No Comment — January 21, 2010, 11:20 am

Time for a Special Prosecutor

Citing the Seton Hall report on the June 9, 2006 deaths, as well as “The Guantánamo ‘Suicides,’” the St. Louis Post Dispatch assesses the situation perfectly and draws exactly the right conclusions:

Enough is enough. Prisoner abuse and botched investigations undermine national security, handing America’s enemies a devastating recruiting tool. Mr. Obama should appoint an unrelenting career prosecutor to the case, someone of the caliber of Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, to dig deeper. He must follow where the evidence leads.

The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan noted the deafening silence from the Obama Administration about this matter:

In Iran, when prisoners are turned into corpses after interrogation, even the Khamenei junta feels it necessary to respond. In America, not so much.

He was the first to call for appointment of a special prosecutor. Investigating the deaths in Guantánamo has been complicated by the Justice Department’s suspicious complicity in the cover-up, starting only hours after the deaths. Because of its demonstrated inability to deal with the matter in a fashion consistent with prosecutorial ethics and the requirements of law, the next steps are just those noted by the Post Dispatch. Of course, the special prosecutor should be named by Eric Holder rather than the White House, since this is what law technically contemplates. But Congress must also assert its oversight responsibilities here, and the key initial queries need to focus on the embarrassing failings of the Department of Justice.

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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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