Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some people will be unhappy

So much was expected from His Messianic Dedication President Obama on the left and by the European elites (but I repeat myself). He was going to do such things but, above all, he was going to punish all those upstarts who had dared to usurp the American Administration, using, as their pathetic pretext, the fact that President Bush had been elected by the people of the country. Pshaw.

Everyone knows that only Democrats can be elected and Republicans are usurpers. This is shown quite clearly that since the war more years have been spent under Republican Presidents than under Democrat ones. Errm, shum mishtake shurely.

Anyway, back to the new boss. It seems that he is not going to fulfill those left-wing hopes after all. Actually, looking at his rather feeble foreign policy, he is not going to fulfill any kind of hopes, but that is a separate issue.

A few hours ago The Washington Post reported that the Justice Department "will not prosecute CIA officers who used harsh interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects with the blessing of lawyers".

The newspaper is trying to soften the blow by pointing out:
Both Obama and Holder for months have indicated a desire to look forward rather than ignite investigations that could alienate the intelligence community and ignite partisan rancor. "This is a time for reflection, not retribution," Obama said in his statement this afternoon even as he bemoaned the recent passing of a "dark and painful chapter in our history."

Already authorities are preparing to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And this afternoon officials reaffirmed that they would no longer rely upon any Bush legal advice related to interrogation of terror suspects. A Justice Department led task force is evaluating other options for questioning of such suspects.
Anybody making any guesses as to what those options might be or what will happen to all those Guantanamo inmates who have recently been described by members of the Administration as being rather dangerous?

No comfort from Spain either. The Spanish judges, in particular Judge Baltasar Garzón, like to see themselves as the representatives of international law; the people who, in their wisdom, decide who is and who is not to be prosecuted for breaking that rather nebulous concept. Curiously enough, they are all Americans, Israelis with the odd other pro-American Westerner thrown in.

It seems that there will be no prosecution of former President Bush or former Vice-President Cheney or anyone else from that Administration, after all. In fact, Spain's Attorney-General has announced that there will be no investigation of those "crimes" in Spain as the proper place for such procedure was the American courts.
Candido Conde-Pumpido's remarks severely dampen the chance of a case moving forward against the Americans, including former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Conde-Pumpido said such a trial would have turned Spain's National Court "into a plaything" to be used for political ends.

"If there is a reason to file a complaint against these people, it should be done before local courts with jurisdiction, in other words in the United States," he said in a breakfast meeting with journalists.

Spanish law gives its courts jurisdiction beyond national borders in cases of torture, war crimes and other heinous offenses, based on a doctrine known as universal justice, but the government has made clear it wants to rein in the process.
And quite right, too. Are there no crimes in Spain that its courts can go around pretending they are in a position to try everybody else?

As Ed Morrissey points out, some time has elapsed since Spain had ruled any part of the Americas and a fine mess they left behind, too. Then again, as Barcepundit says cheerfully, there is no reason to suppose that the self-important Judge Baltasar Garzón will follow the Attorney-General's instructions. So there is still hope.