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    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook on Amazon

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Poll: 2/3 Americans Support Investigating Bush Crimes

from DemocracyNow.org

In a new USA Today/Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans say they want investigations into the role of Bush administration officials in torture, warrantless wiretapping and the politicization of the Justice Department. 40 percent of respondents said they want to see prosecutions. Senator Patrick Leahy recently proposed the formation of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate Bush administration crimes. On Monday, President Obama was asked about Leahy’s proposal.

President Obama: “My view is also that nobody is above the law, and if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted, just like any ordinary citizen, but that, generally speaking, I’m more interested in looking forward than I am in looking backwards. I want to pull everybody together, including, by the way, the—all the members of the intelligence community who have done things the right way and have been working hard to protect America and I think sometimes are painted with a broad brush without adequate information. So I will take a look at Senator Leahy’s proposal, but my general orientation is to say let’s get it right moving forward.”

Some Obama administration officials have already ruled out prosecutions. Earlier this month, the new head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, said CIA officers would not be prosecuted for harsh interrogations authorized by the Bush White House. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Panetta by a voice vote.

Lawyer: Torture Evidence “Hidden from Obama”

Meanwhile, The Guardian newspaper reports US defense officials may be preventing Barack Obama from seeing evidence that Binyam Mohamed, a former British resident held in Guantánamo Bay, has been tortured. The prisoner’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, says he sent Obama evidence of what he called “truly mediaeval” abuse, but substantial parts were blanked out before the President could read it. Smith says Obama should be aware of the “bizarre reality” of the situation. Smith said, “You, as commander in chief, are being denied access to material that would help prove that crimes have been committed by U.S. personnel. This decision is being made by the very people who you command.” The Guardian reports US defense officials might have censored the evidence to protect the President from criminal liability or political embarrassment.

Documents Reveals CIA & Pentagon Worked Closely on Rendition

In related news, three human rights groups released more than a thousand pages of Pentagon and CIA documents Thursday that reveal the two agencies worked closely together in rendering terrorism suspects to black sites. The documents also confirm the existence of secret prisons in Iraq and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

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