What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

By Dennis Loo

 Shortly before invading Iraq in 2003, George W. Bush declared in a speech aimed at Iraqi military and civilian personnel, “War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say ‘I was just following orders.’”




In light of Bush’s warnings and declarations, consider the following:


“Prosecutorial and investigative judgments must depend on the facts, and no one is above the law. But where it is clear that a government agent has acted in ‘reasonable and good-faith reliance on Justice Department legal opinions’ authoritatively permitting his conduct, I would find it difficult to justify commencing a full-blown criminal investigation, let alone a prosecution.”


-- Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States, in written remarks submitted upon request from the Senate during his confirmation hearing in January 2009.



"Individuals,” Panetta said, “who operated [carrying out water boarding and other forms of torture] pursuant to a legal opinion that indicated that that was proper and legal ought not to be prosecuted or investigated."


-- Leon Panetta, Obama’s CIA Director, on February 5, 2009, in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.


Stephanopoulos: "The most popular question on your own website is related to this. On it comes from Bob Fertik of New York City and he asks, 'Will you appoint a special prosecutor ideally Patrick Fitzgerald to independently investigate the greatest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.' "

Obama: "We're still evaluating how we're going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we're going to be looking at past practices and I don't believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. And part of my job is to make sure that for example at the CIA, you've got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don't want them to suddenly feel like they've got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders and lawyering."


--Obama on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, January 11, 2009




World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.