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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Question

It's not like anyone ever doubted that Rove was an unethical pigf*cker while in power. But now that the documents are showing his abuse of power...what happens to him? I mean, can he be prosecuted?

Rove, Bush, Cheney...they cannot be shamed or publicly humiliated. It doesn't affect them. They're emotionless and shameless. They need to be fined, locked up, barred for public office. Something has to happen. What can happen? What will happen?

Anything?

1 comment:

CultureFuture said...

The strongest possible action open to Eric Holder is, in fact, prosecution under the existing law. As a matter of fact, it so happens that torture has no statute of limitations, so if no charges are pressed under the Obama Administraton and no pardon is issued, it's theoretically possible for the next president (hypothetically, President Joe Biden?) to start the same charges.

There may be some difficulties in charging Rove, more difficulties in prosecuting Cheney, and I think it's almost impossible to present a prosecutable case against former President Bush. The distribution of complicity is such that the person who is actually most complicit is John Yoo, because he provided everyone else the legal cover to commit torture. In a way, this makes Yoo already pre-built as the fall guy.

John Yoo also has another venue of punishment, which is that he can be stripped of his legal liscense -- and the American Bar Association really should do that.

The only other punishment that can happen is a quirk of international law, which is the fact that the Spanish government may choose to prosecute members of the Bush administration. That's actually how Pinochet was eventually convicted, in a Spanish court. This is more likely than the long-shot International Criminal Court, since we don't recongize the ICC but we do have treaties in place with Spain I believe.

Spain began a probe into Bush administration abuses earlier this year, with an intention to prosecute, but it decided to place that option on hold the day before the Obama administration released the first big wave of torture memos. I think the Spanish government is looking to see what actions Holder takes.

I happen to think that the best course of action would be for Eric Holder to appoint Patrick Fitzgerald as a special prosecutor and give him wide-ranging powers and no limitations. Fitzgerald was in charge of the highest profile corruption scandal against Republicans (Scooter Libby) and against Democrats (Rod Blagojevich), so he may be the only person who has a truly bipartisan track record. The lesson of the Saturday Night Massacre is that once a special prosecutor is unleashed, it is very, very difficult to put him back in a box.