Monday, April 27, 2009

Vengeance vs. Justice

This will be a debate that carries us through the rest of the year I think, in regards to the torture memos and former Bush administration officials who approved "enhanced interrogation techniques." On the one side you have people like Michael Barone, in his latest article.
The Madame Defarges of the Democratic left want to see the guillotine flash down and heads roll. Specifically, they want to see the prosecution or impeachment of officials who approved enhanced interrogation techniques -- torture, in their view.
On the other side you have people like Glenn Greenwald who see things a bit differently.
As is obvious from everything I've written over the past three years, I think the need to criminally prosecute those who authorized and ordered torture (as well as illegal surveillance) is absolute and non-negotiable (and, as I wrote earlier today, in the case of torture, criminal investigations are legally compelled). A collective refusal to prosecute the grotesque war crimes that we know our Government committed is to indict all of us in those crimes, to make us complict in their commission.
I tend to come down on Greenwald's side of the fence, if, for no other reason, then that I believe in our court system. If the Bush administration officials who approved these measures are truly innocent of wrong doing, let them stand in court and say so, and prove it to the court.

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