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Truth and Prosecution?45:33
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President Bush speaks at the White House prior to signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006. From left are Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the president, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Vice President Dick Cheney. (AP)
President Bush speaks at the White House prior to signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006. From left are Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the president, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Vice President Dick Cheney. (AP)

Former congressman and White House chief of staff Leon Panetta has been tapped by Barack Obama to be the next head of the CIA.

But a loud chorus is still looking back at what happened in the Bush administration — and charging that torture, eavesdropping, and more, demand an accounting: legal accountability, criminal charges that could go as high as Vice President Cheney — and maybe the president.

Critics call it a smear and a partisan crusade. Supporters call it a vital defense of the constitution.

It is a loaded subject. This hour, On Point: We listen to the case for prosecution — and the case against it.

You can join the conversation. Where are you on this? Was it all just part of the nasty reality of unorthodox war? Or were actual crimes committed in your name? Do you want to see Rumsfeld, Cheney, Feith, Addington, maybe even George Bush, sitting one day in a courtroom? In the dock? Or would that just tear the country apart?Guests:

Joining us from New York is Scott Horton, a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine and a distinguished visiting professor at Hofstra Law School. His article “Justice after Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration” appeared in the December issue of Harper’s.

Also from New York, we're joined by Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and a regular contributor to National Review. His article on the question of Bush administration prosecutions, “The Myth of Bush’s Torture Regime,” appeared in December. As Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he led the prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case.

And from Washington, we're joined by Charles Homans, an editor at The Washington Monthly. His article on this subject, “Last Secrets of the Bush Administration: How to find out what we still don’t know,” appeared in the November-December issue.

This program aired on January 6, 2009.

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