As Rachel Maddow reported this Wednesday, despite the Bush administration's best efforts to destroy every copy of internal memo from former State Department counselor Philip Zelikow, one copy survived and has been obtained by Wired Magazine and the national security archive at George Washington University, three years after filing a FIOA request.
Rachel delved into the politics on this, noting the hard move to the right by the Republican Party even since their nomination of John McCain who spoke out against torture during the last presidential election.
MADDOW: And, if the Republican Party were still the party of John McCain, this would open up a whole new can of political worms, because the Obama administration, remember, looked into Bush administration ordered torture and they decided not to prosecute any of it. They decided effectively that the Bush administration was operating on good faith when they ordered torture? They thought it was legal? Probably not. Actually, it turns out they had good reason to know it was not legal, so that means it was a crime. It was probably a war crime, not to put too fine a point on it.
And that is something that we are legally obligated to prosecute in this country. This reopens the whole question of the legal liability for torture that was administered by the previous administration. The Democratic Party will be split by this because the White House politically doesn't want to deal with it, even if it's wrong and even if they know it's wrong.
And the Republican Party still has to figure out who it is. Is the Republican Party still the party of John McCain, which has now the opportunity to out flank the President on a matter of principle here, where the White House knows what the right thing to do is, but they don't want to do it. Or, are the Republicans still the party of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, who think torture is okay? Gut check time.
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