Bush and His Cronies Bear 'Ultimate Responsibility' for Torture -- So What's Stopping Us from Prosecuting Them?
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However, there also are profound dangers for a democratic Republic when it doesn’t hold public officials accountable for serious crimes, like torture and aggressive war. Indeed, one could argue that such a country is no longer a democratic Republic, if one person can operate with complete impunity amid declarations of “plenary powers” – which is what the Bush administration claimed in its memos justifying torture.
The report from the Constitution Project can declare that torture is incompatible with democracy, but it is equally true that if the President can torture anyone he chooses and then walk away – free to attend baseball games, celebrate his presidential library and pose for the cover of “Parade” magazine – then you are not living in a real democracy.
Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'