It cannot be emphasized enough that those who are arguing against criminal investigations for Bush officials are -- whether consciously or implicitly -- arguing that the U.S., alone in the world, is exempt from the laws and principles which we've been advocating and imposing on other countries for decades. There is simply no way to argue that our leaders should be immunized from criminal investigations for torture and other war crimes without believing that (a) the U.S. is and should be immune from the principles we've long demanded other nations obey and (b) we are free to ignore our treaty obligations any time it suits us.God Bless You, Professor Chomsky. I think it's fair to say that both (a) and (b) from Glenn's above-quoted post have long been US policy, premises. Just ask these picturesque Lakota Sioux!
It's just as simple as that: one must embrace both of those premises in order to argue for a bar against criminal investigations.
Well, Mr. President, I would say that General Ripper has already invalidated that policy.
-Air Force General Buck Turgidson
I mean, yes: it is the practice and de facto policy of the United States to impose obligations on others by which terms of mutuality the US itself does not abide. This is not new, and it will persist until America's power relative to other nations decreases sufficiently to make treaty obligations . . . obligatory. Well on our way, one hopes.
It is, however, worth remembering that this nation, these United States, was created by the most successfully prosecuted series of genocides in history, against which the Turks or Germans appear as mere amateurs, despite the bigger numbers. Our forefathers didn't attempt to eradicate one people or one nation from the Earth; they did eradicate many nations and many peoples from the Earth, from one end of a continent to the other. So let us not wring our hands too long over our traduced values and traditions. Ever thus to deadbeats.