For the record. For history and posterity, and for future reference.
Dick Cheney openly admits authorizing the US torture policy, a torture policy that has lead to the deaths of"detainees."
The Congressional testimony of former chief of staff to Colin Powell Lawrence Wilkerson
NADLER: Your testimony said 100 detainees have died in detention; do you believe the 25 of those were in effect murdered?
WILKERSON: Mr. Chairman, I think the number’s actually higher than that now. Last time I checked it was 108.
(Video at link)
The Vice President of the United States has openly admitted to what any sane person, any sane world, would call murder. On national (now planetary) television.
"I was aware of the program certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared"
All that is left now is the legal parsing. The only question left is will the American people and the world consent that Dick Cheney and George Bush....and now any American President....have the right to order torture that results in death. Is this murder? Or is it legal and legitimate for heads of state to snatch people off of the streets and torture them to death? Without trial.
With no "presumption of innocence."
With no evidence except the secret evidence provided by the intelligence agencies which told us ...wrongly... that Iraq had "Weapons of Mass Destruction." That ....massively wrongly... led us to invade Iraq and kill tens of thousands of innocent people. On their word alone, and with no due process of law, The President can order death by torture. Of anyone, anywhere, at any time. With no recourse. With no accountability.
With Cheney's admission....he basically is daring us to do something. He is saying in effect what Nixon said...If I do it, it is legal. But he adds, by admitting it publicly, a spit in the eye and the challenge....
"What are you going to do about it?"
It is this public admission, this dare.... that raises the stakes.
He is literally trying to change reality, to change our world into somewhere where state sanctioned torture and murder is part of everyday life.
Who decides if this will be allowed, if this is now the reality of our new world?
As Turley says................WE do. And pragmatically, only we do. The politicians and lawyers will attempt to negotiate a new reality around this, in order to excuse it and to avoid "unpleasantness." They will attempt to create a reality where this is ....normal.
Will we let them?
Over at Docudharma, and in concert with Democrats.com, we have been working on a Citizens Petition for a Special Prosecutor (shorter version here) directed towards Attorney General Designate Holder. We had been taking our time and trying, among our relatively small community, to carefully craft a petition covering the "greatest hits" of the Bush/Cheney crimes. Now as Bob Fertik of Democrats.com points out, "Turley laid down the gauntlet and we must respond quickly before everyone "moves on."
So in addition to (hopefully, lol) getting this on the rec list to keep the fires burning, consider this an 'open call' for ideas, framing and distribution strategies for a "new" net wide petition drive to the Attorney General for a Special Prosecutor. A petition to directly investigate the entire Bush Administration for the....now admitted....War Crimes of the past eight years.
The election is over, Obama is in his honeymoon period and the netroots needs a new project and a new outlet to flex our new muscles and new "political capital." We are hoping to spread this far and wide across the net, to post it at Change.gov, to as many political and non-political blogs as possible, to get as many citizens as possible to participate in bringing Cheney and Bush to justice and redeeming our nation and the Rule of Law.
We need your help.
In a day or two we will have the petition created, with your input here, and then we need EVERYONE in the netroots to not just sign it, but to help distribute it EVERYWHERE. Please chip in your ideas in the comments, write your own diaries/essays, and when the Citizens Petition for a Special Prosecutor to Investigate War Crimes is ready, support it in any way you can think of.