May 29, 2009

What Happened to the "Get Tough on Crime" GOP?

NOPEImage by fPat via Flickr

Remember when Republicans proudly identified themselves as being "tough on crime," at least compared to their Democratic opponents? Now that they are determined to make sure that top Bush Administration officials who ordered torture escape a war crimes investigation, I cannot help wondering what happened to them. Even worse, it now appears that they are willing to can their own investigation of Clinton officials for rendition if it gets the Bush Administration off the hook with Justice. So much for being the party of law and order.

It seems awfully hypocritical for the "tough on crime party to oppose an investigation of something as serious as war crimes. Maybe "get tough on crime" only applies to poor African American drug offenders.

It seems even more hypocritical that the GOP is now trying to block a war crimes investigation by threatening to launch their own investigation of Clinton officials for using rendition if the Justice Department investigates war crimes. If they have evidence that Clinton Administration officials committed crimes, why have they not already investigated them? They should do so and do so immediately. And how absurd is it to attempt to use that as a bargaining chip now? If Clinton officials committed crimes, they should be investigated! And the same is true of Bush officials.

We have compelling evidence that top Bush administration officials committed war crimes by authorizing and then implementing torture. A criminal investigation is necessary. If it turns out that Pelosi was in on it, she must be investigated too. If it turns out that Clinton officials were doing similar things, they must be investigated too. Why is this so difficult to grasp? Criminals must be brought to justice regardless of what political party is involved.

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