With any difficult decision someone will always be mad, so with that said here we go.
Alright, this may be the second time that I’m in slight disagreement with President Obama. Although I believe I understand why he’s taking the position he’s taking in regards to prosecuting ‘Certain High Profile Government Officials’ for torture, war crimes and a list of other international offensives. I am forced to ask the question. Believe me I really don’t want to ask the question, but I am afraid no other supporter of President Obama will have the courage to honestly ask him the question.
Now, I want it understood that I do understand the reasons politically and have a feeling when he will move on this issue. To be honest I can understand the strategy and if I’m to take a partisan position, I can go along with it. With that said, I must still ask the question with respect.
Mr. President, with all of the evidence of the torture by the orders of ‘Certain High Profile Government Officials’ of the previous administration, why the delay on prosecution?
I’m sure you understand this. It’s just as bad to prevent the investigation and/or prosecution of these crimes than it is to commission it. I’m not sure if the political convenient moment that I believe you may desire will hold that long. This is a political boomerang Mr. President and I don’t want it to hit you. It also can become a moral boomerang too, that will be much harder to dodge.
It is a political gamble you will be taking, but there are not many effective political strategies available other than prosecution. The risk involved is possible relinquishing some political capital and power to an opposition intent on sabotage. But the other side of that risk is you may gain more admiration for sticking to principles and adhering to law. To be political, that can be used as a ‘stimulus’ to any political capital lost.
We already have multiple instances of proof to prosecute. All is needed is the word.
I know there are many advisers who are wise in their recommendations of this being very unpopular to start prosecuting Bush Officials, I mean ‘Certain High Profile Government Officials’ at this time.
Although I clearly understand the political ramifications of how this would likely be perceived with all sides of these issues, please allow me to offer my ‘armchair political adviser’ advice of a possible middle ground. You have no reason to consider what I’m saying, but just think about it. This is may be the way to have your cake and eat it too, even if the cake is a little dry and tasteless.
Now this will upset some Bush/Cheney supporters and those who agree with the policy of torture in the name of protecting America. This will upset some Democrats and those who take the position against torture. Like I said back in January, I may disagree with you on an issue here or there I basically am with you.
The Passive Strategy
Since it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remain silent on this issue, why not demonstrate some level of appeasement on this issue to those ‘chomping at the bit’ for some Red meat and restart the investigation or “Truth Commission” on lower level operatives to help build the case. So you can finally pressing charges against the ‘Certain High Profile Government Officials’ that makes this whole thing politically inconvenient?
That may hold you until the 2010 mid-term election. Now if the Democrats hold their seats and pick-up at least two or three seats then you can begin to progressively move forward without much fear politically.
Keeping 2012 in mind you can prosecute the offenders and use the convicted as leverage in efforts to reduce their sentences help bring the biggest offenders, those ‘Certain High Profile Government Officials’ into question. Now depending on how the election of 2010 & 2012 go determines how swiftly you finally press charges against those ‘Certain High Profile Government Officials’. If the election goes bad, just prosecute them before you leave. Either way it would be a good parting gift.
The Principle Strategy
Now if you do not want to be hammered for taking a passive approach by Democrats and allowing Dick Cheney and friends to make this into a policy issue in efforts to deflect prosecution I advice you to take this approach. Bring all of those ‘Certain High Profile Government Officials’ in for questioning on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and any other thing you can think of. Let them be tried and prosecuted. As I cry tears of joy seeing George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove hauled off into prison for their crimes you will be able to campaign on the merit of principle and be judged by the content of your character. That I promise can be used very effectively in a political campaign.
Now that’s my partisan ‘armchair political advisor’ campaign/policy strategy for the President. I believe he will listen to what he knows is the right thing and not to all of the advisors who are political and partisan. Regardless of how difficult it may appear to be you must stand up for justice, stand up for truth and behold what may come your way. You will be smeared for you actions, but at least you took a stand instead of sitting down.