Enabling the Spanish Inquisition?

posted at 12:12 pm on May 1, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Last month, I wrote that the effort by Spain to indict Bush administration officials over their actions during wartime would present Barack Obama an opportunity to defend American sovereignty.  My former co-blogger, Dafydd ab Hugh, writes today that not only has Obama failed to do so, but may have actively undermined it with his documents release.  And Dafydd isn’t entirely convinced it wasn’t deliberate.  He picks up on a statement from Eric Holder that sounds very much like surrender:

In speaking to reporters Wednesday, [Attorney General Eric] Holder also said it is possible the United States could cooperate with a foreign court’s investigation of Bush administration officials.

Holder spoke before the announcement that a Spanish magistrate had opened an investigation of Bush officials on harsh interrogation methods. Holder didn’t rule out cooperating in such a probe.

“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,” Holder said.

“This is an administration that is determined to conduct itself by the rule of law and to the extent that we receive lawful requests from an appropriately created court, we would obviously respond to it,” he said.

Any country?  For any purpose?  Holder only committed to “look” at such requests, but for what purpose?  A proper response would be to instruct other countries on the meaning of sovereignty and ask them to refer any inquiries to the State Department.  That’s where diplomatic inquiries belong, and prosecutorial inquiries shouldn’t be considered at all.

Dafydd sees surrender to the Spanish Inquisition in the making, and for a pupose:

If Garzón has legal authority to demand we hand over evidence, he also has legal authority to demand we hand over “war criminals,” from American military personnel, to John Yoo, to Jay Bybee, to William Haynes, to Douglas Feith, to Alberto Gonzales, to Richard Myers, to Dick Cheney — even to former President George W. Bush himself.

This is even more outrageous than the suggestion that we prosecute any of these individuals ourselves, or that we form a “truth commission” and haul them before it for public show trials. This is, in essence, outsourcing the prosecution of the previous administration to foreign courts. Call it “extraordinary judicion.”

If we ever once accept that a European court — and not even a recognized “international” one! — has jurisdiction over actions committed by American officials here in the United States, and can prosecute them for “crimes” that are not even recognized here, then we have crossed a line from which we can never retreat: The United States will cease to be a sovereign power.

If Eric Holder and Barack Obama accept this idea, they will actually have brought about what used to be a paranoid fantasy among the John Birch Society and other lunatics — “one-world government,” run according to European, not American rules.

Again, as I wrote last month, such machinations are an insult to American sovereignty.  The Obama administration has a duty to defend American sovereignty and to stop old colonial powers (heh) from imposing their laws on other nations.  That’s the height of arrogance, and if Barack Obama doesn’t want to stand up to it, Congress should demand to know why Obama and Holder are cooperating with an attempt by Spain to impose their laws on American citizens.  It goes against everything for which this nations stands.


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You underestimate the number off ba!!-less beta/omega males in charge.
Then it does become quite hard-er, uh-difficult.

Badger40 on May 1, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Can you imagine how Andrew Jackson would deal with the UN? He may have been a Dem, but damn, I miss him!

bulgaroctonus on May 1, 2009 at 2:18 PM

If I were Iran, I would prosecute all U.S. officials for hate crimes. If I were N. Korea, I would issue warrants for all U.S. officials for applying sanctions. If I were China, I would prosecute all Americans for failure to pay their debts. If I were the Taliban, I’d sue to remove American Killers from their doors. What a crock! And by the way, Holder, if it can happen to Bush officials, it can happen to Obama officials!

Christian Conservative on May 1, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Congress should demand to know why Obama and Holder are cooperating with an attempt by Spain to impose their laws on American citizens.

Nope.

Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo

(emphasis added)

orange on May 1, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Can you imagine how Andrew Jackson would deal with the UN? He may have been a Dem, but damn, I miss him!

bulgaroctonus on May 1, 2009 at 2:18 PM

My TN 2nd G-gpa Stonewall would have echoed in agreement!
Back when Dems were men! & Repubs were not!
My how things change!

Badger40 on May 1, 2009 at 2:43 PM

The second they allow a foreign court to try to lay a hand on President Bush, Texas succeeds in a flash – I guarantee it.

So go ahead and try!

Grafted on May 1, 2009 at 2:45 PM

This is just the beginning. As soon as Obama and Dems lose control of Congress, they’ll install their remaining agenda through treaties with UN and such. It’s the nightmare scenario we thought could never happen in America.

petefrt on May 1, 2009 at 2:48 PM

The Obama administration has a duty to defend American sovereignty and to stop old colonial powers (heh) from imposing their laws on other nations. That’s the height of arrogance, and if Barack Obama doesn’t want to stand up to it, Congress should demand to know why Obama and Holder are cooperating with an attempt by Spain to impose their laws on American citizens.

As I paraphrase what Limbaugh said just recently, “Khrushchev said that communism would crush the United States. Simply because he’s gone doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rule out that possibility from happening today from within.”

shick on May 1, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Back when Dems were men! & Repubs were not!

Badger40 on May 1, 2009 at 2:43 PM

I’d like to see you try that “Repubs were not men line” on Grant, Sherman and Sheridan.

And don’t forget the greatest Repub man of all — Abraham Lincoln, who understood the concept of national sovereignty. (Just like Jackson.)

bulgaroctonus on May 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM

In an ideal world, the President would get on the Podium and declare five things.

1. If Spain omplains about our treatment of Spanish citizens captured in the field of battle had better be willing to do it themselves.

2. Any attempt to force this issue is casus belli of a grave sort. If they demand them, they had better be willing to bleed for them.

3. Those who dishonor their dead through capitulation must at least have the decency to not hinder those who are fighting on their behalf.

4. Spain should remember that the two times it tried to confront the US did not end well for it, either in 1898 or in 1946.

5. If they are insane enough to demand a fight, they must remember 1898 crushed the lion’s share of the Spanish Empire helped destroy Spanish Democracy (if it could be called that) and helped pave the road to France, and that any attempt by them to fight may not only end up worse for them, but will also weaken both of us in the face of true threats.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world.

And, should it come down to it,

REMEMBER THE MAINE AND TO HELL WITH SPAIN!

Turtler on May 1, 2009 at 3:09 PM

If they do this, three words: Impeach the bastards. There is no better justification for impeachment of a so-called leader than if he is giving away the farm to foreign governments.

evergreen on May 1, 2009 at 3:17 PM

I am starting to get the feeling that we had better all hope the republicans gain enough of a congressional majority in 2010 that our America-hater POTUS and his Marxist horde can be removed from power.

Waiting until 2012 will be too late.

-Dave

Dave R. on May 1, 2009 at 3:18 PM

He does this and he’s burnt all his bridges. Mods and indies are not going to like it any better that the GOP. Especially Spain, a country which has a terrible history of not only torture but death by burning. Now–that’s something they should be thinking about–hard.

jeanie on May 1, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Over the past three days I have received calls from the RNC, NRCC, NRSC begging for donations for the mid-terms to help defeat Pelosi, reid and the Liberal agenda. As much as I would like to defeat them, I told the nice operators that I am no longer a Republican. I am a conservative and no one gets another dime of my money until I begin to hear someone in committee or on the Hill speak out against this radical agenda of Prompterbama’s. See you July 4th at the next Tea Party! Folks we must have millions attend these rallies or the MSM will just spin their truth that the Tea Parties mean nothing. What has happened to this great country? Every day we lose another right to this clown in the White House.

Atlanta Media Guy on May 1, 2009 at 3:38 PM

OK Did any of the people in this administration ever lie about their drug use? No. This kind of batshitcrazy behavior should come as no surprise to anyone. No offense to drug addicts and former drug addicts but you aren’t firing on all cylinders anymore, should recognize that and adjust accordingly to avoid doing damage. Holder will do whatever anyone on the left from any country tells him to do. God help us when Cuba figures this out and starts sending him their list of demands.

BrideOfRove on May 1, 2009 at 3:49 PM

I’d like to see you try that “Repubs were not men line” on Grant, Sherman and Sheridan.

And don’t forget the greatest Repub man of all — Abraham Lincoln, who understood the concept of national sovereignty. (Just like Jackson.)

bulgaroctonus on May 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM

War doesn’t necessarily make a man-though it does make some.
My opinion of the Generals is they were good at what they were doing.
Since only Grant was prez-my criticism is for him: lousy prez bcs he couldn’t surround himself with good people.
To me a man is someone who surrounds himself with intelligent, good people.
I do not consider Lincoln to be a particularly great man, myself.
His idea of

national sovereignty

leaves something to be desired, let’s say. And I am no Southerner, either.
My take on Jackson is that he was frustrated by attempts to weaken the central government by state’s trying to nullify federal law, as well as his concentration of the power of POTUS with the veto.
So this is an area where I do not agree with Jackson.
But his earlier days?
I loved him then!

Badger40 on May 1, 2009 at 4:10 PM

And by the way, Holder, if it can happen to Bush officials, it can happen to Obama officials!

You’re assuming the Obama Administration intends to hold itself to the same standards. They won’t.

The only time you’ll see an Obama official in handcuffs is when they get thrown under the bus as a distraction.

TheMightyMonarch on May 1, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Call it “extraordinary judicion.”

Or call it rendition.

burt on May 1, 2009 at 4:48 PM

If Eric Holder and Barack Obama accept this idea, they will actually have brought about what used to be a paranoid fantasy among the John Birch Society and other lunatics — “one-world government,” run according to European, not American rules.

If Eric Holder and Barack Obama accept this idea, they must both be impeached for violating their sworn oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

Wouldn’t even be a close call.

AZCoyote on May 1, 2009 at 4:50 PM

If Eric Holder and Barack Obama accept this idea, they must both be impeached for violating their sworn oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

Wouldn’t even be a close call.

We have a Congress and a President that have no respect for Constitutional Law, and no intention of following it except when it suits them politically. Impeachment is off the table, even if Republicans regained the House back in 2010 it would never gain traction.

They want to remake America, in their own words…they aren’t going to let annoying little things like the Constitution get in the way.

If this Administration starts turning in its own citizens to foreign governments for “war crimes”, we’re far beyond impeachment at that point…things will get violent.

TheMightyMonarch on May 1, 2009 at 5:00 PM

NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION! the Inquisition’s three main weapons are; FEAR, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, FEAR AND A FANATICAL DEVOTION TO THE TRAITOR O’bunghole.

nelsonknows on May 1, 2009 at 5:42 PM

TheMightyMonarch on May 1, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Obama and Congress have violated the Constitution at LEAST 26 times already and committed treason. Has ANYONE in the GOP in Congress dared to try to stop them?

nelsonknows on May 1, 2009 at 5:54 PM

It may be true that “everything starts from the weakness at the heads,” as Machiavelli says. And it seems one must not mistake @sses for heads. Prudent action regarding such shadowy rulers as Axelr0d and Carv1lle and the public intellectuals who often are their stenographers would remind men of the limits of their power.

Kralizec on May 1, 2009 at 6:19 PM

I don’t doubt that the Democrats would do just about anything for power and influence, no matter how unethical…but if they do this the next law suit might be against them. Where does this kind of thing end?

Terrye on May 1, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Also, it seems good to consider well and plan accordingly: that reasonable men who foresee being prosecuted or otherwise persecuted after giving up their offices can not reasonably be expected to give up their offices freely. The administration will not be prosecuted after leaving office, unless they leave office.

Kralizec on May 1, 2009 at 6:27 PM

I wonder if the Spanish ever brought charges against Saddam Hussein for murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people?

That is what is so transparent about all this.

Terrye on May 1, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Sad thing is obamabots will think this is great. Get that evil Bush they will say. Is this how liberty dies? With thounderous applause?

boomer on May 1, 2009 at 11:13 PM

There is reason to prepare for a second civil war here. The main problem is that Obama and most of his male appointees are EXTREME beta males. Obama WANTS to put George Bush on trial to 1) increase his standing with Foreign liberal 2) increase his standing with domestic liberals and 3) strike fear into conservative opposition, but he lacks the testicular fortitude to do it himself as he despises taking any real responsiblity for his actions (despite his rhetoric). Unlike Bush who USED the united Nations as a method to strengthen our position by stopping Saddam Hussein from proceeding even one step closer to any CBN weaponary, Obama will USE the foreign entities to play the political girly-man and shrugg his shoulders with the “ah shucks folks what could I do…their a tribunal/court/etc.”, just before he secretly signs extradition papers for his chief adversaries (Bush [notice how many times all our problems where "inherited"], Cheney, et al. Then the real purging can begin as the Obama Youth Brigades rise up to “support and defend” their leader by systematically making all resistance “disappear”! unwittenly prove he is a coward, lacks the t

RedLizard64 on May 2, 2009 at 5:44 AM

unwittenly prove he is a coward, lacks the t in previous post

RedLizard64 on May 2, 2009 at 5:46 AM

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