Monday, April 27, 2009

Prosecuting Bush, Cheney, and Rice

There is now clear evidence that the regime of President GW Bush, R Cheney, aided by C Rice authorized and promulgated a regime of torture.

I am far more left wing than almost any American, but I just want to say that I think David Frum (a decent Republican) has a point in objecting to any prosecutions right now.

Cheney is acting unbelievably badly (compare him to how restrained George HW Bush was about Clinton) and needs to be called on that. And I agree Bush should be tried. But by the next president.

Look, Gore was cheated in 2000, and he could have made things very messy. But ultimately he decided that the, while clearly no constitution is perfect, his own ambitions were not enough to force a destablising contest with the Supreme Court.

Lincoln (Habeas Corpus) and Roosevelt (Japanese internment) clearly committed constitutional violations, but, fortunately from one point of view, died before these could become an issue.

I am no fan of American exceptionalism, but in many ways the US remains the last best hope for good in Human Government. A pattern of wrecking vengeance on previous governments would utterly destroy one of its strengths.

Obama should announce that violators of the Geneva Conventions may face prosecution under his presidency, but that, because of the need to preserve the stable constitution, any prosecution of Bush, Cheney, or Rice must wait until AFTER his presidency.

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