Crowley: “The Impact … for Which I Take Full Responsibility”?

While a number of media outlets have reported one line–“The exercise of power in today’s challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values”–from PJ Crowley’s resignation statement, I wanted to remark on a few things in the larger statement.

The unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a serious crime under U.S. law. My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership. The exercise of power in today’s challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values.

Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the Department of State.

I am enormously grateful to President Obama and Secretary Clinton for the high honor of once again serving the American people. I leave with great admiration and affection for my State colleagues, who promote our national interest both on the front lines and in the quiet corners of the world. It was a privilege to help communicate their many and vital contributions to our national security. And I leave with deep respect for the journalists who report on foreign policy and global developments every day, in many cases under dangerous conditions and subject to serious threats. Their efforts help make governments more responsible, accountable and transparent. [my emphasis]

Note, first of all, the sentence, “Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility.” That has been interpreted as a reaffirmation of Crowley’s statement that DOD’s treatment of Manning is “ridiculous, counterproductive, and stupid.” But there’s actually some ambiguity to the statement: the antecedent of “for which” could be “remarks,” as has been interpreted, but it also could be “impact.” Given that Crowley has spent years crafting public statements in which any ambiguity would lead to international incident, I suspect the ambiguity, in a written statement issued during a time of heightened attention, is intentional.

If so, this is Crowley making it clear he intended all this to blow up (remember, too, the participants in the MIT session at which Crowley first made his remarks double checked that his statements were on the record before they posted them).

And he tells us that his intent was to raise attention to the impact that certain actions of our national security agencies have on our international standing.

While I hope Crowley has an opportunity to explain precisely which actions he had in mind–aside from Manning’s treatment, of course–I wanted to point to a CAP paper Crowley wrote in 2008, linked by Rortybomb. The paper as a whole is a sound strategy for counter-terrorism (I’m particularly fond of Crowley’s focus on building resilience at home). As Rortybomb points out, Crowley argues that part of the fight against terrorism must be about remaining on the right side of history.

Most of the world now believes, fairly or not, that America is on the wrong side of history. While the Bush administration acknowledged the vital importance of winning hearts and minds in its revised 2006 counterterrorism strategy, too often since 2001, U.S. policies have neither matched our values, nor what we preach to the rest of the world. We are perceived, accurately or not, as operating secret and illegal prisons, condoning torture, denying legal rights, propping up autocratic regimes, and subverting fair elections.

[snip]

More importantly, the United States and its allies need to drive a wedge between affiliated groups and broader communities More importantly, the United States and its allies need to drive a wedge between affiliated groups and broader communities. On this front, Al Qaeda is actually vulnerable. The vision of Islamic society that bin Laden propagates—his bridge to the seventh century—is not shared by the masses. In Iraq and elsewhere, Muslims have turned against bin Laden once they recognized that Al Qaeda’s violent attacks largely victimize fellow Muslims.

But turning the tide is simply not possible as long as the United States pursues its current strategy—occupying Iraq, defending autocratic leaders such as Musharraf and violating international norms regarding torture and the treatment of detainees. Such actions create the perception of grievance that opens the door to radical recruitment. The key is making this struggle more about Al Qaeda’s actions than those of the United States. [my emphasis]

Three years ago, Crowley argued that our detainee policies hurt us in the fight against terrorism. Is it any surprise, then, that he just got himself fired for speaking out against the treatment of Manning. (I suspect Obama’s recent embrace of indefinite detention didn’t help, either.)

But there’s another section of Crowley’s paper I find just as relevant–where he talks about the importance of transparency and rule of law.

Restore Government Transparency and Recommit to the Rule of Law

Terrorism, while a serious threat, does not require altering the fundamental relationship between the government and the American people. Even during the Cold War we did not succumb to our worst fears. We should continue to rely on constitutional standards that as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy put it in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, “have been tested over time and insulated from the pressures of the moment.”174

U.S. courts have consistently demonstrated their ability to deal with complex terrorism cases, even those involving secret and sensitive information. Rather than being a constraint, treating terrorism as primarily a criminal matter in fair and transparent legal proceedings adds to our political legitimacy at the terrorists’ expense.175

A key objective should be preserving continuity of and public confidence in government at all levels. Unless the United States is under an overwhelming threat of additional attack, or the impact of an incident completely overwhelms local and state government, the federal response should be to support rather than supplant civilian authority, particularly at the local level.

Public access to information and open debate is not dangerous, but rather is the essence of democracy that we present to the world as the antidote to violent extremism. The removal of large quantities of public information since 9/11 is counter-productive. Rather than provide information to attackers, excessive secrecy more likely inhibits the development of effective countermeasures.176

An effective homeland security program may require wider governmental access to personal information, such as telephone calls and emails. But privacy protections must keep pace. Otherwise, perceived intelligence dots may actually be stray bullets that wrongly implicate ordinary citizens. [my emphasis]

With Crowley’s reference to the importance of “public access to information” (from his paper) and his celebration of how journalists “help make governments more responsible, accountable and transparent,” go back and read the longer transcript of his comment at MIT.

PJC: “I spent 26 years in the air force. What is happening to Manning is ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid, and I don’t know why the DoD is doing it. Nevertheless, Manning is in the right place.” There are leaks everywhere in Washington – it’s a town that can’t keep a secret. But the scale is different. It was a colossal failure by the DoD to allow this mass of documents to be transported outside the network. Historically, someone has picked up a file of papers and passed it around – the information exposed is on one country or one subject. But this is a scale we’ve never seen before. If Julian Assange is right and we’re in an era where there are no secrets, do we expect that people will release Google’s search engine algorithms? The formula for Coca Cola? Some things are best kept secret. If we’re negotiating between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there will be compromises that are hard for each side to sell to their people – there’s a need for secrets.

Admittedly, only the Manning comments appear to be a direct quote. But directly after Crowley asserted that Manning is in the right place–effectively endorsing rule of law (as he did in his paper)–Crowley lays into DOD for allowing “this mass of documents” to be leaked. As I have noted, DOD had warning that SIPRNet had a amateurish vulnerability, its ready access to removable media, three years ago. In spite of promises the vulnerability would be permanently fixed for classified networks (that is, for SIPRNet), it failed to do so.

Crowley seems to forge a middle ground, implicitly acknowledging the importance of transparency and pointing to our lack of resiliency as one of the biggest problems with Manning’s alleged leaks.

One of the things revealed by WikiLeaks is Department of State pressure on Egypt, under Clinton, to end its indefinite detention under military law. Of all the cables revealing US hypocrisy in its diplomatic affairs, those are the cables that really demonstrate to me how we have lost our moral standing.

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  1. merkwurdiglieber says:

    Sounds like the Truman administration after June 1950, we are stuck

    with a permanent cold war response to almost every situation that

    arises.

  2. rosalind says:

    afraid my accountability-starved brain can’t get past “..for which I take full responsibility”. what is this strange spinal-like substance on display?

  3. speakingupnow says:

    It is apparent that P.J. Crowley is willing and able to take the “moral” high ground, representing what the United States SUPPOSEDLY stands for rather than worry about how his statements effect his career. Something the morally suspect President Obama and Secretary Clinton are obviously unwilling to do.

  4. tjbs says:

    “The exercise of power” that’s killing, right ?

    Trying not to get caught killing but killing is power.

    That’s what’s secret.

  5. OldFatGuy says:

    I used to work in with “secrets” everyday. I agree with Crowley that some secrets are necessary, but what I witnessed in the 80’s in my time in the blackworld was an abuse, where things were marked classifed not because they represented an actual national security threat, but because it was in some way embarrassing or unpopular. I can only imagine how much worse the abuse has gotten since I left.

    • dakine01 says:

      Yep. So very much of the “Intelligence Community” and the “secrets” seem designed to keep the secrets solely from the US public rather than any of our so-called enemies.

    • SouthernDragon says:

      When I worked with nucweaps in the Navy I had to justify classifying any document Secret or Top Secret. That document had to meet certain criteria for the classification or I got my ass chewed. One would think that classifying documents within the boomer world would be a piece of cake. Not so. If we had arbitrarily classified documents we wouldn’t have had room to store all that crap and the officer responsible for tracking classified material at the command would have eaten us alive.

      • Margaret says:

        We used to attend endless training sessions about secrecy in which they would try to encourage it with everything ranging from appeals to patriotism to threatened jail time. The trouble is, everything they decided to classify as “secret” or even “top secret” could be found pretty easily in Aviation Week or Popular Science. It was a joke but times were different then and conservative paranoia wasn’t the default position.

    • becomingjohngalt says:

      Thanks for the post. Just wondering, how many of those documents (that you thought were classified just to keep from embarassing someone) did you leak to the media? Do you believe what Manning allegedly did was wrong?

      • Synoia says:

        Not the point. Manning is innocent until proven guilty, at which time, if guilty, he can be punished.

        Not before proven guilty (subject to appeals).

        Manning’s treatment has all the appearance of a public effort to dissuade other disaffected with access to many secrets (badly protected secrets), for taking the same path as Manning, before any trial concludes.

      • OldFatGuy says:

        One. It had to do with space based weapons testing. (I worked for HQ USAF Space Command).

        As far as Manning is concerned, or whoever released all of that data, IMO if any of it was actualy national security related, then it was wrong. But all of the stuff that’s just embarrasing SHOULD BE released IMO, because IMO it’s not legitimately classified to begin with.

        • becomingjohngalt says:

          Thanks for your candor. So please tell me, do you believe that a PFC is the ultimate arbiter of what should be released to the public? Or do you believe in the chain of command when addrssing such instances?

          • OldFatGuy says:

            Do you believe the chain of command can be corrupted??

            What a bullshit question.

            But it figures, because those of you on the right believe in authority, even if wrong.

          • hotdog says:

            I believe the chain of command during Abu Graib went all the way up to Donald fucking Rumsfeld. Where it goes now, is no different.

          • Margaret says:

            So please tell me, do you believe that a PFC is the ultimate arbiter of what should be released to the public?

            There is a such thing as a “lawful order” and an “unlawful” one. If he was ordered to sit on that video or to classify it improperly, then he has a responsibility to see it aired. But let’s leave that aside. It tells me that there are at least some young people who value integrity over hooting and cheering when civilians are ruthlessly slaughtered.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Or look closer to home. The systemic lies about our “progress” in Vietnam or the near-mutiny over JFK’s decision not to go to war over Cuba might be good examples. Or watch what happens if the financial tap is closed or tightened on the “freedom” to buy mercenaries or toys.

            • lysias says:

              About a year ago, I read biographies of Field Marshall Blomberg, German Minister of War in the 1930’s, and Gen. Ludwig Beck, Chief of the German General Staff at the same time. Together, those two books tell a lot about just how the German officer corps was corrupted at that time.

              It was basically careerism and opportunism.

      • Phylter says:

        Do you believe that torturing Manning is wrong? Do you believe that the law is being upheld, with respect to Manning? Do you believe in the VI amendment of the Bill Of Rights?

  6. jedimsnbcko19 says:

    the Obama WH hates intelligent people as much or more than the Bush WH

    Mr. Crowley never had a chance, he could become dumb and stupid and he done the right thing got out of dodge.

    I am mad at Hillary, she did not tell us Obama would have to deal with 4:00am calls weekly

    • OldFatGuy says:

      Haha!

      Related, I’ve read a LOT of comments at this site claiming Hillary would’ve been so much better than Obama. I just don’t believe that AT ALL. Almost all of Obama’s team is either from Wall St. or the former Clinton administration, and I’d bet dollars to donuts that Hillary’s team (and therefore administration) would’ve been nearly identical.

  7. OldFatGuy says:

    If so, this is Crowley making it clear he intended all this to blow up

    For what purpose though? It doesn’t appear as though the incident has changed anything. I’m not even sure it made Manning’s treatment any more known to general public than it was before.

    • Funnydiva2002 says:

      Actually, Glennzilla has a roundup of media responses in his most recent post today. Looks like the issue has penetrated another layer of the MSM.

      • OldFatGuy says:

        Oh, OK, well then maybe that was his goal. If so, it’s a worthy goal IMO. Getting the issue more attention is definitly a worthy goal IMO. I just wasn’t sure it had. Thanks for the link.

        • Funnydiva2002 says:

          You’re welcome. Sorry if it sounded like a slam on you personally.

          I agree, it’s a good thing if the flap over Crowley gets wider attention–and proper linkage to Manning’s torture.

  8. dagoril says:

    Until torturers,torture enablers and apologists are driven from power in this country, there will be no justice. And the corporations who benefit from this situation, will not allow their paid lackeys to be driven from office without a massive, expensive fight.

    It’s going to get uglier before it gets fixed.

  9. JTMinIA says:

    I wonder how much of a role the stream of total BS that Crowley was forced to spew about “Raymond Davis” play in this. I think he reached his breaking point and, therefore, broke.

    I am lovin’ the Change.

    • emptywheel says:

      He actually was pretty careful about NOT spewing lies there. If I’m not mistaken, he only ever said that Davis was a consular employee and had immunity, not sure he specified what kind, and he also wouldn’t confirm his name for a while. I think he may have told some narrow truths there.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Squeezing the truth through ever narrower holes can be exhausting, especially when you know how much is being left out of the public’s reach.

      • JTMinIA says:

        OK, so maybe Crowley didn’t spew as much as I suggested wrt “Davis,” but he sat there while a State Dept. lawyer misled reporters during a briefing on “Davis.” Because they didn’t tell us who the jerk lawyer was, I put most of the blame on Crowley for that one. It was 20 minutes of near-complete disinformation (and the worthless press gobbled it up).

  10. madprogressive says:

    Yet one more Bushlike act from Obama. And these kind of actions are supposed to convince us to vote for Democrats rather Republicans. It’s getting harder and harder to find an excuse to continue to vote for the Democrats, who have gone from being the lesser of two evils to least evil of the two worst of possible evils. As the narrow margin of differences gets smaller and smaller, one wonders whether it’s even worth voting again!

  11. Teddy Partridge says:

    He certainly had the opportunity, which likely would have been respected by his small audience, to say, “Um, no, I’d rather that not be on the record.” Considering that people asked after Crowley made his remarks, they could have proceeded under the non-Russert presumption that the chat was on-the-record.

    And not be invited back.

    So, yeah, he meant this to happen. And he takes responsibility for his comments and for their impact, I bet. Which impact we have yet to see the end of. Maybe PJ Crowley didn’t want to work in an Administration that tortures; pre-trial detention is defensible (not that I agree) in Manning’s case.

    Torture, though, is not.

  12. harpie says:

    Pentagon: Manning not being humiliated; Josh Rogin; 3/14/11

    Pentagon Deputy Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations Col. David Lapan wrote into The Cable Monday to take issue with our post on the resignation of P.J. Crowley and tell us that alleged WikiLeaks source Private Bradley Manning is not being held in isolation, is not subject to humiliation, and no longer has to sleep without his underwear. […]

  13. SharonMI says:

    Three things:
    1. “Such actions create the perception of grievance that opens the door to radical recruitment.” I wonder if people (especially young people) become aware of the treatment of Bradley Manning, they decide “WTF, I got nothing to lose since the PTB really, REALLY suck, and I’m goin’ out there with the protesters.”

    2. As I was nosing around to find Madison info, I ran across this:
    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_74473830-4e60-11e0-8818-001cc4c03286.html

    Apparently a young man said he led the cops in a high speed chase since he was afraid he’d be beaten if he was pulled over. Hmmm, wherever would he have gotten that idea.

    3. I think everyone should watch this movie with Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Geo. Carlin, and more:

  14. bear says:

    a follow up question from Tapper regarding the run a round a civilian working in teh government is getting from the DOD would have been nice.
    thinking kucinich’s attempts to see Manning.

  15. papau says:

    I hope PJ’s actions stop the torture of Manning.

    Odd how Obama reacted – PJ was to retire in 90 days anyway – this just puts a spot light on the torture.

    And the Obama folks in the White House putting out that Hillary did not like PJ (and PJ had stopped flying with her a year ago) despite there being no proof of that “Hillary disliked PJ”, followed by the White House changing the story to “some of Hillary’s inner circle did not like him” – all seemed to show Obama as a coward that would duck even this small a decision if it did harm to his pre-2012 -election image (not that image worries would stop Obama killing the public option or firing PJ – it just stops him from admitting that he did it).

  16. harpie says:

    P.J. Crowley’s top 10 tweets; Josh Rogin; 3/14/11

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/14/pj_crowleys_top_10_tweets

    When State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned on Sunday afternoon, the U.S. diplomatic establishment didn’t just lose its top spokesman — it also lost one of its most prolific, entertaining, and sharp-tongued tweeters. Since Crowley began tweeting in May 2010, he’s told off dictators, criticized Congress, and talked some baseball as well, 140 characters at a time. […]</

  17. JamesJoyce says:

    Americans acting like Nazis bastards? A disgusting thought. I’m sure those Germans who believed the Poles attacked Gleiwitz radio station where surprised to “realize” it was a “staged attack!” Or it didn’t matter. They where already dead, being victims of war……

  18. becomingjohngalt says:

    I never said he was being tortured, only that I don’t think it would be wrong.

    I want to know exactly what else he gave away, and who he gave it to. If he in his misguided mind believes that these things are best put out in the open, what does he think about releasing nuclear launch codes and the frailties of ouf advanced weapons systems.

    He had no right to release this information just because he was pi**ed about his job and realized that wearing a snappy beret does not make him a soldier.

    • dakine01 says:

      You are splitting hairs and also advocating un-American activities when you advocate torture or claim it is not wrong.

      So go to your Galt Gulch and leave US citizens to actually return to acting as US citizens, with all the rights.

      Somalia is calling you.

    • OldFatGuy says:

      Why wouldn’t it be wrong to torture an innocent person??

      Do you really consider yourself an American and espouse such anti-American sentiments?

      • hotdog says:

        I think he’s just angry that he won’t be able to attend any more Dynecorp sponsored Bacha Bazi parties any more.

      • becomingjohngalt says:

        I honestly think he is guilty as sin. So take away his panties if it will make him squirm.

        Yes, I consider myself an Amemrican who is free to hold whatever beliefs I care to. (I think that’s somewhere in that handy-dandy Bill of Rights you have refrred to). It’s only when I ACT on my beliefs (as PFC Manning has) that I would be subject to this great country’s laws.

        • OldFatGuy says:

          In America, you are INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty. Thus, Manning is INNOCENT right now since he hasn’t yet been PROVEN guilty. Thus, you are supporting torturing an innocent person. Not only un-American, it’s about as anti-humanity as anything. It’s hard to imagine anything more dehumanizing than torturing innocent people. I suppose killing innocent people would be the next step.

          And if you disagree with the American ideal of innocent until proven guilty, you are proving you disagree with American ideals. Thus, are un-American.

            • bmaz says:

              Hi there. Again. This is warning number two. It is spring training time currently, so three strikes and yer out. Capiche?

              • OldFatGuy says:

                Sorry bmaz, my fault too for responding. I would say it won’t happen again, but sometimes the crap these trolls post needs a response IMO. So I’ll just say I’ll try and do better. *g*

              • becomingjohngalt says:

                Sure, BM. Just tell me where I went wrong – even the umpire in baseball will let you know that. Some old guy calls me UN-American for the thoughts that I have and I didn’t realize that he could call me names but I could not.

                But I kind of get the message from you guys.

          • hotdog says:

            IDK man, those are the old ideals. I think Crowley has it right. The new American ideals are to be ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid, and we’ve got a commander in chief who’s riding that horse for all it’s worth.

            • OldFatGuy says:

              Yeah, I think you’re right.

              I’ll do that, but do wanna point out that the right wing in this country REALLY DOES support a lot of these un-American policies. That is real indeed, and so wrong.

                • OldFatGuy says:

                  I really don’t mean to shout, I use the capital letters to emphasize, not to shout. What would be a better mode?? Making them bold?? I don’t know how to that in some parts of the FDL family. (MyFDL, IIRC, doesn’t have the Bold, Italics, Underline, strikeout, quote, and link buttons to use.)

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    Gosh, I wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about the commentator with the loud literary sneer who confuses being in a public cafe with being in his own kitchen.

                    • OldFatGuy says:

                      Oh, sorry. I have been accused of shouting before when I use the caps on some words though. Do you know how to make things bold in the areas of FDL that don’t have those buttons?

                    • dakine01 says:

                      There are a couple of ways. You can open one of the other pages/comment threads at FDL sites and use the HTML tools on those comments to build your comment then copy into where you want it at MyFDL or you can write the code yourself.

                      for example, to get italics, you can use (i) or (em) (substitute the carat symbols for the parens the greater than and less than symbols) so that (i)Words you want italicized(/i) or (em)words you want italicized(/em)

                      (b) or (strong) for bold

                  • PJEvans says:

                    replacing square brackets with angle brackets –
                    [em]emphasized[/em] or [i]italics[/i]
                    [strong]strong[/strong] or [b]bold[/b]
                    [strike]strikeout[/strike]
                    [u]underlined[/u]

    • john in sacramento says:

      At risk of encouraging you …

      Your comments remind me of that time Zbigneiew Brzezninski destroyed Joe Scarborough

      You have zero idea what Manning was trained to do. You have zero idea what he might have, or might not have leaked. You have zero idea whether or not he was acting under orders. You have zero proof that he did anything on his own accord

      And yet you make all these definitive statements about his alleged guilt

      Stunningly Superficial

  19. becomingjohngalt says:

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. But don’t dare have any thoughts that your fellow man might find offensive.

    Oh yeah, and that religious freedom stuff is cool, too.”

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I would say we’ve lost our moral “compass” rather than “standing”, but then the mariners in charge of our ship of state and the mercantile interests that back them no longer bother to look where they’re going, except to ask, “Where’s the money?”.

  21. OldFatGuy says:

    Evertime I hear PJ Crowley’s name, I think of some right wing dood I’ve seen on Real Time. I think he must’ve had a similar name, though I can’t recall it now.

  22. drweevil says:

    …the federal response should be to support rather than supplant civilian authority, particularly at the local level.

    Which is exactly the opposite of what our federal government actually did with regards to the Giffords shooting, which local authorities had well in hand. With exactly the effect Crowley warns against: undermining public confidence in government.

    • speakingupnow says:

      It is sad that in the United States of America, in the year 2011, we have to “defend” our fellow Americans against torture.

      As for trolls, I remind myself there are groups of people such as the Aryan Nation, KKK, etc. that definitely do not represent the attitudes of most people. Some of them post comments turning a “discussion” into a “defensive” action. This always derails a conversation which was their purpose to begin with (or posting to get paid). So, I agree, best to ignore the trolls or post comments which respond to them without engaging them.

      • becomingjohngalt says:

        Dude, I made a simple comment and got piled on. Look it up, since my first post every subsequent one was a response to you guys.

        And I’ve never been compared to the Aryan nation before. But I can’t say I didn’t expect it on this site.

  23. radiofreewill says:

    It’s not everyday that you run into someone who openly and shamelessly declares that he’s Pro-Torture, pre-trial even, for a fellow American citizen…

  24. CassandraBearingWitness says:

    Toppling Saddam Hussain Obama & Restoring the Rule of Law

    Most progressives have become more and more disillusioned with Obama, and his brutal, torturous treatment of Bradley Manning is the last straw. Recall that Bradley was motivated to allegedly send the documents to Wikileaks because he was horrified that US forces, including his unit, were rounding up Iraqis and turning them over for the same sorts of torture employed by Saddam’s security apparatus, and by a blatant attack on civilians by a US helicopter crew, and that US authorities have refused to take action even after massive publicity. Defense Secretary Gates has acknowledged that the leaks caused embarrassment, but posed no threat to national security nor to any individuals.

    Both the Wiki documents and Obama’s reactions to them reveal a petulant, narcissistic, arrogant tyrant who cares nothing for human rights or the rule of law. Clearly, our servile media, supine congress and comatose courts don’t care and won’t act, but the Raymond Davis fiasco provides a window through which justice might enter.

    It has been reported in the Indian and Pakistani media that Davis’s cellphones contained numbers of 27 high-level Taliban operatives, and that he was conspiring with them to carry out attacks inside Pakistan to provide a pretext for US action against Pakistan’s nuclear program.

    If true, this would explain Obama’s and Clinton’s frantic efforts to get Davis released and would almost certainly implicate them in numerous felonies related to terrorism and conspiracy.

    Would anything come of it? I am quite sure it would, based on politics rather than principle. If Biden were also implicated, a Republican house would gleefully impeach both of them, and a Democratic senate would have no choice but to remove them after the world learned of their dark deeds. This would be the biggest scandal in US history. Boehner would certainly push the issue, because he would become president. Would he be worse than Obama? No, because both of them bow to the same masters. How could this help Bradley Manning and Julian Assange? Senate Democrats could extract a promise of pardons from Boehner in return for their votes for removal.
    This isn’t farfetched, and the information to date at least warrants a special counsel investigation. It would go a long way towards restoring the rule of law and attenuating our international pariah status. We’ve imprisoned and tortured people and started wars based on less reliable information, after all.

  25. Mary says:

    One of the things revealed by WikiLeaks is Department of State pressure on Egypt, under Clinton, to end its indefinite detention under military law. Of all the cables revealing US hypocrisy in its diplomatic affairs, those are the cables that really demonstrate to me how we have lost our moral standing.

    Especially given Obama’s unwavering and full throated commitment to retaining the power of rendition to torture as an Executive power and the preferred vendor standing of Egypt in that regard.