December 9, 2014

THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON...:

Why Obama Won't Prosecute Torturers (Eric Posner, 12/09/14, Slate)

The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture under the Bush administration has revived calls for the Obama administration to prosecute those responsible for violating the law. Critics argue correctly that if torturers are not punished, then torture could happen again. But Obama has acted rightly by refusing to authorize prosecutions. He acted rightly because prosecutions would have failed to secure convictions; and he acted rightly as a matter of principle. Criminal punishment of a partisan opponent who engages in illegal behavior for policy rather than personal reasons can pose a risk to democracy. [...]

So how could Obama spare the torturers? As we have just learned from the debate about immigration, the president enjoys broad prosecutorial discretion. Just as he can decide not to prosecute foreigners who violate our immigration laws, he can decide not to prosecute Americans who violate our torture laws.

...is that they did so with the full support of at least two-thirds of that democracy.

Posted by at December 9, 2014 7:12 PM
  

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