American Impunity



Earlier today, Candido Conde-Pumpido, Spain’s attorney general, dismissed the efforts of Spain’s counter-terrorism Judge Baltasar Garzon to bring indictments against six former Bush regime officials on grounds that they had provided the legal justifications for the regime’s use of torture against prisoners at perhaps dozens of detention and interrogation sites around the world.


"We cannot support that action," Conde-Pumpido announced in Madrid"If one is dealing with a crime of mistreatment of prisoners of war, the complaint should go against those who physically carried it out."  ("Spain rejects US ‘torture’ probe," BBC, April 16.)


Similarly, both the American President and his attorney general announced today that "CIA officials who used harsh interrogation tactics during the Bush administration will not be prosecuted," Associated Press reports.  "Even as they exposed new details of the interrogation program, [Barack] Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, offered the first definitive assurance that those CIA officials are in the clear, as long as their actions were in line with the legal advice at the time."  ("CIA employees won’t be tried for waterboarding

," AP, April 16.)



"We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history," the American President explained.  "But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past."


Reading about this unconstitutional dereliction of duty, a friend of mine pointed out: "The Spanish prosecutors have determined that they cannot investigate U.S. leaders for authorizing torture, as only those who performed the actual acts of torture can be prosecuted.  The U.S.

, on the other hand, now says that those who performed the acts will not be prosecuted."



Meanwhile, very early this morning, General Growth Properties Inc., reportedly the second-largest shopping mall owner in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, having accumulated $27 billion in debt, and unable to refinance it.


But by the closing-bell in the U.S. financial markets today, the Real Estate Investment Trust sector was up quite handsomely, buoyed by the news that the "Federal Reserve is weighing a twist in one of its rescue programs," namely, "offer[ing] investors in commercial real estate securities loans of up to five years to make the program more appealing to them….The Fed, on the other hand, wants to avoid getting locked into long-term obligations. If the central bank has many long-term commitments, it could be hard to pull back from its easy money policies several years down the road as conditions improve." ("Fed Weighs Change To TALF Program

," Wall Street Journal, April 16.) 


So, in the United States of America today, is it not clear that the right individuals, like the right firms within the right business sectors, are systematically immunized against receiving their just desserts — whether it be the species of justice administered by "free markets" (think, for example, of the major U.S. banks that, but for the forced-taxpayer bailouts lavished upon them by the corporate state, are insolvent and therefore ought to be shut-down) or the kind of justice administered by treaty, international, and domestic laws against torture?



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