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Torture Tapes Are The Watergate Of Our Times

By Brent Budowsky
The Hill's Pundits Blog

Torture Tapes are the Watergate of Our Times

As I write these words on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 19, high- and low-level officials of the Bush administration involved in torture, and the destruction of the torture tapes, are consulting their criminal lawyers as The New York Times reports that highest-level lawyers in the administration had discussed the destruction of the tapes.

I predict there will soon be new stories about more torture tapes that were destroyed and new stories about more high-level officials that were either tainted or corrupted by this scandal, and others who opposed this travesty who will ultimately testify about who they approached to attempt to prevent it.

Washington and America will momentarily ask once again: What did the president and vice president know, and when did they know it?

In an administration facing an ocean of scandal on multiple and multiplying fronts, this scandal above all will be the Watergate of our times because it involves extremely probable crimes of torture, extremely probable obstructions of justice, and a steady stream of revelations that will only escalate until the inevitable special prosecutor is named.

Congress should, and I predict ultimately will, take the decisive action of seeking evidence, and if necessary file the great contempt case of the Bush years that will be defined clearly and specifically as follows:

Can executive privilege be claimed to hide acts that would be violations of criminal law?

I predict the answer of this Supreme Court, and any Supreme Court, will be unequivocally "no."

Even a mass pardon by the president, which I have predicted and predict again here, will not solve their problem, because he would have to name so many recipients of pardons, and so many potential crimes that would be pardoned, that it would be both ridiculous and logistically impossible...


Budowsky serves on the Advisory Council of the Intelligence Summit and is a contributing editor to Fighting Dems News Service. He handled intelligence issues for Sen. Lloyd Bentsen when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was originally passed, and was legislative director to Bill Alexander, then the chief deputy whip of the House. He can be read on The Hill's Pundits Blog


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