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Dodd: Torture investigations may need to go as high as Cheney’s office.

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"Dodd: Torture investigations may need to go as high as Cheney’s office."

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In a new interview with Connecticut bloggers, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) unequivocally states that he believes waterboarding is torture and comes out in support of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) Commission of Inquiry into a “comprehensive, nonpartisan, independent review of what happened.” He also compares today’s situation to the Nuremberg Trials — for which his father was a prosecutor — and criticizes the Obama administration for releasing the documents and then resisting calls for investigations:

DODD: I don’t know who the genius was in the room that night when they were discussing this, but if you’re going to make a decision to release the documents, I presume everyone of us here would then have a follow-up question, which is: What are you going to do with that information? [...]

In a sense, not to prosecute people or pursue them when these acts have occurred is, in a sense, to invite it again in some future administration.

When someone then pointed out that “a lot of this stuff seems to point toward Cheney’s office,” Dodd replied, “You gotta go where you gotta go.” Watch it:

Transcript:

DODD: I don’t know who the genius was in the room that night when they were discussing this, but if you’re going to make a decision to release the documents, I presume everyone of us here would then have a follow-up question, which is: What are you going to do with that information? And if the answer is, “Well, nothing, we’re just going to release the documents,” I’m amazed, and some of us in the room say, “Wait a minute, you’ve got a problem.” If you’re going to release them, you’re going to have to answer the next question: What are you going to do with them?

I believe that waterboarding is torture. … Pat Leahy of Vermont has been arguing for a select committee — or a commission, I forget which he’s talked about — to go and review all of this. I agree with him on that. There’s some debate about whether he does it or the Intelligence Committee does it — somebody ought to do it. [...]

In a sense, not to prosecute people or pursue them when these acts have occurred is, in a sense, to invite it again in some future administration. If you think it doesn’t mean anything, that you can basically do what you want and we’ll somehow just say, “That was yesterday, today’s today.” Had that handful of people who advocated at the Nuremberg Trials embraced that view — Nuremberg became the symbol of who we were. Even these thugs got a lawyer. Even these thugs had a trial, despite their acts. So we became a symbol of jurisprudence and the rule of law. [...]

Q: Even if it goes up as high as — A lot of this stuff seems to point toward Cheney’s office.

DODD: You gotta go where you gotta go.

Update

Yesterday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wrote an op-ed in the National Law Journal asking President Obama to not rule out prosecutions on torture.

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