Dick Cheney, David Addington, and John Yoo. These former Bush officials, architects of the nation's torture policies, remain adamantly unaccountable for and unrepentent about the damage they caused to the rule of law and America's standing in the world. As George Will noted Sunday, Cheney's memoirs were remarkably devoid of any apologies (for the war in Iraq, for example) and John Yoo, in a recent interview hawking his book, refused to say he would have done things differently when drafting the so-called 'torture memos."
Eric Holder. The current Attorney General failed to deliver on his one big chance to bring 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed to a federal trial -- even though hundreds of other terror suspects both before and after 9/11 have been successfully prosecuted in civilian court. Ever since, his Justice Department and the White House have kowtowed to fear-mongering from conservatives in Congress, who practically fell over themselves praising President George W. Bush's similar charging decisions in terror cases.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- South Carolina). It's long past time the former military prosecutor was called to account for his record. He has consistently been on the wrong side of the law, and of history, when it comes to the tribunal rights of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Without his meddling, most notably in helping to pass the failed Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the failed Military Commissions Act of 2006, it's possible the Gitmo tribunals long ago would have started churning out verdicts.
Charles "Cully" Stimson and Liz Cheney. He's the former Bush official who, in 2007, infamously threatened the private law firms who were dutifully supplying lawyers pro bono to some of the detainees (who of course could not pay for their own defense). He had to resign in disgrace. She's the daughter of the former vice-president who, in 2010, blasted as the "al-Qaeda Seven" a group of Justice Department lawyers who had once, as private attorneys working for law firms, helped represent some of the detainees in federal court cases. History will not judge this pair kindly.
President Barack Obama. In the interest of political comity, he told the nation in 2009 that he wanted to "look forward, not back" when it came to the Bush administration's torture policies. So there was no national "Truth Commission." There were no congressional hearings. There were no criminal prosecutions. No one was held to account. And what did the president receive for this controversial display of forgiveness? Congressional Republicans (and some Democrats) voted to block the Justice Department from transfering terror detainees out of Gitmo so they could be tried in federal civilian court.
Jose Padilla's federal jury in Miami. At first, Padilla was the "dirty bomber," a terror suspect so dangerous that he could not be given his constitutional rights as an American citizen. When the courts called the Bush Administration's bluff, federal prosecutors tried Padilla instead on terror conspiracy charges (from activity that occurred well before 9/11) in South Florida. After a three-month long trial in which the government presented a woefully weak case against Padilla, a Miami jury deliberated less than a day and a half before convicting him and his co-defendants.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Taking undue advantage of the extraordinarly broad powers granted to it under the USA Patriot Act and other measures, the FBI in the years immediately following 9/11 inappropriately tracked domestic advocacy groups like PETA and Greenpeace. Worse, according to a 2010 report by the Office of Inspector General, G-men were sent on "make work" missions during "slow" periods of work.