Ayatolla Kit Bond

By David Swanson

You gotta keep ’em separated. My colleagues over at Velvet Revolution noticed a striking resemblance between certain Republican senators here at home and certain theocrats over yonder in Iran. You can’t necessarily spot it by looking at them. You have to pay attention to what they say.

The Iranians say that prosecuting torturers within the Iranian government would endanger Iran:

“Parliament speaker Ali Larijani called last Wednesday for an investigation but a day later said Karroubi’s allegations were unfounded and could be used by Iran’s enemies. On Friday, prayer leaders nationwide — all appointed by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — denounced Karroubi, saying his accusations had undermined respect for the country’s leaders. ‘This was a letter with which America celebrated. It was a letter that was Israel’s celebration,’ said Ahmadi Khatami, a leader of Friday prayers in Tehran. ‘The honorable judiciary said unequivocally that sexual assault, which this gentleman has alleged, is a lie.'”

Absurd, right? Just protecting themselves and waving a lousy flag, right? But, wait . . .

Kit Bond (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Kyl (R-AZ), and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) just sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder explaining that prosecuting torturers within the U.S. government would endanger the United States:

[The appointment of a special prosecutor could] “have serious consequences, not just for the honorable members of the intelligence community, but also for the security of all Americans.”

“We will not know the lost opportunities to prevent attacks, the policies to protect the nation left on the table, due to fear of future policy disagreement being expressed through an indictment. It is hard to imagine how the Justice Department could take that risk after September 11, given that the foremost duty of the Department is to protect Americans.”

“The intelligence community would be left to wonder whether actions taken today in the interest of national security will be subject to legal recriminations when the political winds shift. It is well past time for the Obama Administration to lift the cloud that has been placed over those in the intelligence community and let them return to the job of saving American lives.”

Absurd, right? Just protecting themselves and waving a lousy flag, right?


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