Rep. Jan Schakowsky, chairwoman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, is having none of Obama’s rhetoric about looking forward and ignoring the torture crimes:
Schakowsky, in an interview with the Huffington Post, says she’s heard that argument before. “This notion that ‘I was just obeying orders’ — I don’t want to compare this to Nazi Germany, but we’ve come to almost ridicule the notion that when horrific acts have been committed that people can use the excuse that, ‘Well, I was just following orders,’” she says….
“There should be an open mind of what to do with information that we get from thorough investigations,” she says.
Schakowsky also makes an elementary logic point:
Schakowsky also notes that the administration’s emphasis on looking to the future rather than the past defies logic. If criminal prosecutions only looked to the future, there could be no criminal prosecutions.
“All crimes are in the past, right? So, obviously if you’re prosecuting crimes, it’s not something that’s going to be done, it’s something that’s been done,” she says.
She calls, in particular for accountability for the the IA’s torture psychologists Mitchell and Jessen:
“In general, I think that contractors need to be held accountable for what they do, but particularly the inventors of the program,” says Schakowsky, referencing two psychologists highlighted in Jane Mayer’s investigation of Guantanamo, who developed the program of torture.
April 18th, 2009