Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 26, 2009

MCCAIN ON 'BAD ADVICE'.... On CBS's "Face the Nation" this morning, John McCain dismissed the entire idea of criminal wrongdoing in relation to the Bush administration's torture policies. "No one," McCain said, "has alleged 'wrongdoing'" on the part of former administration officials. He added, "We need to put this behind us. We need to move forward."

In the same interview, however, McCain also said this:

"[Bybee] falls into the same category as everybody else as far as giving very bad advice and misinterpreting, fundamentally, what the United States is all about, much less things like the Geneva Conventions. Look, under President Reagan we signed an agreement against torture. We were in violation of that."

Right, we were in violation of that. It's kind of the point of the debate.

The problem, then, is with John McCain's definition of "wrongdoing." As Metavirus noted, the reference to the agreement endorsed by Reagan was the United Nations Convention Against Torture, signed in 1988. The Bush administration, McCain conceded, was "in violation of that."

Given this, it sure would be helpful if McCain could clarify matters for us. McCain believes Bush administration officials aren't guilty of "wrongdoing," so there's no need for any kind of investigation. McCain also believes Bush administration officials violated U.S. and international law.

So, I'm curious -- what, exactly, does McCain consider "wrongdoing"? And why should U.S. officials deliberately ignore evidence of violations of the law?

Steve Benen 2:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (53)

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Comments

We need to remember that John McCain has never been noted for the quality of his intellect!

Posted by: Tom on April 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

God, what a bullet we dodged, almost having this moron and his psychopathic running mate in the White House.

Posted by: rob! on April 26, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks much for the link. To McCain's point about moving on, however, if McCain admits that the Bush administration violated the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture, that means that the people that formulated the torture policy are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. I just don't get how we can "move on" from fundamental violations of U.S. and international law that we routinely call on other nations to prosecute.

Posted by: Metavirus on April 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ut oh--whatever mental acuity Seor Grampa had left is leaving the building...

Posted by: Anna Granfors on April 26, 2009 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

McCain and Broder and the rest of the dim bulbs just can't imagine that sometimes Americans do bad things.

Posted by: gizmo on April 26, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"No one," McCain said, "has alleged 'wrongdoing'" on the part of former administration officials.

...at least, not on Fox News. But there is plenty of evidence that the Bush Administration knew they were engaged in wrongdoing: 1) destroying inconvenient legal opinions 2) designing techniques that would not leave scars 3) pretending the Abu Ghraib MP's were acting independently, and blaming Karpinski for not supervising them properly 4) hiding detainees from the Red Cross. And John McCain was never anything more than an enabler.

Posted by: Danp on April 26, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm...so under Reagan we signed an agreement not to torture? Sounds like a talking point we should hear a lot from the side who opposes torture. So why the hell is McCain bringing it up? To prove what nutball hypocrites the GOP are?

We need to stop with the Bush era euphemisms. Waterboarding is WATER TORTURE. They're not "detainees," they're POWs. We tortured our POWs. End of story.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on April 26, 2009 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe McCain can explain why we aren't a banana republic if we do not prosecute war criminals.

Posted by: Mark S. on April 26, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

What McCain couldn't or didn't want to say might be the following:
Bush & Cheney et al violated prohibitions of torture in international law. But that's not in itself a violation of criminal law.

Bush & Cheney, McCain was perhaps struggling to say, did not commit any crime--did not commit an act prohibited by a criminal statute--and in this sense did no wrong.

On this construal, McCain's opponents would strengthen their case by citing the statute for violation of which they allege Bush & Cheney should be indicted.

Posted by: Tacitus on April 26, 2009 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's definition of "wrongdoing" is "something that Democrats do." IOKIYAR .

Posted by: DavidNOE on April 26, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Man, that must be "the" tacitus since that comment is so stupid. When Reagan (and/or) Congress signs on to an international convention it *becomes the law* for the US. The criminal statute is the law, which we have signed on for. Jeebus. How stupid are you? Plus, of course, the whole point of the bybee et al memos was to distinguish what Bush/Cheney did from actual violations of actual statues and laws that had previously been interpreted a certain way. Bybee and Yoo's memos weren't law in any real sense, they were advisory, and anyone relying on those to explicitly *be* the law is in exactly the same situation as a private citizen who relies on his lawyer telling him that he's "sure"that its legal to murder his wife. Its.Not.Lawful.

aimai

aimai

Posted by: aimai on April 26, 2009 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter McCain: We were in violation of torture laws. There is nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: jcricket on April 26, 2009 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush administration broke the law when they tortured. Their defender's rationalization is that they kept us safe during wartime -- so the law should not be applied -- that circumstances during the Bush administration were during a uniquely dangerous time.
The point is oxymoronic. War Crime laws are called that because they are meant to be applied during a time of war--and consequently during a time of danger. Keeping us safe from danger is no excuse. War Crime laws that only apply when there is peace and safety are worse than useless, it is contrary to their essential purpose. It is when the stakes are high that the temptation is greatest, and when commitment to law is most difficult yet most important.

Posted by: patrick on April 26, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

bad advice? sounds a lot like the justification for the war in Iraq.

eh, bad advice. oh well.

Posted by: glutz78 on April 26, 2009 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the Repubs were the party of Law and Order?

Posted by: Former Dan on April 26, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Why is this man allowed to voice his opinion after being exposed for such a fool during the campaign. Everything he says is wrong, confusing and just ignorant.

Why does the media feel obligated to continue to tolerate every "lobbyists' pet senator on a leash" when he so often demonstrates he doesn't know what he is even talking about.

Everything about McCain has been soundly rejected by a majority of Americans yet here he is along with Graham and Lieberman still dealing self righteous hypocrisy at every chance the media gives them. McCain: wrong on everything and lying about it. Nothing's changed. Republicans are still dominating the air waves despite being a minority and soundly rejected by the American people.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 26, 2009 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Tacitus,

"On this construal, McCain's opponents would strengthen their case by citing the statute for violation of which they allege Bush & Cheney should be indicted."

As a signatory to the 'UN Convention Against Torture', the U.S. is obligated to investigate and CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE U.S. citizens that are believed to have engaged in torture.

Article 2 of the 'UN Convention Against Torture' states that "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever" can be used to legally justify torture.

Posted by: Joe Friday on April 26, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Wrong happened. But no one did it.

Posted by: Ross Best on April 26, 2009 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Wrongdoing is when you get caught doing it and somebody has the balls to prosecute you with it. But alas, there are many a Ted Stevens so WTF is justice anyhow?

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on April 26, 2009 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

OK. So then what "measures" has the UIS taken? Do they include a statute under which a dutiful prosecutor should indict Cheney, or Bush, or Yoo, or whover?

Posted by: Tacitus on April 26, 2009 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

> what, exactly, does McCain consider "wrongdoing"?

Blowjobs.

Posted by: eyelessgame on April 26, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain gets a lot of mileage out of claims of confusion. It may be that he is that out of touch. However, McCain was the Republican standard bearer as recently as last November, and he was on Face the Nation as the respectable face for Bush and Villager apologists. Bob Schiefer knew very well that by not holding McCain to a higher standard than not drooling on camera, he was advancing the point he wanted to make. Shame on both of them.

Posted by: Eric on April 26, 2009 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

And thus little children, way back when, the GOP defense was instituted. We is wingnut yer honour, and was confused.

Posted by: Mr. Stuck on April 26, 2009 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

McCain and Broder and the rest of the dim bulbs just can't imagine that sometimes Americans do bad things.--gizmo

They have no problem imagining Blacks, immigrants and poor people as criminals, except those in uniform carrying out out orders of the powerful.

What McCain and Broder have trouble getting past is their elitism.

The elites make laws and rules. The rest of us follow these laws and rules. But the laws and rules are not meant to constrain the elites.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 26, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

OK, its definitely the "real" tacitus because its starting to gibber. What difference does it make to the original question "was it against the law" whether the convention that we signed on for has or has not some tacitus imagined extra provision about who should prosecute? We signed on to the convention and we agreed that *we* should prosecute. We should prosecute *even members* of our own administration who broke the law. Its not really a hard case--everything bush/cheney did was to *evade their responsibility* under the law. If we want to reinstitute the rule of law we need to prosecute them for the *crimes they committed.* Not for thinking about it. Not for policy differences. For actually ordering and enabling actual (actual) torture as defined by our own laws (the convention we signed.) This is really not rocket science and although the far right has shown a strong determination to muddy the waters and whine and stamp its feet the facts are utterly clear at this point. Bush/cheney ordered subordinates to torture a wide variety of people swept up in military and extra judicial proceedings. That was illegal at the time. That remains illegal. And should be prosecuted. Whether in order to vindicate our country's good name and *Reagan's* good name as the original signer or to prevent president Obama from taking control of the same powers and misusing them to torture Tacitus himself.
It beats the fuck out of me how the right wing can simultaneously be pissing its pants that Obama (they think) will take their guns away and not worry for one instant that he will take the imaginary bush justifications for anything-goes-we-can-torture whoever we want and run with it. Is it possible that these right wingers are still so stupid that they imagine that behaviors that are ok when applied to muslim terrorists wouldn't also be ok when applied to white militia members?

aimai

Posted by: aimai on April 26, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

This post is based on the assumption that McCain's mental faculties are intact. You can't make that assumption. The man is past old. He never had a reputation of being totally plugged in to reality in the first place. The guy can't remember from one minute to the next let alone one day to the next as was made abundantly clear during his campaign, so whenever McCain makes any statement, you have to remember that he really has no idea of what he's saying, even if he says something totally rational.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on April 26, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

April 26, 2009

Day 9 of Obama renouncing his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our country.

That McCrap is defending the right of rethugs to disregard the law is nothing new. That the corporate media is an echo chamber and amplifier for rethug messages is just a continuation of what their role is.

That Obama refuses to have his administration move forward with investigations of ALL of the crimes of the Bush Criminal Enterprise may be politically expedient, but it is morally, legally, and ethically wrong!

Posted by: AngryOldVet on April 26, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

God forbid we should set the terrible precedent of holding Republicans accountable for their misdeeds.

Posted by: Ben on April 26, 2009 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Tacitus: I find it hard to believe that you think treaties are some abstract thing separate from US law. Ratification carries with it obligations to pass laws implementing them, which make them the law of the land:

In order to ensure U.S. compliance with CAT obligations to criminalize all acts of torture, the United States enacted chapter 113C of the United States Criminal Code, which prohibits torture occurring outside the United States (torture occurring inside the United States was already generally prohibited under several federal and state statutes criminalizing acts such as assault, battery, and murder).

Which we did. Look it up. Torture is illegal under US law, and those who conspired to commit it are criminals.

Posted by: Redshift on April 26, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's comments weren't McCain's alone. He might be losing his marbles but this isn't evidence of it. I heard Lindsey Graham make essentially the same argument.

From what I have read the last few days, the basic Republican argument is that the Bush administration was scared spitless after 9/11. They were afraid something bad would happen, so they felt they had to do something. They turned to torture to help assure that the could protect America. Because they are Republicans they didn't believe anything career government officials told them. For that reason they ignored all to advice that torture would do way more harm than good.

You can't blame Bybee or Yoo because, well, they are just dumb shit Federalist society lawyers. The Bushies never had any respect for lawyers, because all of their lawyers were selected for one common trait. They said what they thought the boss wanted to hear, not what they thought the boss needed to hear. With that in mind They hired Bybee to write the memos even though he was just a hack looking for a job on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Long story short, since fundamentally Bush Republicans were incompetent and scared, they should be given a pass for their errors in judgment. After all they didn't mean any harm.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 26, 2009 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

When the news of abu Ghraib broke, Stephen Colbert satirically "explained" that it was OK -- even though it was something we did do it wasn't something we would do. The administration's defenders denounced the "few bad apples" and cheered on the prosecutions of Graner and Englund. Then we learned that George Bush had ordered much, much worse, and the administration's defenders turned on a dime. After denouncing the slanderous claims that George Bush was in any way responsible for such reprehensible practices, they suddenly decided that the practices weren't reprehensible at all -- indeed, that they were legal and effective, and thank God wise old George Bush was keeping us safe. But we're still supposed to believe that Graner and Englund were sociopaths.

Tacitus:

The War Crimes Act would be a good starting point for a criminal prosecution.

Posted by: Rockfish on April 26, 2009 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

I need a copy editor.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 26, 2009 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

The thing I can never forgive the North Vietnamese for is failing to get proper legal opinions justifying their torture of American prisoners of war.

Posted by: Ross Best on April 26, 2009 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is insane. He's been judged by his peers and found wanting, repeatedly, without equivocation. If McCain says 'no problem,' the only question the rest of us need ask is why we didn't start investigations years ago.

Posted by: NealB on April 26, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Each and evey day, I make it a point to give thanks that McCain and and Caribu Barbie lost.

Posted by: sparrow on April 26, 2009 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Senator McCain? Uh, sir, I don't want to pick a fight, but, well, I'd just like to point out that many people, including me, have alleged wrongdoing on the part of administration officials.

Early and often, in fact.
You could look it up.

Posted by: biggerbox on April 26, 2009 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

So far as I can find, this is the applicable federal stattue. or the pertinent portions.
“Torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
(b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.
[ “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.]

Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I_20_113C.html

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Cheney's or Bush's might be able to persuade a prosecutor or a jury that they didn't violate this statute. They didn't commit the acts, the acts weren't committed outside the United States, the victims weren't in their custody.

None of that would convince most readers of Political Animal. But it might convince a prosecutor in the Criminal Division or a juror.

I may well be mistaken. But the question is a legal one, and to live in a free society is to live in a society where's it hard to prove people have committed crimes. Further, in free societies seldom is it the case that the elected leaders who've preceded those currently in office are jailed.

I may also be mistaken to have been reminded of a scene from A Man for All Seasons. But possibly not.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

And I'd venture to guess that along the way Barack Obama has seen A Man for All Seasons.

Posted by: Tacitus on April 26, 2009 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Tacitus ... neither extrapolating legal lessons from movies nor being an apologist for torture are endearing qualities in an intellectual or in a blogger.

Posted by: Gonads on April 26, 2009 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is a sick little weasel whose greatest talent is the ability to spew bullshit out of both sides of his mouth at once. We all know this. The question is, why is this nasty old piece of shit on TV, and the REAL question is: who cares? He'll be dead soon. Just maybe not soon enough.

Posted by: Mahnkenstein on April 26, 2009 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Is this what the GOP meant when they talked about 'values'?

Posted by: leo on April 26, 2009 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm truly baffled that anyone listens to anything McCain says at this point. He's obviously badly confused most of the time. Except insofar as everything that comes out of his mendacious piehole is for the benefit of himself or his friends.

Jeebus. Why won't the man just go away? He's been an utter disgrace nearly his entire life. Much like Shrub: a disgrace, desperately trying to live up to the image of his father.

You have to wonder how people like this shield themselves from the truth of their own innards. If guys like McCain or Shrub ever really confronted what they are, and what they've done, we'd probably have two cases of unexplained suicide. In the quiet of a late-night, does Shrub ever have the faintest unease about what's been did, and what's been hid? to quote that oh-so-useful-line from Dylan..

Posted by: LL on April 26, 2009 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

I see the source of tacituses confusion. Hevehinks we want to suspendvhabeas corpus and hold bush/ceney st al in a secret prison and torture them until they confess. when he talks about " law" and quotes AMFAS he is actually meaning the suspension if law. Truly, the damage b/c have done is immense. Lawful investigation, indictment, trial by jury? All of these are assumed by the people asking for prosecution. I am happy for b/c to mount a full defence as to both law and necessity. I don't think " I meant well" or "it worked" are actually a viable defence to the crimes alleged but I wouldn't stop them from making it.

Sinai

Posted by: Aimai on April 26, 2009 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

By being an apologist for torture, McCain has stabbed his fellow POWs in the back, at least those who also underwent torture. Enjoy your eternity in hell, you SOB!

Posted by: uncle toby on April 26, 2009 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

One unstated undercurrent to the torture debate is what torture represents to conservatives. Torture is the ultimate instrument of control; through it adversaries of any stripe can be forced into total submission. Torture is a talisman of unfettered power, and it's why conservatives get all giddy and silly when they're talking about it; denying it and justifying at the same time.

Posted by: Del Capslock on April 26, 2009 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

We're supposed to agree to disagree with the Bush torture regime and do absolutely nothing about it.

For McCain, wrongdoing is not going along with that blasé attitude.

Posted by: George on April 26, 2009 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, those few Republicans who DO acknowledge that the Bush administration authorized torture view such war crimes as an innocuous policy faux pas, and would like us to grant them a mulligan.

Fair enough request, provided that in lieu of any indictments, GOP apologists like John McCain, Peggy Noonan and David Broder would rather that the rest of us subsequently crack them hard upside the head repeatedly with an oaken sheleighlee, for refusing to pay much timely attention to such appalling matters in the first place.

Failing that, John McCain and the GOP can kiss my liberal ass. Shame on all of them.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 26, 2009 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think the most amazing passage in the Face The Nation interview was this:

SCHIEFFER: So you wouldn’t favor even appointing a special prosecutor to look into it?

MCCAIN: The allegations are that they gave the wrong counsel. That’s -- and that bad things were done. And we violated fundamental commitments that the United States of America made when we signed the Geneva Conventions, and we disregarded what might happen to Americans who are held captive in the future. And by the way, those who say our enemies won’t abide by the Geneva Conventions, they will if they know that there’s going to be retribution for their violation of it.

Having argued against consequences for those who did it in the US, he says others will be deterred from breaking the Conventions for fear of retribution. Absolutely amazing. And Shieffer let it go by.

Posted by: Sid Schwab on April 26, 2009 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

The 800-lb. gorilla in the room that no one will mention:

The Bush Administration committed war crimes (torture) in order to commit a war crime (attacking and occupying a sovereign nation, Iraq).

The White House torture program was created to find an excuse to attack, invade and occupy Iraq.

We know that the White House expressed interest in torture in December 2001. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydeh had been captured. Development of the torture program began in April, 2002. The war in Iraq began March 19, 2003.

The interrogators/torturers say the purpose of their inquisition was to find a link between 9/11, Al Qaeda and Saddam.

That means that Bush knew that he had no case to go to war in Iraq, thus, the frenzied drumbeat to war, the trumped-up propaganda campaign about WMD, "mushroom cloud", creating an atmosphere where careful examination of what was known versus what was merely suspected got you branded unpatriotic and a traitor.

With no link between 9/11 and Saddam and the start date for the war looming (no later than March, everything was in place and ready to go, summer heat looming), Bush went ahead because he was sure WMD would be found, and he could point to that as the justification. When no WMD, no nuclear, no nothing turned up, Bush continued what had never stopped: Torturing, this time of Iraqis swept up in dragnets, to find a link to 9/11 and Al Qaeda.


Rachel Maddow and Ron Suskind explain it all.


Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO_2jd78UUw


Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSw-B5Iq8tE

Posted by: Marc Spinoza on April 26, 2009 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

In the last week, I've heard several Republicans declare on the cable news channels the reason that we should all move on and forget about investigating or prosecuting anyone over the Bush administration's illegal torture program:

"The way to deal with the problem of torture is through elections."

Mac Thornberry [TX-R] is one of them (see this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPhldpCfIKk), Pat Buchanan was another (see these clips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOzqIL4Qnw&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07hsSF6dCDM&feature=channel_page)

Republicans are elaborating on their crazy unitary executive claim to include the old Nixon assertion that "When the President does it, it's not illegal" and that losing an election is punishment enough.

If losing the election is the verdict, can we then move straight to the sentence and toss Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al, into prison?

The Bush administration has figured out the perfect crime, where a president will never have to face justice. Impeachment is no longer any check on executive power. Pelosi took it off the table because Republicans would never have voted to impeach, much less remove from office. So now we have to accept that a president can run amok for 8 years, and the only way to check him is to make sure that the other party controls the house and the senate.

The founders are spinning in their graves.

Posted by: Marc Spinoza on April 26, 2009 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

I was cruising the stratosphere on my cable box the other night and ended up watching Stanley Kramer's “Judgment at Nuremberg”. The movie has held up very well, perhaps becoming more relevant over the years. The plot deals with allied justices under political pressure sitting in judgment of German judges for how they responded to political pressure dispensing justice under the Nazi’s. The excuses of the German judges vary, but include the argument that prewar Germany was in a tough spot and drastic action had to be taken to save the country. Spencer Tracy's speech at the end was like a gut punch: (paraphrase) "a country’s core values are demonstrated by how it responds when it is under great pressure”. Following 911 we were under a great pressure and a lot of our leader’s values were found sadly lacking.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on April 27, 2009 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

J. Frank Parnell: "Following 911 we were under a great pressure and a lot of our leaders values were found sadly lacking"

Many of the rest of us too. This is a democracy. Our leaders were elected twice and the second time after at least some of this was known to those not putting their hands over their ears.


Posted by: patrick on April 27, 2009 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

McCain was against torture before he was booed by an audience of potential voters.

Posted by: Luther on April 27, 2009 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Nuremberg was for crimes against humanity. This crime (at worst) was against a couple of terrorists.

Posted by: JakeD on April 27, 2009 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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