says:

        Scratch the previous endining, I hit the submit too soon.

        In light of the above, I understand the quote below to a. be restricted to torture/CIA, to say nothing about other exec agency crimes, and specifically to leave the DOJ cleanup to Holder. b. exclude from prosecution the career CIA people who have jobs as opposed to those in all agencies in Exec branches who at the time of his speaking no longer had, or soon would not have jobs. And who were never good people in his estimation

        It’s a stretch, but the quote could also read that I don’t want those who may have objected but would still need to prove it to have to lawyer up. It certainly says in code to CIA people that I want to rebuild moral based on the work of the low level intel people who got shafted and blamed by the Bush admin.

        It’s generous, I recognize, but I think it goes in the same direction as your thinking.

        I would appreciate commentary, and please be gentle, Bmaz. Will check back in an hour. Life is calling me away from the pleasures of the most intelligent company on the Toobz.

        We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. And part of my job is to make sure that for example at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe.
        OBAMA: That doesn’t mean that if somebody has blatantly broken the law, that they are above the law. But my orientation’s going to be to move forward.

    • bmaz says:

      You understand that there are statutes of limitation on crimes and that they are expiring every day, right? Just how long are we supposed to wait pray tell?

      • Dismayed says:

        Yeah, I know. But Obama has a tight rope to walk – and he can’t do one damn thing until after Tuesday, so we have to wait at least that long. I want accountability just as much a you do. I was telling a young friend today, that the last 8 years have felt as close to what it must feel like to live under a dictatorship as I hope to ever know. But at the same time we have other fires breaking out, and I’m not sure I want the city to burn down because the fireman has been tasked with arresting the mayor.

        My gut tells me that O- has a plan on this, and that some measure of reason will be applied to priorities without letting crimes go unanswered.

        We shall see. I’m glad there is an outcry for action – and I think it’s badly needed, but there are lots of squeeky wheels at the moment, and Washington is a filty town, so you have to know there’s a lot of navigating that has to be done to see the type of action you want to move forward. It ain’t just the GOP that’s dirty on this – I’m all in favor of letting what heads must roll, roll – but political realities may flat preclude it ever happening to the extent it should.

        And YEAH for Tuesday, finally our long national nightmare is over.

    • brantl says:

      Stupidity can’t be an excuse, or the Republicans will keep trying to elect dumber and dumber people (Palin comes to mind, along with good ol’ basset-hound Fred). And I don’t actually mean it as a joke. I think Ronnie Rayguns was their first trial balloon on this, and it worked.

  25. wavpeac says:

    Am I wrong here? (probably)But aren’t there several cases in progress right now that could bring to light that these crimes were committed (well continue to bring to light) that these crimes were committed and sort of “force” action that has not been deemed necessary yet?

    I mean, I am wondering if at this point, Obama might feel that he would be speculating about what did or did not take place. So instead of putting the peices together from the outside, could he be waiting for it to be put in his lap, via some of the lawsuits and legal actions that are already in place?

    Or am I just crazy for hoping? If I were Obama I would not want this administration to know in advance what I were going to do. And if I were Obama and wanted to appear bi partisan then I would not act until I was forced by facts and public opinion, a ground swelling, that I must act. I think that some legal things are in place like the A.G scandal that could bring that kind of peak that would allow him to gracefully begin. Then you could maintain the bi-partisan appearance and do it for the sake of the law and country. I know, we all know that it’s damn clear. But, if I were Obama I would be waiting for the clearly innocent man who was tortured illegally and that is the case I would take to the public.

    Now that said, I thought that Pelosi might have been trying to do the same with “the impeachment’s off the table” gag…but I was oh, so naive on that one.

    And…I do expect that Obama’s hands may not be clean enough to pull this off against a very vindictive and powerful administration. I think that pulling the lid off of the chicago politics was a “warning shot”. I might be wrong, and it’s a judgment, but it “feels” that way to me.

    But I could not agree more…the only way to restore America’s integrity is to follow and prosectute the laws as they stand. If Obama does not do that he will likely not get a second term. Listening to comments on Cspan I have been blown away that the callers are running about 3 to 1 that Obama better prosecute for torture, fisa, and the subprime scandals.

  26. plunger says:

    These purported “bank bailouts” aren’t that at all. The globalist oil/banking tyrants have planned on this outcome for decades. They have every available computer model, and their own (IMF/World Bank) experiences to draw upon to know precisely to what extent a fiat-based economy can be stretched (manipulated through every available tool know to man) to its maximum potential before it simply implodes and starts to feed on itself in reverse.

    They all knew that derivatives and CDOs were deadly. They planned on them destroying the entire global economy. They knew that when the end of the inflationary crusade had reached its maximum potential, and swung into reverse, there would be virtually nothing that politicians or citizens could do but watch in horror.

    The plutocracy that owns this planet and controls its resources, banks and media, has finally achieved nirvana. They are telling you to your face that the banks are going to take all of your money, and print more, and leave you with the bill – and there’s simply not a damn thing you can do about it.


    Blackmail is why.

    There are so many co-conspirators, both willing and duped, on so many levels, and the Rockefeller-led Shadow Global Government is so powerful, that no one dare speak his name or call for his arrest and conviction for his Treason.

    When you have Total Information Awareness, as does Rockefeller, through his Mossad and NSA divisions, you have the ability to know everything in the world, and as a result, blackmail or kill your enemies (Constitutionalists).

    When you are Rockefeller and you control the Fed, Exxon-Mobil, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and are taking down your competitors on a daily basis – plus you control the major think tanks, plus the AIPAC/Israel division of the global oligarchy, and your business partners include the Crown, The Bank Of England, BP, and Queen Beatrix and her banking and Oil Empire, and your longest time co-conspirators are the Rothschilds – you effectively rule the world. You want to control the rest of the resources and countries you have yet to capture? Destroy the global economy and take the value of oil down to zero if you have to – and simply wait them out:


    The foregoing is about Venezuela, but the same will be true of Russia and the middle eastern countries.

    The big oil/banking/new world order conglomerates control the ability to pull oil out of the ground and convert it to needed revenue for these countries that rely on oil revenue to feed their own.

    Rockefeller made his fondness for the Chinese communist system of governance well known decades ago – and he’s been driving the globe to accept a world government based upon its authoritarian principals ever since.

    “Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”

    – David Rockefeller, 1973, on Mao Tse-tung: (NY Times, 1973-10-08)


    They ALL work for Rockefeller. Keith Broadcasts from what building? Oh yes, Rockefeller Center.

    Keep focusing on the trees – which Mr. Rockefeller’s minions are igniting on cue, one at a time. As long as you analyze one tree at a time, you can never grasp the enormity of the conspiracy.

    Ask Mr. Rove about “discernible reality.” As long as the media can spin a narrative to keep you focused on the trees, the entire forest can be burned without your comprehension of who planned it, who started, and why.

    “Welcome to the New World Order. Your micro-chip please, comrade?”

  27. MartyDidier says:

    It seems that most people are still caught up in believing the stories the news keeps telling us. There is something far different involved here that many people don’t know about.

    Obama is a TEAM MEMBER in a Political Mafia that includes a percentage of law makers in Congress. It doesn’t stop there and continues down into the different States and into local areas. The CIA is deeply involved and we’ve been going through a long term setup for a White House Coup. The Coup was kicked off when 911 happened and it continues to this day although what I see tells me it’s failing.

    How I know is because I was in a family for more than 26 years who are deeply involved.

    Meet the family:Mexico drug plane used for US ‘rendition’ flights: report
    Sep 4, 2008


    Cocaine plane trail is open challenge for Obama administration – January 11, 2009 Clyde O’Connor

    Clyde O’Connor is my ex-sister-in-law’s brother. Her husbnd is my ex-wife’s brother and Money Man behind Clyde and possibly Greg Smith. Be aware that in the second link there is a serious error when explaining about The CIA setting up Coup’s. The huge drug system creates profits that are FUNDING Black-Op’s in support of a White House Coup. I heard about 911 in 1996 only then there were three sites being reviewed.

    Guess who assisted the family with setting up their drug shipping business? Obama while working at the law Firm where Rezko invited him to work (even though Rezko doesn’t own the law firm) assited the family with drawing up the business papers for their Florida Operation. This is from conversations with the family while I was married. Please note the CIA link. While married the family bragged about being a CIA Asset when questioned as to why they weren’t worried about being prosecuted even if it involved murder. Obama is a TEAM MEMBER according to the family and this is why he was recruted and introduced to so many wealthy people as they had high expectations of him in achieving high success in Politics. This is why Obama team includes so many people with questionable backgrounds. Holder as an example will be a FOX in the hen house if made AG. Chiquita is one of the family’s clients with shipping huge amounts of drugs and launderering money.

    There is a lot more for another time….

    Marty Didier
    Northbrook, IL