Special Comment: Olbermann Urges Obama to Go After Bush Admin on Torture

Human Rights

On the eve of his inauguration, Keith Olbermann exhorts President-elect Barack Obama to do the one thing that will tell the world that we are a country of laws, and that will enable us to look forward without fear that we could once again face the trampling of the Constitution and the slide towards totalitarianism we've seen in the last eight years.

Mr. President-Elect, you are entirely correct. As you say, "what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past."

And that means prosecuting all those involved in the Bush Administration's torture of prisoners -- and starting at the top.

You're also right that you should not "want your first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch-hunt." But your only other option might be to let this sit and fester, indefinitely.

Because, Mr. President-Elect, some day there will be another Republican president -- or even a Democrat just as blind as Mr. Bush to ethics and this country's moral force -- and he will look back to what you did about Mr. Bush -- or what you did not do -- and he will see precedent. Or, as Cheney saw, he will see how not to get caught next time.

Prosecute, Mr. President-Elect, and even if you get not one conviction, you will still have accomplished good, for generations unborn.

It's not as if Olbermann is going out on a limb here. On Obama's own site Change.gov, it's one of the most popular issues (though one the team is reluctant to answer), no doubt aided by Change.org's Bob Fertik's campaign to force it on the President-elect's agenda.

(Transcripts below the fold)

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