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Time To Make A Stand On High Crimes

I’m not sure who all should be prosecuted for the torturing of prisoners during the Bush administration — I can see some legitimacy to the “just following orders” defense for people way down the chain of command. But someone has to be held accountable somewhere. This Obama position that:

“This is not a time for retribution. It’s a time for reflection. It is not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back, and in a sense of anger and retribution.”

is quite frankly bullshit. If you don’t penalize people for breaking the law, they will continue to break the law. Nixon was never prosecuted for Watergate, which led to Reagan believing he could get away with Iran-Contra. Which of course he did get away with, which in turn led to Bush-Cheney believing they could get away with torture, illegal spying, and all the other crimes they committed. If no one is prosecuted it’s a certainty that at some point in the future another administration will commit even more heinous crimes, given the track record of letting people in high places get away scott free. It’s not enough to just say that the Obama administration will obey the law. That won’t prevent future violations. Crimes were committed by the Bush administration — those responsible must be prosecuted.