In the real world of laws, sanity, and reason, there cannot be any court proceedings against the advisers of President Bush. I am not a lawyer, but I believe my reasons for this conclusion will stand up.
First, before there should even be any investigation, there has to be some evidence, at least some indication that a law has been broken. Where is that indication? If I’m correct here, that should be the end of the legal case, if not the constant stream of accusations and innuendo.
Second, and maybe this is redundant, there has to be some law to be broken. For a law to be broken, somebody has to take action to break it. What actions did the Bush advisers take? They wrote legal opinions. Since that happens millions of times every day, and hundreds or thousands of times during the course of any administration, that can’t be an infraction of the law. Writing opinions about legal questions is not a crime.
What else could they have done wrong? The only thing left is the content of their opinions. At this point, my own opinion is that there can be no prosecution of these lawyers based solely on what their opinions are. To argue otherwise is to ignore the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, which if nothing else is primarily intended to protect political opinion, and in this case the legal opinions are only being questioned because of the political situation surrounding them. Only the accusers of President Bush’s men refuse to acknowledge that the questions being analyzed were complex and open to many interpretations, the exact situation under which legal opinions are normally sought.
I rest my case. If the action the lawyers took was not illegal in itself, and if the content of their opinions are protected speech and therefore not criminal, there is no crime to prosecute.
Beyond that, the argument that they recommended a course of behavior that violates the Geneva Convention, a treaty, holds no water either. Treaties are made between nations, not individuals, so individuals can’t be said to have broken some law even if as a distant result someone else does something that might be considered to have violated the terms of the treaty.
Even Presidents don’t break the law if they order an action that violates a treaty. Their first allegiance is to the country, not to the treaty. (Barack Obama announced during his campaign that he intended to invade Pakistan if they didn’t accede to his wishes regarding the search for bin Laden. That would be a violation of more than one international agreement if it happens.) If a treaty is broken, the nation, and only the nation, can be punished, such as by boycotts, embargoes, travel and trade restrictions, or even invasion and war. Individual actions leading to the treaty violation must themselves be illegal to merit individual legal action in their wake.
Where does that leave this whole thing? Nowhere. It will either drag on as a distraction and red meat for the left wing, to end in no case being brought but maximum bad publicity for the “wrong” side, or we’ll travel through the looking-glass, where we’ll find Nancy Pelosi as the Red Queen of Hearts, Pat Leahy as the Mad Hatter, Harry Reid as the March Hare, and a bemused Barack Obama as the King of Hearts/Alice (we can only hope). Robert Byrd will make a cameo appearance as the Mock Turtle, Barney Frank as the Dormouse, and Chuck Schumer appears as the Cheshire Cat. Anybody interested in filling out the entire cast of characters may look here for memory jogging purposes–I got carried away because of the many apt parallels:
Back to serious analysis. The left is obsessed with the desire to convince the world that President Bush condoned and ordered “torture.” It’s clear that the exercise is intended, at the very least, to discredit President Bush and his administration. The lunatic left would be thrilled with an attempt to prosecute the former President for allowing interrogation techniques that the left deems illegal.
Furthermore, if the former President is accused and convicted of ordering violations of human rights (torture) against anybody, the individuals who actually carried out the acts cannot escape investigation and prosecution. It has been well established that “only following orders” is not a defense for crimes of this magnitude. The Boy President has again gotten in “over his pay grade.” If he lets this go too far, he won’t be able to turn back, and we could all suffer for it. We must hope that he follows the White Rabbit, Eric Holder, back up out of the rabbit hole.