President Barack Obama addressing a gathering of CIA employees defended his release of Bush administration memos which spelled out in detail the torture of prisoners. He argued the need to act “because of the exceptional circumstances that surround these memos, particularly the fact that so much of the information was public.” He also repeated his promise not to have anyone prosecuted for participating in torture of humans. Obama urged the hundreds of CIA personnel not to be discouraged. His comments are disappointing in light of the reality that members of the United States government violated the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution. George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales are guilty of crimes and if they fail to be forced to deal with their crime, how can the United States uphold its standing in the world as a moral society?
The Nelson Mandela concept of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission would serve America in this issue. Everyone who participated in torture must be compelled to acknowledge their crime, apologize, and then be forgiven. This is not a matter of sending low level CIA operatives to jail while leaders make money writing books, but ensuring that EVERYONE is compelled to openly apologize. Sorry, President Obama, your comments are disheartening to those who believe in the moral values of this nation. Have a talk with Mandela.