It seems we can’t [prosecute Gitmo inmate Muhammed al-Qahtani for terrorism-related crimes] since he was tortured, ruining the evidence:Next time you hear some bloviating asshat mocking the bleeding hearts on the left who they claim want to invite terrorists over for slumber parties (yes I'm talking about you Joe Scarborough), remind yourself that it was Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Rumsfeld, Yoo and their fellow cretins who made the conscious decision that the information they thought they would get through torture was worth the risk of eventually tainting any evidence they received to the point where the prisoners might go free and their own freedom would be at risk for authorizing felonies and war crimes.***
The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”
“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution.
If Crawford thinks Qahtani can’t be prosecuted because he was tortured, then it stands to reason that there’s someone who can be prosecuted for the torturing.
So be it, decisions like that cannot be without consequences. Let the other shoe drop -- or be thrown, whatever. The jails are filled with people who don't think they did anything wrong, and quite a few who insist that they'd do the same thing that landed them in the slammer again under similar circumstances. No regrets, no contrition, no absolution -- but there is justice.
Bush has got a week to issue the pardons his lieutenants have been counting on for years. As cowardly as it will seem when/if he does issue get-out-of-jail-free cards, far more cowardly would be to walk away from this, shirking responsibility as usual and letting those most loyal to a POTUS who valued loyalty above all else swing for his own crimes.
UPDATE: The Talking Dog noted that Mohammed al-Qahtani was the so-called "20th highjacker." That Crawford, a "Cheney/Addington protege" also said that "the buck stops in the Oval Office." "And Mr. Rumsfeld himself was personally briefed on the ongoing progress of al-Qahtani's tortures."