Obama Stooping to Foreign Courts?

PRESIDENT Obama’s passivity before the threatened foreign prosecution of Bush administration officials achieves by inaction what he fears doing directly.

This may be smart politics in the Democratic Party, but it risks grave long-term damage to America. Ironically, it could also come back to bite future Obama administration alumni, including the president, for their current policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

By John Bolton
The New York Post
Obama has taken ambiguous (and flatly contradictory) positions on whether to prosecute Bush administration advisers and decision-makers involved in “harsh interrogation techniques.”

Although he immunized intelligence operatives who conducted the interrogations, morale at the CIA is at record lows. Obama has played to the crowd politically, but the principles underlying his policies are opaque and subject to change. This hardly constitutes leadership.

Despite uncertainties here, developments overseas proceed apace. Spanish Magistrate Baltasar Garzon recently opened a formal probe of six Bush administration lawyers for their roles in advising on interrogation techniques. Garzon did so over the objections of Spain’s attorney general. Under Spain’s inquisitorial judicial system, Garzon is essentially unaccountable, whatever the views of the elected government.

Asked repeatedly about Garzon’s investigation, the State Department has said only that it is a matter for the Spanish judicial system. Attorney General Eric Holder recently went further, implying that the Obama administration could cooperate: “Obviously, we would look at any request that would come from a court in any country and see how and whether we should comply with it.”

This is deeply troubling.

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