I’ve been outspoken in my concern about the education policies of President Obama, who I supported and voted for. I am not alone in pointing out that President Obama is continuing the misguided education policies of the Bush administration. This saddens me, but seems par for the course.
However, when the former Harvard Law Review editor and professor of constitutional law has proof that his predecessor’s administration violated our nation’s law by torturing prisoners and illegally wiretapping citizens and chooses to do nothing, I am deeply alarmed.
The fact that CIA employees tortured humans illegally with the written consent of senior Bush administration officials, including a sitting federal judge, is not a mere act of political name-calling. The facts are not in dispute. President Obama released the written memos today. Former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage acknowledged knowledge of the torture program and did nothing. Former Vice President Cheney has come close to bragging about supervising the lawbreaking.
I realize that the country/world is in a mess and that the President has an ambitious schedule he needs to pass without Republican congressional support. I appreciate that Fox News and other white supremacists are whipping up hysterical crowds of racists while the Governors of Texas and Alaska openly speak of secession. These are dangerous times and the President’s plate is quite full.
However, refusal to prosecute those who broke our laws and undermined our constitutional principles – especially for war crimes – is not “retribution” as the President suggests. It is the right thing to do. It is the law. It is his moral and constitutional obligation to seek justice.
Political unpopularity is not an excuse for obstruction of justice. Inaction out of fear of offending the CIA scares the snot out of me. The military, Department of Justice and intelligence community serve the elected civilian President, not the other way around.
Keith Olbermann’s special comment this evening, makes this case eloquently.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.