Posted by SAM on 24 August, 2009 at 12:32 pm. 21 comments already!

As approval ratings for President Obama and the Democrats’ Congress continue to fall-with both independents and the Democratic Party base leaving the support column, the Obama Admin has turned to its old tactic of distraction by torture. That is to say, they’ve leaked to the press some new sort of report about allegations of torture conducted during the early years of the Bush Administration.

In the past, President Obama chose not to allow pictures of “torture” to be published because his military commanders said it would endanger the lives of troops in the field by emboldening the enemy. However, his approval rating was still suffering, so he released detailed descriptions of the “torture” methods, of interrogation techniques that the enemy could train against, and he went back and forth on whether or not there would be a criminal investigation of the former Administration.

A few weeks later, when the distraction had faded and poll numbers were sagging again, the Obama Admin tried to suggest that “torture” had been going on without the informed consent of Congress. The problem there was that Congress HAD been informed, and CIA Director Leon Panetta was compelled to release documents showing that Congress had been informed. This put the Speaker of the House in an awkward position, and she handled it poorly.

She tried the torture-distraction-tactic as well by claiming that there were other CIA programs that were illegal, that she had no knowledge of, and that were criminal. Again, CIA Director Panetta was forced to reveal that no, the programs she referred to were not illegal. He tried to claim that it was just a miscommunication and misunderstanding on the Speaker’s part, but she had lost face, argued she understood perfectly, and Panetta had to fall on his sword by claiming he’d screwed up and falsely reported the existence of these illegal programs.

Well, it’s that time of year again. The President and the Democrats’ Congress have sagging approval ratings, SO!!!!!!! Let’s talk torture! Obama’s Department of Justice has re-reviewed some of the already investigated allegations of torture, and decided to re-open some of the cases that had been closed. Will the torture-distraction-tactic work again? Probably not.

There are multiple problems with investigating closed cases from a previous Administration, but the core problem is that there is no statute of limitations on how far back such allegations can be re-opened and re-investigated. Using the exact same argument that’s being used to re-open these allegations of “torture,” the DOJ may be required to pursue standing orders, techniques, and policies that pre-date the Bush Administration. Moreover, if they are re-opening past allegations of “torture”, then when the same or similar tactics and techniques are used today by the Obama Administration, then the DOJ is even more compelled than usual to investigate the Obama Administration OR face a Special Prosecutor. The latter is not likely if Democrats hold control of Congress, but that’s not likely either. If Republicans take even one House of Congress in 14 months, then they very well could have a case for impeachment on their hands-impeachment of President Obama on charges that he authorized the same or similar “torture” and extraordinary rendition of prisoners to other countries FOR torture as did his predecessors Bush and Clinton.

More specifically, if the Obama DOJ investigates the Bush Admin for conducting extraordinary renditions (sending prisoners to other countries so the other country can torture them on our behalf), then the Obama Admin will have to explain why IT TOO is even now conducting extraordinary renditions. It will have to explain why the CIA Director, Leon Panetta, claims to have personally arranged renditions himself when he was President Clinton’s Chief of Staff. President Clinton’s Counterterrorism Czar, Richard Clarke, will have to testify to the extraordinary renditions he admits he personally authorized.

Many on the left will find vigor and woohoo in the idea of possibly prosecuting anyone who had anything to do with the Bush Administration. This is ALWAYS an effective way for Team Obama and the Democrats’ Congresss to refire their base.
Good luck with that this time though. While falling poll numbers are partially the result of an increasingly apathetic and frustrated base, the real problem is the independent-minded swing voter who was promised good things in 2006, and again in 2008, and has yet to see any of the big promises fulfilled.

Besides, Bush and Cheney are surely protected, and just going after them or anyone in their administration open’s a Pandora’s Box of problems for Obama and the Democrats. It’s not like some Republican Congressman from Podunk, USA isn’t going to go on TV and immediately ask pundits, “Why just go after people who did this in the Bush Administration? Why not go after those in the Clinton and Obama Administrations who are doing it even today?”

This problem is made worse by the very real possibility that Republicans will take one or both Houses of Congress next year, and they will steer the investigations towards THEIR political ends rather than towards Obama’s.

Democrats’ face:
Losing Congress for the same reasons they took Congress in 2006
If they lose Congress, Obama becomes a lame duck and goodbye CHANGE

Say it with me,

President Biden, please raise your right and and repeat after me.
Do you solemnly swear…..

UPDATE:
Recall earlier that I said the DOJ would have to appoint a special prosecutor. They’re doing it. Now, if Repubs re-take at least one House of Congress, and this Special Prosecutor hasn’t made a case there can be almost NO DOUBT that Republicans will demand/force the investigation to re-examine Clinton and Obama records on rendition and torture (read the link, and see that some Repubs are already pointing the fingers at Dems as well).

This is a political doomsday bomb in the making if not quelled soon. Obama has GOT to stop letting Rahm Emanuel play politics w national security. It only re-ignites the DNC base for a few days, and each time this little game has been played by the Obama Admin, the Dems have been seriously wounded by the consequences.

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