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on Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 10:28 pm by Radley Balko
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Bush lost the election, and as libertarians know, politics is just war by another means.
April 28th, 2009 at 6:58 am
“Befehl ist Befehl” is exactly congruent with “the law is the law.” Trying someone who “was just following orders,” where orders have the force of law (as they do for military personnel) is either going to break “the law is the law” or legitimize the Nuremberg defense.
As a former soldier (54B Nuclear, Biological & Chemical weapons specialist) I can tell you what we were taught. It is each soldiers responsibility to know if an order is illegal and act accordingly. Obviously that SUCKS because what illegal is rarely black and white to the guy on the ground, especially when he’s getting “legal advice” from highly politicized attorneys who make anything sound legal. Nonetheless, the ultimate judgement rests with the individual soldier and he must be willing to accept the consequences of his decision.
#3, the fact that a lawyer tells you something doesn’t mean that it’s “the law”, even if that lawyer works for the president–it’s the lawyer’s interpretation of the law, not the law. In fact, given recent history, if the lawyer is working for the president, it’s reasonable to assume that what they’re telling you is legal isn’t legal.
We, the US, have now codified the Nuremberg defense, making it a free pass to act in any way at any time at any place with full confidence one’s acts cannot be prosecuted.
We shall now reap the whirlwind as ‘energetic interrogation’ techniques gain acceptance in civilian criminal law; ‘only’ for the most egregious crimes of course, such as selling some drugs, conspiring against the state, or child abuse.
Our moral standing is rightly viewed as nil…good luck to us all.
Sorry Radley, I have fallen so far into the abyss of cynicism that not even Bush himself talking at length about prosecuting war crimes (there’s a substantively similar clip on Andrew Sullivan’s blog where Bush talks about investigations and prosecutions) gives me the slightes bit of hope that we will even start to see intelligent, reasoned debate in this country let alone investigations and prosecutions. I’d love to be wrong on this, but no one is going to care about what Bush said here.
Laughable. I wonder what the US reponse would be if the UN declared the US as a threat to sovereign nations and asked that we willingly disarm.
And yes, I’m disappointed that heads aren’t rolling over the whole torture issue. I really don’t care if a smoking gun was found through those means, it disprespects us all. Rice and Cheney needs some jail time. No looking back? Ok, but if that appled to everyone there would be no need for laws at all. I’ll be at the local bank making a “withdrawal”.