Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Is it bad to commit war crimes?

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Apparently not if it’s Americans who commit them—in that case, war crimes are fine and should not be punished. Glenn Greenwald examines this increasingly common mindset in a good column, which begins:

Behold the now-solidified Smart, Reasonable American Consensus on torture:  the agreed-upon method for dismissing away — mitigating and even justifying — the fact that our leaders, more or less out in the open, instituted a systematic torture regime with the consent of our key elite institutions and a huge bulk of the American citizenry, engaging in behaviors which, for decades, we insisted were inexcusable war crimes when engaged in by others:

Sure, it was wrong.  OK, we “crossed some lines.”  Yeah, we probably shouldn’t have done it, etc. etc. etc. (yawn).  But . . . .  when American leaders did it, it was different — fundamentally different — than when those evil/foreign/dictator actual-war-criminals did it.  Our leaders had good reasons for doing it.  They were kind and magnanimous torturers.  They committed war crimes with a pure heart.  They tortured because they were scared, because they felt guilty that they failed to protect their citizens on 9/11, because they were eager — granted:  perhaps too eager — to keep us, their loyal subjects, safe from The Murderous Terrorists.

Here are Tufts University Political Science Professor Dan Drezner and Stanford Philosophy Professor Joshua Cohen demonstrating how good-hearted, profoundly reasonable, oh-so-intellectually sophisticated Americans diligently struggle with — torture themselves over — what they have convinced themselves is the vexing question of whether our leaders should be considered “war criminals” by virtue of . . . . having committed unambiguous war crimes:

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 December 2008 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Bush Administration, GOP, Government, Media

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