Best Way Forward on Torture Accountability: Special Prosecutor or Truth Commission?
Interview with Elizabeth de la Vega, former U.S. prosecutor, conducted by Scott Harris
Although President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated his view that he'd rather look forward than backward with regard to the Bush administration's torture and abuse of U.S.-held detainees, the issue just won't go away. A steady stream of revelations about President Bush's torture program have trickled out since President Obama released the now-infamous Bush Justice Department memos detailing the authorization of "waterboarding" and other harsh interrogation methods.
Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in The Washington Note, an online political journal, that the Bush administration's sanction of torture against key terrorist suspects "was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S., but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al Qaeda."
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. has become the focus of Republican efforts to distract the public from focusing on Bush administration culpability. Citing reports that the then House minority leader had been briefed early on about Bush administration torture of prisoners, Pelosi responded by accusing the CIA of misleading her and Congress about the specifics of administration torture policy. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecutor, who explains her belief that a rush to appoint a special prosecutor could weaken the case against Bush administration officials who violated international and U.S. law by authorizing torture.
Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega is author of the book, "United States v. George W. Bush et al." Read her articles online at www.truthout.org
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