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662 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - ad hoc justice · 1 reply · 0 points

So the argument is that, because during an unprecedented period of civil war 150 years ago the president suspended habeas corpus, it is now permissible to secretly suspend it for any given reason? How novel. The race to see who can be more jaded about American history is inevitably a race to the bottom; I have no interest in engaging in it, and it seems to me that anyone who does is not only myopic, but perhaps a bit nihilistic, as well.

The Obama administration could very easily temper accusations of partisanship by increasing oversight of its own prosecution of the war on terror as it pursued criminal charges against Bush administration officials. That they will not do this is, as you say, all but a given. But that doesn't mean we are required to pat them on the back for not even trying.

662 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - ad hoc justice · 0 replies · +2 points

John says:
"I agree that in a perfect world (for instance, the type of world in which torture never happened in the first place) Bush Administration officials would be held accountable for their actions. But I think prosecuting a previous administration is a very, very bad idea. If outgoing administration officials believe they will be prosecuted by political opponents upon leaving office, they are likely to engage in wide-scale document destruction, refuse to assist the incoming administration transition, or, worst case, resist transition."

Are these risks greater than those incurred by telling future administrations (and the current one) that their flagrant violations of habeas corpus, the right to privacy, and the laws of war will go unpunished? I understand your concern but it absolutely pales in comparison to the risk we run of unchecked executive power if serious prosecutions are not pursued against the Bush administration. You'll have to do better.

John also says:
"Torture is a terrible thing; but it's not deliberate murder of innocent civilians who were no where near a combat zone. "

Torture may not be as bad as 9/11, though outside of ED's exaggeration (however great) I don't know why that needs to be or should be our benchmark. But it certainly WAS murder of people who certainly WERE civilians, people who were in a 'combat zone' only insofar as they happened to be somewhere inside Iraq or neighboring countries. (A tough criterion to beat for the vast majority of them.)

Was that murder deliberate? Depends on your sense of the word. Is it a 'deliberate' murder when a guy gets loaded at a bar, tries to drive home, and plows into another car, killing someone? He never set out to kill anybody -- yet he engaged in incredibly dangerous behavior that displayed a willful disregard for the safety of others. Not a simple call.

662 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - I have known many, and... · 1 reply · +1 points

late to the party but I HATE the narrow central column you confine your posts to. it makes reading posts much more difficult, and makes long posts seem even more daunting. if you're loathe to remake the whole look, maybe a a wider format for posts that run below the fold?

662 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - ad hoc justice · 1 reply · +1 points

Not that these guys don't richly deserve the humiliation, but does this make anyone else uncomfortable from a national sovereignty perspective?