Is the Justice Department Serious About Torture Trials?

Congressman John Conyers, whose wife is now serving time for a felony bribery conviction, had earlier decided that this was such dastardly conduct that the statute should be amended and extended from eight to ten years.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has proposed extending to 10 years the statute of limitations on war crimes, torture, and domestic surveillance in the event an investigation into the Bush administration's controversial policies turns up prosecutable evidence against former officials after statute of limitations laws currently on the books expire.

Congress should immediately consider "extending the statute of limitations for potential violations of the torture statute, war crimes statute, laws prohibiting warrantless domestic surveillance, or for crimes committed against persons in United States military custody or CIA custody to ten years."

It would be a good test of the will of Congress to bring the Conyers bill up for a vote. I wouldn't bet on its passage.

My favorite law professor, Cornell's William Jacobson, sounds an adult note on the issue which, despite my baser instincts, sounds right:

The Dems are swinging in the dark. They will hit someone, it's just not clear who that someone will be. My guess is that it will not be the Bush administration. As I predicted months ago, the Dems will devour Obama's agenda, and damage at least some of their own along the way for going along with programs they now claim were illegal.

Politically I'd say "go get 'em," except that the consequences will be severe in terms of our intelligence capabilities. So I'll ask the Democrats to be mature leaders, not vindictive brats who are trying to settle political scores at the price of damaging our intelligence agencies.

There, I said it. Next time, I'll just say "I told you so."

And NRO's Mark Thiessen shows the first swing hit Senator Chuck Schumer:

Now, over the weekend we learn that Attorney General Eric Holder is considering appointing a special prosecutor to investigate CIA operatives who interrogated senior al-Qaeda terrorists and got them to give up information that stopped new terrorist attacks. On Meet the Press, Sen. Charles Schumer said that this was the "right thing to do." This is the same Senator Schumer who declared in a hearing a few years back that of course we should torture people if we knew they had information on an imminent attack.

Things are liable to get very interesting, very soon.