Or You Could Just Enforce the Damn Law

While America’s Top War Criminal makes the rounds this week before departing for a Secure, Undisclosed Location in Hell, WaPo’s Jonathan Bernstein ponders why he’s not festering in a Supermax somewhere, enjoying his very own live performance of Oz:

Would it have been worse had the government attempted to prosecute, only to fail to get guilty verdicts? This points to the complexity of the issue from the perspective of the incoming Obama administration in 2009.

Or you could just enforce the damn law.

Assuming one wants to prevent torture from returning, would prosecution have been the best step? Perhaps. Perhaps, however, it would have made things worse. Even successful prosecution, unfortunately, could create a backlash.

Or you could just enforce the damn law.

The administration was faced with no obvious best choice. The priority, at least in my view, should have been to do whatever was most likely to prevent torture proponents from winning in the future. My own sense was that the best way to do that wasn’t to prosecute.

Or you could just enforce the damn law.

Instead, I advocated preemptive pardons to everyone involved, including George W. Bush, followed by a thorough Truth Commission. I thought there was at least a fair chance with that approach of enlisting Bush and some of the others in a real bipartisan consensus against future torture.

Or you could just enforce the damn law.

Would it have worked? I can’t prove it, but my judgment, was that prosecutions would have hardened GOP support for torture, while pardons would have at least removed the self-interest of those who were — are — criminally liable from the equation.

Or you could just enforce the damn law.

Then as now, arguments over hypothetical outcomes reveal a striking failure of integrity. We’re not talking about shacking up in Florida — we’re talking about grave war crimes. A prosecution is just that: it doesn’t guarantee a conviction, but a fair trial. If there was a case to be made on its merits, it should have been brought. All else is irrelevant.

You can’t prevent torture from returning; if you could, it wouldn’t have happened the last time. You can’t worry about a backlash; Fox News has an Outrage Quota to fill, and it’ll just invent facts where it can’t find them. You can’t even convene a Truth Commission, unless you’re willing to follow the model and prosecute anybody who doesn’t participate — which is the very problem it’s supposed to solve.

All you can do is enforce the damn law. And damn the consequences.

How Cheney is winning [WaPo]

Fucking OJ. Ruined it for any real important trial.

Pffft. The law can’t touch important people. Kissinger knows this.

And then what? Gas him? Inject him? Hang him?

You can’t kill the dead.

They’ve have to invent a new law to have the convicted sliced thin on a deli cutter and incinerated with lasers to extinguish the animated force that is the diabolical criminal Cheney.

Evil, but otherwise unrelated:

How Walmart trains managers

Apparently the title “assistant manager” should really be changed to “political officer”…

@FlyingChainSaw: that’s what double and triple life sentences are for.

With a lifetime pass for all the “rides” at Gitmo

Oh right, that whole cruel and unusual punishment thing… wait a minute, he’s not a POW so that is okay.

See contarded, we can play specious thinking games too. Isn’t it fun?

“Assuming one wants to prevent torture from returning, would prosecution have been the best step? “

Jonathan, aren’t you cute. Mama always said, “Don’t assume, it makes an ass of u and me…”

@al2o3cr: I don’t know how true that is. I have a friend who is a dairy manager for Wally’s (a job she held for about 8 years after failing to make a living with her art degree and printmaking) who will be opening up a new superstore here in Santa Fe.

Fun facts: her dad is a big time lawyer in a European capital with sovereign nations as clients and her mom’s family had something to do with the founding of San Francisco and therefore did not have to do anything except drink vodka and write poetry while working in bookstores or as an assistant or whatever.

@SanFranLefty: I thought that wa sa reference to the Chinese investment group that bid over a billion with a B for the Dodgers.

Anyone see that poor bastard get hurt real bad in the last three fucking seconds of the killing of the Cowboys by Intellegent Aquatic Mammals? Looks like the Broncos stunk it up against Jamie’s Birds. Tebow scored the only points for the Big D, so we’ll see a cry of “start Tebow” until the opening game. Great. That and fucking vandals shot out my truck window last night (BB gun).

@SanFranLefty: i just read that. obama knows that his alleged base has to vote for him in the general because of the nut job he will be running against. but this caving to these destructive motherfuckers or what he thinks is compromise makes him just as bad as them. not one of those low life racist assholes that voted against him will ever ever have a change of alleged heart or alleged mind and vote for him because he is: helping them dismantle the epa; torpedoed the public option; won’t prosecute war criminals and their domestic counterparts, wall st.; and has been the single greatest factor in maintaining any shred of relevance or alleged credibility for the gop. this shit sucks and has to end. what the fuck can we do that doesn’t benefit the gop and their retarded teabagger cousins more than us?

@SanFranLefty: Yes. 9.0 on the Richter scale. Take a look at the first 7,500 or so comments on the HuffPo story . . .

@jwmcsame: Exactly right. This gets him nothing from the pigfucking states, and hurts him in the few remaining blue states.

@Dodgerblue: Who can we call off the bench that won’t get killed by Perry (or one of his supporters)?

Hills woulda done the same damned thing, I fear.

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