The conventional wisdom is that Bush and Cheney will slip into the night on January 20th, facing no further serious consequence for their actions. After all, it will eat up too much political capital, be too divisive, and piss off too many villagers to do anything else. Well, conventional wisdom is always right, until it's not.
Digby notes an effort spearheaded by Ari Melber to promote a key question about this on Change.gov. Here's what you do:
Voting remains open:
1. Sign in at change.gov/openforquestions 2. On the left menu, click "Additional Issues." Bob Fertik's question will appear at the top.
3. Look right for the checkbox, mouseover it so it goes from white to dark, then click to cast your vote
Similar questions are also listed, and highly ranked under "National Security" and "Foreign Policy." Go help them out.
I think some people are somewhat complacent about the torture thing because it seems a fair assumption that none of it will be sanctioned under Obama. This is about what comes next.
There will be future Republican Presidents, and going from Watergate, to Iran-Contra to pre-9/11 illegal domestic spying and then post-9/11 torture and secret gulags they demonstrably will not refrain from breaking core societal ethical norms absent serious legal ramifications (and if the laws against torture and wiretapping are not enforced, then they aren't laws, just some nice things written down somewhere, much like those lists of silly laws still on the books but never enforced).
Further, airing out what really happened on this is what will create the political impetus for another round of Watergate style reforms that adequately check the executive and perhaps revitalize the subservient legislative branch. The general populace is not paying much attention to this issue, but trials have a way of getting their attention, and I have no doubt there is enough salacious and depraved details to explore so as to occupy cable news.
Crimes against humanity were committed as part of formal US Government Policy. Changing the policy to stop doing it just isn't enough. Especially not when the next Republican will just change it back, and will have the strength of the "precedent" Cheney and Bush left him to normalize it to a large segment of the population.
Obama can start that snowball rolling downhill, but he will need a lot of encouragement to do so. Yes, he can.