OLBERMANN: In the 48 hours since Dick Cheney called investigating torture an outrageous political act to former prosecutors, one from each party say they disagree.
In our fourth story on the COUNTDOWN: The torture probe is now getting support not only from former prosecutor Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democratic U.S. senator who joins us in a moment, but also from the nation‘s former top prosecutor, Republican Alberto Gonzales.
First, the senator, the former U.S. attorney in the “National Law Journal,” laying out the legal foundations that justify that require investigation. First, the corpus delicti, the body of evidence establishing the possible existence of a crime. In this case, the Bush administration‘s admission of waterboarding, an act defined as criminal by international treaty and by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fifth circuit in 1984.
Mr. Whitehouse writing, quote, “For there to be investigation now is unexceptional. The only exceptional is the parties involved: the former vice president of the United States, his counsel, David Addington, Office of Legal Counsel lawyer John Yoo.”
Congressman Jerry Nadler making the same case on FOX News where, of course, the emcee was contractually obligated to interrupt as soon as Nadler mentioned Cheney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADLER: The law says very clearly that it is the obligation of the attorney general to investigate, to see whether crimes were committed any time there was torture under American jurisdiction. He must do that, if he didn‘t do that, he‘d be breaking the law. My criticism of the attorney general is that he should not limit the investigation to people in the field who may have committed the torture, to people who may have ordered, such as the vice president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: But it was Fredo, poor Fredo who grabbed the headlines by going against the family. He broke their hearts.
Quote, “Let me just say that I have a great deal of respect for General Holder. I think that the attorney general would have made this on his own and I think as the chief prosecutor of the United States, he should make the decision on his own. Eric Holder is looking at conduct that goes beyond the instructions given by the Department of Justice. And if people go beyond that, I think it is legitimate to question, to examine that conduct to ensure that people are held accountable for the actions they take even if it‘s the actions in prosecuting the war on terror.”
With us now, as promised, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
Great thanks for your time tonight, Senator.
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Good to be with you.
OLBERMANN: First, your thoughts on Mr. Gonzales endorsing this investigation. Do you think his approval is sincere here? Or is it a function of relief that the aim is no higher than the operatives at the interrogative level?